Drift Falls

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Drift Falls
Location Horsepasture River, Pisgah National Forest, Blue Ridge Mountains, Transylvania County, North Carolina
Coordinates 35°05′36″N 82°58′09″W / 35.0934°N 82.9693°W / 35.0934; -82.9693
Type Slide, Fan
Total height 80 ft (24 m)

Drift Falls, also known as Bust-Yer-Butt Falls and Driftwood Falls, is a waterfall located in the Nantahala National Forest in Transylvania County, North Carolina.

History[edit]

Drift Falls flows on the Horsepasture River in the Jocassee Gorge. The falls is an 80-ft. slide over bedrock to a deep pool, and is a part of a series of waterfalls along a 1,200-ft drop along the course of the river over a 2.5 mile stretch. In the past, large numbers of visitors to the falls would cause traffic problems along North Carolina Highway 281 as they gathered at the falls to swim in the pool. Thrill seekers would use the falls as a natural waterslide, which is how the falls got its nickname of "Bust-Yer-Butt Falls". However, recent developments have lessened access to the falls, as it is now privately owned and actively patrolled for trespassers.[1]

Visiting the Falls[edit]

The falls is no longer directly accessible, and the property owner will prosecute anyone caught near the falls, as the falls are potentially dangerous.

Anyone who wishes to view the falls may do so without trespassing by hiking in from the nearby Gorges State Park. Take NC 281 south from U. S. Highway 64 for .9 miles and turn left into Gorges State Park. Follow the main park road and park in the Grassy Ridge trailhead parking lot. The park does allow overnight parking, but keep in mind that the gate will be locked and you must register your vehicle using the forms at the trailhead. Follow the main trail, which passes onto Pisgah National Forest property and winds down to the Horesepasture River, then upstream past Rainbow Falls after 1.5 miles.

Continue upstream past Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. Bear left at the intersection with the old trail leading uphill, which leads back to NC 281 and used to be the main route until it was closed. The trail continues following the river, crosses a couple of small branches, and ends after .15 miles at a split-rail fence which marks the private-property line. There is a scramble path to the river that does not cross the fence.

Follow that path down to a rocky area in the river with a view of the falls. Several sources describe the property line as crossing the river within the plunge pool of the falls, meaning you could get a great view of the falls from the downstream edge of the pool. However, extrapolating the alignment of the fences and other "no trespassing" signs set into the rock across the river indicates that the property line actually crosses a short distance downstream of the rocks at the edge of the plunge pool and across the upstream tip of a small island in the middle of the river. You can climb up on some rocks and stumps downstream of the line for a fair view of the falls. Do not step over the line and attempt to reach the edge of the pool, as the property owner will prosecute trespassers. There are a large number of "no trespassing signs" to remind visitors that they are close to private property.

Nearby Falls[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adams, Kevin (2005). North Carolina Waterfalls. John F. Blair. p. 356. ISBN 0-89587-320-6. 

External links[edit]