Wildcat Falls is a 60-foot waterfall in Pisgah National Forest, just a mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway on the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway (NC Highway 215).
The 1.5-mile easy roundtrip hike starts at a small parking area at a campsite. From the intersection of NC Highway 215 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, go north on NC 215 for 8/10 of a mile and watch for the small steep drive on the right (marked with a tiny roadside sign “BR 1”). There’s only room for 2-3 cars. There is additional roadside parking about 4/10 of a mile down the road. There are no signs for the waterfall.
From the campsite, the unmarked Flat Laurel Creek Trail starts to the right via on old logging road and railroad grade. There’s a slight incline on the hike, but it’s mostly wooded and easy. While trains and trucks once followed this path, it’s now only a narrow trail in sections.
Soon after starting your hike, you’ll step across Bubbling Spring Branch on stones without getting your feet wet. In about 1/4 of a mile, you’ll pass a pair of small cascades on the right. Keep walking and all of a sudden a nice concrete bridge magically appears! It certainly seems out of place since most of the evidence of the former road is gone.
See the top section of Wildcat Falls from the bridge. Then you can carefully and slowly venture down a steep side trail past the bridge on the left down for a view of the falls beneath the bridge. From there you can take a shot of your significant others as they worry about you falling below them!
There are several campsites along the way, should you like to pack in.
FYI: Flat Laurel Creek Trail continues from Wildcat Falls to Black Balsam parking area off the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 3 more miles ahead).
Exit the Blue Ridge Parkway (near Milepost 423) onto NC 215 and go north 8/10 of a mile.
Bring snacks, water, and something to cook!