Hickey Fork Falls

2.4 Miles – Moderate

If you’re looking for a waterfall to explore near Asheville look no further than Hickey Fork Falls. Hickey Fork Falls is a peaceful, out-and-back hike that crosses creeks and takes hikers to a spectacular, veiled waterfall.

1. Hickey Fork Falls is in the remote backcountry area of Shelton Laurel and there is very little cell phone service
2. There are sections of the Hickey Fork trail that are often overgrown with shrubs
3. The trail crosses several small streams
4. The bridge at the trailhead is high and has only one railing. Please be careful when crossing

Trail Description

The trailhead is located just past the small parking area and “Prevent Forest Fires” sign. Hikers will be immediately faced with crossing a sturdy, one-rail bridge over the East Prong of Hickey Fork Creek. Please be careful when crossing.

The trail continues on the other side and is marked by yellow blazes. The Hickey Fork trail is single-track and begins with a gentle incline that snakes into the Pisgah National Forest before descending into a series of valleys and into the West Prong Valley.

Hikers will need to cross several tributaries during this hike. Please be sure to wear appropriate shoes.

Staying on the yellow blazed trail, the hike meanders over several more ridges and into minor valleys before continuing to follow the creek upstream.

At approximately 1 mile into the hike the trail begins a moderate incline leading to the falls. The sounds of Hickey Fork will lessen as the trail climbs away before returning to a cascade on the side of the trail. This is a great spot to stop and admire the water. Caution: the rock can be very slippery here. Do not attempt to slide on rock and keep children and dogs away.

Just past this cascade is Hickey Fork Falls proper. This is an excellent location to have a quick snack, drink some water and take some photos. This is also the turnaround point for the hike. When ready, follow the yellow blazes back on the trail hiked in on and back to the parking area.

PLEASE NOTE: Respecting nature is an essential responsibility we bear as inhabitants of this planet. By treating nature with reverence and care, we acknowledge its intrinsic value and the profound impact it has on our lives. It involves mindful consumption, minimizing waste, and adopting eco-friendly alternatives. Embracing nature’s beauty and power, we strive to preserve its pristine landscapes, clean air, and pure waters for future generations. Please be mindful when hiking our trails, rafting our rivers and exploring our beautiful mountains. Please leave no trace and respect the nature of Madison County, North Carolina during your visit. Click here to find out more about respecting nature in Madison County, NC.


Driving from Asheville: Take I-26 W towards Weaverville. In 8 miles take exit 19A to get on US-25 N/ US-70 W towards Marshall. In 21 miles continue straight onto NC-208 N. After 3 miles turn right onto NC-212 N. Stay on this road for 7 miles before turning left onto the gravel Hickey Fork Road. The parking area and trailhead are located on this road in approximately 1 mile, right past the “Prevent Forest Fires” sign.