Looking for a beautiful trail to hike near Bryson City? Check this one out - Alarka Falls (or Alarka Creek Falls) located outside of Bryson City, North Carolina. This trail is located in the Nantahala National Forest and I can not say enough about how beautiful this trail is. The entire trail follows along the water which has numerous cascades along the way - just stop and enjoy nature.
We were the only ones on this trail with our 3 dogs on this weekday in May 2021. To find this trail and see this wonderful nature take US-74 west from Bryson City (or in our case, we came from Franklin off NC 28, so we turned right on Highway 74) - take exit 64 for Alarka Road. You will be driving through the Alarka Community for several miles - one website said about 10 miles. It's a nice paved road for most of this distance and no need to worry about hard curves and up down hill along a mountain side. Take Alarka Road from Highway 74 and keep driving till you get to the end where there is a small parking area (looks more like a turn around or cul de sac).
The trail is on the east side, don't go the forest service road (gated). Not very exciting looking, but this is where a small camping area is and the entrance to the trail.
I must confess, that as we approached towards the end of this trail it appeared to be getting very rocky and steeper - so on this trip, we didn't make it to the end but maybe next time as everyone on google says it is worth it!
You'll see the water flowing to the right of the trail - very soon - if you don't you're probably not on the trail we took.
The trail itself is pretty easy, well worn and not hard to follow. Dirt with some rocks along the way. There are a few places where trees have fallen across the trail - so you will have to either climb over or find a way around them if they are still there when you arrive. We climbed over, but found our smaller dogs preferred to go under - so we dropped the leashes so they could find the way that worked best for them.
Beautiful water flowing through the rocks.
The trees in May were beautiful with the green leaves. The sounds of the water falling down over the rocks was relaxing - don't forget to take the time to enjoy this hike. The entire hike is about 1 mile (perhaps a little further in some other blog entries). Still an easy and great hike.
Some of the trees have been cut to allow the trail to go through, but in some places the trees are still across the trail.
Near to the end of the area that we hiked to, this beautiful setting with trees, water and fallen branches/trees across the water.
The rocks can be slippery near the water, so be careful. I scrambled up a little way but soon decided that the little girls were having a bit of issues and perhaps we should try another day. Abby being larger was roaming around on the rocks. I was past this rock at one point, it wasn't that easy to come back down with a camera - so be careful, especially if it's wet.
A good portion of this trail is in the shade - that makes it nice too as it didn't get as hot.
The twins tied off to keep them from going to far from us.
Yep, now they are all waiting on us. Kept them tied up a good portion of the time to keep the wandering to a minimum just in case someone else wanted to join us on the trail and perhaps had their canine(s) with them. Another photo of the trail to get an idea of the terrain.
A couple of different websites have information on this particular trail.
https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/north-carolina/alarka-creek-falls and another website is https://www.hikewnc.info/ (hopefully these links will be live for a long time into the future).
Google Maps provides this information for a google search "Alarka Creek Falls Trailhead"
That's it for this trip - enjoy the hike if you decide to check it out.