Rufus Morgan Falls

This waterfall is rarely seen because it it not well advertised. We’ve been enjoying the cascades on Wayah Road and coming to Wayah Bald for 3 years and we never knew there was a waterfall off that road. We happened upon it in a brochure of all places, for Asheville. We couldn’t believe we’d never heard of it before. It says in the directions about it from Asheville that it’s at Wayah Bald, but it’s not. It’s off of Wayah Road on FS 388. If you’re coming from Bryson CIty, it’s at the other end of Wayah Road, after you’ve enjoyed all the cascades on the road along the way. It’s on the Franklin end of Wayah Road. So, if you’re coming from Franklin, you won’t go through the twisty part of Wayah Road with all the cascades, but we would suggest that after you visit the falls, take a tour down the rest of Wayah Road to see the cascades. It’s worth it. Also, you can see Wayah Bald on your trip as well. Why not make a day of it.

The stuff we did find online about it says it’s a 1/4 mile to the falls from the parking area. This is incorrect. It’s .5 miles to the falls. The trail is 1 mile round trip. It’s a loop and it’s easy to moderate. The blaze for this trail is blue and it’s well marked. For those who haven’t seen a lot of blazes along your day hikes, when there are 2 same color blazes on a tree, the lower one is the trail color and the upper one is the direction you need to follow. These double markings are usually at an intersection, so if marking is on the left, that is the direction you should travel. Hopefully that makes sense.

Some spots are a little more “hinky” but it’s not bad at all. If you’re used to hiking in sandals like chacos, you might get your feet a little wet. There are several small stream crossings, but they are not even ankle deep. You can probably walk over them using the rocks if you are really stable and not get your feet wet at all. We would suggest that you may want to wear shoes with toes in them because of all the roots along the trail. But, if you’re careful and watch your step, you won’t stumble.

When you get to the falls, it looks like it’s just a small cascade with a foot bridge. But, once you cross the foot bridge, you can see the falls continue. It has 3 tiers. The trail takes you up to the base of the upper section. The trail is a gradual climb, sloping slightly all the way to just beyond the falls before the descent. You still might want to have trekking poles with you, as some of the water crossings are a bit slippery (we were there right after a rain). There are several roots and rocks, but take your time and enjoy the short hike. It’s not strenuous by any means. It’s worth the trek to see this hidden little gem.

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