Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Horsepasture River


If you follow the Horsepasture River, you will find three main waterfalls and many hidden ones.

From the parking lot at Gorges State Park, go back out to the road (NC 281) and make a left on the trail which parallels the road – don’t walk on the road. Take the trail on the left into the woods.

The first major right turn takes you to a view of Drift Falls - the falls themselves are on private land. Returning to the main path, you'll pass Turtleback and Rainbow Falls. That's as far as most tourists go.

If you want to find Stairway and Windy falls, Bill Thomas' map is absolutely necessary.

Length: 8.9 miles
Altitude gain: 2,110 feet

Map: The North Carolina Sierra Club’s Guide to the Jocassee Gorges; Horsepasture, Bearwallow, & Toxaway Region by Bill Thomas available at local bookstores.

: From Brevard, take U.S. 64 west for 18.7 miles to its intersection with NC 281 South. Turn left and drive 1.1 miles to the entrance to Gorges State Park, on the left.

Return to the Nantahala National Forest Hikes

Document Actions