Soco Falls

Soco Falls is located on the Qualla Boundary (Cherokee Indian Reservation) just beside US Hwy. 19, between Cherokee and Maggie Valley, NC – just west of the Blue Ridge Parkway at Soco Gap. Two creeks spill over this ledge into a dark cove – the one on river left is higher than the one on the right. Rhododendrons and northern hardwoods surround the falls in the lush cove.

Driving Directions

From the intersection of US Hwy. 19 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, follow US 19 toward Cherokee (north/west) for about 1.4 miles. A sign for Soco Falls will indicate your approach to the pull off, which is a large gravel parking area on the left. Park here.

Trail Directions

The trail starts at the east (uphill) side of the guardrail and descends a couple hundred feet over a good path and some steps to the viewing platform. For your own safety, stop here – the view is pretty good.

Some people scramble down the bank to the base, but it’s extremely steep and dangerous. In fact, a fence to the left of the platform does not block your access to the top of the falls, but almost tempts rogue hikers to go down there. I don’t understand this at all. Then, a horrible, slippery, muddy, near-vertical tumble path goes from the top of the smaller falls down to the base. There are sometimes frayed ropes tied to shady things hanging down the slope. It’s extremely dangerous and I don’t recommend it.

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