Horsepasture River - Waterfalls Hike with opt. Swimming - Sat, Sep 7 2019

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

Horsepasture River - Waterfalls Hike with opt. Swimming

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Gorges State Park, North Carolina   Hike: Horsepasture River - Waterfalls Hike with opt. Swimming  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Sep 7 2019  7:30 am >> Sat, Sep 7 2019 7:30 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Sep 5 2019 8:32 am
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Sep 6 2019 6:33 pm
Event Duration:12 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:8 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Laura V
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:14
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 11 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Join us on a fun adventure to Gorges State Park, North Carolina. This 7,500-acre park hosts some stunning scenery, sheer rock walls, rugged river gorges and some excellent waterfalls. 

Our hike will begin at the Rainbow Falls trailhead. After introductions we will head off along the trail and after a short hike we will take a side trail to Windy Falls. We will do a little rock scrambling here to be greeted with awesome views! This is our lunch stop.

After visiting Windy falls, we will return up to the trail and head to Staircase Falls (along a short side trail). There will be an opportunity for a swim below Staircase Falls for those who want to cool off.

We will then continue following the trail along Horsepasture river until we reach the bottom of Rainbow falls - a huge waterfall that creates a lot of mist, and usually a rainbow. We will then begin our short, but steep, ascent to the top of Rainbow Falls, where there are some great views. At the top, we will explore the falls, take photos and eat a snack. 

We will then continue along the trail to Turtleback Falls. One or more of the trip leaders will be swimming here, and taking the thrilling slide off the top of the falls into the plunge pool below - it's entirely optional but a lot of fun!

This will be a relaxing day of hiking and swimming, we will be taking our time to enjoy the scenery and the river. This means if you are in a hurry to hike and get back to Atlanta, this is not the hike for you. The end time is a loose estimate, and it's probably the earliest you could expect to be back at the carpool... go under the assumption it will be later than that.

Note: Although we will be taking time to enjoy the sights and swim, this is still a D4 hike with nearly 2,000 feet of ascent. There is a mile long section that has 900 feet of ascent and, in the heat, it's always challenging. You should have D4 level hiking experience to sign up for this hike.

The trip leaders plan to stop for dinner on the way back, if you do not wish to do this please plan your carpool accordingly.

Required Items to Bring:

Good Hiking shoes/boots
Food - lunch/snacks
Spare pairs of socks
Water/sports drink - at least 2.5 litres! (you can carry less if you bring a filter) 
Change of clothes/shoes and deodorant for the ride home
Cash for the carpool driver

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Water Shoes (if you want to swim/wade)
Swimwear or quick-dry clothing
Insect repellant
Sense of humor

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

To be provided at the carpool.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):266Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $106.40 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


Additional safety notes:  In many areas the Horsepasture River is powerful, with a strong current.  These portions of the river are dangerous and not to be entered.  We will exercise caution in determining appropriate places to swim.

The TLs rely on all participants to assess their own swimming abilities.  If you question your swimming ability, please enjoy the hike, but do not enter the water. 

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.