Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Elk Falls is an impressive waterfall in Avery County, North Carolina, about a stones throw from Tennessee. In fact, it's so close to the Tennessee border that I first heard of it when it was included in the Waterfalls of Tennessee book by Gregory Plumb. Quite a volume of water plunges 45 feet into the plunge pool below.
Getting there is rather easy: Take U.S. Highway 19E to Elk Park, NC. Follow the signs to Elk River Rd and then drive about 4 miles to the entrance of Pisgah National Forest. The road ends at a small parking lot, and from there it's about a 5 minute walk along a well developed trail to this vantage point.
Waterfalls do contain an element of risk, and several people have died here over the years, including a man in 2010 who either jumped off or fell off the top, plus another teen in 2007. The pool below is quite deep and apparently there is a strong current to pull under there.