Upper Creek Falls

Upper Creek Falls is located in the Jonas Ridge Area of Burke County. Trails leading to the top and bottom of the falls are popular among sunbathers, swimmers, and fishermen, and there is frequently trash along the trails that detracts from the experience. However, the view from the top is spectacular.

The trail to the left out of the parking lot goes to the top of the Falls and is 0.4 miles long. The trail to the right out of the parking lot goes to the bottom of the falls and is 0.9 miles long.  Both trails are steep.  A 1.6 mile loop can be made if you choose to wade or rock-hop across the creek twice.  At times, the creek crossings become impassable.  Use caution.  Please use good judgment and remember that the rocks are often slick and dangerous!  


The Falls are located 13.5 miles from Morganton. Take NC 181 North from Morganton. The parking area is on the right about 6 miles north of the Pisgah National Forest boundary. 

If you are coming from Morganton, go past the Brown Mountain overlook on your right - the entrance to Upper Creek Falls is a few miles further on the right in a section of road where there are 3 lanes, 2 heading uphill. Look for a brown and white National Forest type sign and a small gravel drive. If you are on the Blue Ridge Parkway, take Hwy 181 south for 5.65 miles and the entrance will be on the left.


When you are around the falls remember that wet rocks are very slippery and people fall to their deaths from waterfalls every year!  Please be careful and use common sense!  Do not climb rocks around the waterfalls and do not ever cross a stream or swim at the top of a waterfall.

Please be very careful not to trample vegetation while exploring any falls!  There may be species of rare plants living in or near the spray areas of the falls.


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Jan 25, 2017 NC Riverkeeper Report
From the perspectives of 12 NC Riverkeepers, this report discusses how multiple environmental issues pose challenges in the pursuit of clean, plentiful water. Whether you are in North Carolina or downstream in South Carolina, read this report about the state of environmental enforcement.
Dec 13, 2016 Community Foundation of Gaston County grants $5,000 to CRF for Riverkeeper Program
The Community Foundation will fund Catawba Riverkeeper's work in Gaston County.
Dec 12, 2016 A Successful Launch of our Water Education Program at Great Falls Elementary
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in partnership with 4-H Clemson Cooperative Extension successfully completed our pilot Education Outreach Program with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Great Falls Elementary.
Sep 27, 2016 Lake Wateree Fall Cleanup a Sweeping Success
86 volunteers collected 5,490 pounds of trash from Lake Wateree
Jun 13, 2016 Dozens of Youth Reached in Water Education Outreach Program Pilot Lessons
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