Tom's Creek Falls
Toms Creek Falls
More reward than effort
Author – Jim Williams
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Mostly single track trails. There will be moderate to difficult elevation gains. Remember we live along and in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They don’t call them mountains without a reason. The distances will be a little longer and you’ll be carrying snacks and water.
Shoes: A light to medium weight hiking boot that supports the ankle.
Time: Expect to spend 1- 1.5 hours on the trail. That’s if you take your time and enjoy the nature around you.
Distance: Total distance round trip to the top of the falls is just a little over a mile. Elevation gain is about 200’ to the top of the falls.
Safety: This is an easy to moderate trail hike, depending on whether you go to the top of the falls or stay at the bottom and enjoy the view. In the summer you may see snakes. Just watch and don’t stick your hands in the cracks in the rock.
Courtesy: Don’t be surprised if you have this trail all to yourself. I have seen campers and evidence of campsites along the trail so you might run into an occasional dog that is off the leash. I’ve never had a problem.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Marion, take Hwy 221 north to Woodlawn. After you pass the picnic grounds on the left the highway starts downhill. Very soon you will see Huskins Branch Rd. on the left. Turn left on to Huskins Branch Rd. After a very short time you will pass a small white church on the left. Further along you will cross an unpaved stretch in the road. When you are back on the pavement you’re very close to the parking area. It will be on your right.
The trail starts from the parking area.
THE TRAIL: You’ll see the trail as soon as you park. It starts out flat and has some moderate gain as you approach the falls. Normally I would not recommend a trail that is so short but the view of the falls makes it worthwhile. Just follow the trail from the parking area to the falls. It’s not far enough to get lost. Take your time on this one. Meander down to the stream and check out all the bubbly little spots. When you get to the falls you will see some rockwork. It is the remains of an old mica mine. If you look across the stream you will see a pretty big hole in the side of the mountain. On one hike I decided to explore inside the hole. After a short distance in, I heard something further ahead that sounded bigger than me. I lost my curiosity.
If you walk to the rockwork, you may see a little foot path. That’s the way to the top of the falls. It’s by far, the steepest part of the hike. It can be slippery at times. Watch your footing. The little path intersects a wider trail. When you reach the trail, turn to the left and head up to the top of the falls. The trail has a steep and long drop on one side so be careful.
For this hike, the top of the falls is as far as I go. As you will see, the trail continues. There is some pretty good hiking in that area that I will cover in another hike, along with my story of how a mother bear and her cub also wanted to hike that trail at the same time that I did.
Take your camera. This is another hike that is fun anytime of year. I almost prefer this one in the winter when the water is a little frozen or there is snow on the ground.
This is a very clean trail. Please keep it that way.