We drove about an hour to get to the trail head – many years ago we did this trail with our first dog, Dolly, in the fall of 2010, so it’s been almost a decade since we have hiked this trail. The trail is Blue Blazed and is well maintained. Pretty, short jaunt up clearly marked trail. AT 2017: Day 12, Wayah Shelter to Rufus Morgan Shelter These things that are pleasin' you can hurt you somehow. There was a mild rain when I did the trail, which made the rocks slippery. Rufus Morgan Falls The 60-foot Rufus Morgan Falls is located just outside the town of Franklin. Fairly easy as we took our time. A 60' waterfall, but if you're looking for high levels of water flow, you may want to head up US 64 to Dry Falls and the Cullasaja River. Description: A gentle, 1.0 mile loop trail takes visitors through a mature cove forest with nice displays of spring wildflowers, and a small waterfall reached by a short side trail. Would definitely recommend to people of all ages! A relatively easy hike of a 1 mile loop trail leads you to Rufus Morgan Falls. This muddy path around the tree was slick/slippery. Sunday was supposed to be a 75 degree day, and we were anxious to get back on the trails after a 6 week hiatus. Both mosquito and tick bites can transmit diseases, however, and appropriate measures, such as long clothing and repellants, should be used. Higher elevations, however, can experience cold, wet weather at any time during the year. Second half of the loop had lots of mushrooms and a small meadow with loads of goldenrod. Hike with Gravity. 1400 Independence Ave., SW Wildlife encounters with large animals such as black bears and wild boar are unusual but potentially very dangerous. Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Nantahala National Forest, Wayah Ranger District. As a result, adequate rain gear and warm clothes are recommended, even during the summer. Awesome hike! There is a footbridge at one point below a smaller slide downstream of the main drop. Be aware that it is slick, and there are lots of drop offs. Great waterfall and hike. you'll feel like you're in middle of nowhere. COORDINATES 35.15398, -83.5446. great hiking trail for all skill levels. The falls are beautiful and the sounds of cascading water by the creek are both relaxing and rejuvenating to sit and listen to. Morgan was a longtime Appalachian Trail volunteer, and the trail to the falls is reminiscent of many portions of the AT in the southern Appalachian Mountains. trail little muddy at stream crossings, easy to follow, well marked for a remote trail, kids 5 and above okay, no steep climb. Shortly thereafter (around 0.5 mile) a side trail is reached which travels to the 50' Rufus Morgan Falls, aka Rough Fork Falls. No bathrooms but it’s a short hike. and Wayah Rd, so you'll know where to turn). Not too many people on a weekday. Get the app Rufus Morgan Intermediate. Over the weekend, we got out of town to head to the mountains. One end starts across the creek from the parking area, and the other end starts in the parking area itself. Had a small dog and carried an infant in a backpack. Make a day out of it and see the nearby "Wayah Bald Lookout Tower. People who have a lot of experience hiking long distance trails will often give this advice: "Don't quit on a bad day." Biting insects are generally not a problem. pretty wet up here today, crossed water about 6 times. Rufus Morgan trail has really lovely creek crossings several places along the trail. The falls were amazing after the rain. This is a loop trail but you can simply hike to the falls and return the same way you came if you like. Come in late May- July (at this elevation) to enjoy the multitude of blooming Rhododendrons, Flame Azeleas and Mountain Laruel. Rufus Morgan Trail - Franklin, North Carolina in summer. beautiful view of the falls and great views of the surroundings. And so worth it. Trail reports are used to indicate a trails current condition and inform builders and other riders about any issues on a trail. Macon County, North Carolina. Top Hikes. One end starts across the creek from the parking area, and the other end starts in the parking area itself. A mile and a half down the dirt road is a clear placard for the Rufus Morgan trailhead. Not too bad at all. when turn off main road onto packed gravel, just keep driving, maybe 3-5 miles. Definitely not for children. There’s another one higher up. At the top of the trail are the Rufus Morgan Falls, which gently cascade down the granite rock. Rufus Morgan Falls is only about 30 minutes from Franklin North Carolina. Rufus Morgan Trail, NC Latitude: 35.1539817 Longitude: -83.5446048 County: Macon Area: Wayah Bald Elevation: 871 meters - 2858 feet Safety First: The Nantahala National Forest receives high recreational use throughout the summer, and traffic along the forest roads can be heavy, especially near developed facilities. The waterfall is at the half way point of a 1 mile loop, so the hike can either be done as a loop or an out and back. We balanced ourselves on boulders through about 3-4 creeks/streams. If you’re hiking here with young children, part of this trail is narrow with big drop offs to the side. He loved it and the waterfall is a great payoff. And the only way out is back the same way. The road to the trail was a little misleading. A little slick and muddy because of recent rain. Near the falls the trail crosses a rock slab at the site of a fairly recent landslide. May and October are the best mo Hiked today following 3 days of heavy rain; if you usually go without, I’d recommend hiking polls as crossings were quite slick. One big tree down across the path as of November 2020. The large falls at the end of the hike was quite beautiful. The road is gravel, but well maintained. Trail Guide. Trail Guide. Would recommend for anyone, easy for kids, older adults and dogs. Other than a few wet/muddy spots there wasn’t anything concerning or difficult. Weather in the southern Appalachians is generally mild but wet, with abundant rainfall throughout the year. Got here around 330 and we're the only folks on the trail! After turning off the paved road, the trail head is about 2 miles up the mountain on a dirt road. Flowers Naturalist, Author, explorer: Rufus Morgan was one of the early pioneers in the founding and development of the Appalachian Trail. Wayah Bald Recreation Area via Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail: Wayah Bald to Tellico Gap, Winding Stair Gap to Siler Bald via Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail: Deep Gap to Dicks Creek, Bartram Trail: Wallace Branch to William's Pulpit, Standing Indian, Mount Albert, Nantahala Basin Loop, Wayah Bald to Sawmill Gap via Bartram Trail, Bartram Trail: Wayah Bald to Wallace Branch, Wayah Bald to Wilson Lick Ranger's Station. Have fun! Directions: From Franklin, take U. S. Highway 64 west about 3 miles. We usually always take family and friends on this hike when they come to visit. Really nice short loop trail to lovely waterfall. Continue on FR #388 for 2 miles to the parking area for "Rufus Morgan Trailhead". Great little trail with a few stream crossings. Hike Summary: This short hike starts at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) at Wesser, NC and climbs 500 feet heading southbound on the Appalachian Trail to the Rufus Morgan Shelter. Trail Guide Best Trails & Photos. We suggest that you come in mid to late April through early May for the best chance to see the floor of the forest covered with wildflowers. wear good shoes, boots if you have them. Rufus Morgan Trail is a 1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Franklin, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Even with all of that it was great! The trail is moderately easy. We had our two Springers with us and they loved the stream crossings. In addition, trails in the region are often rocky, and require supportive shoes and sure footing. There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead. The Rufus Morgan Trail February 21, 2017. Overall great nevertheless. The signed, blazed, and easy-to-follow trail is a loop, about a mile long, with no intersections. steep climb to the fall but it is WORTH IT! We stopped to take it all in quite a bit so, it took us about an hour and a half. Rufus Morgan Falls Trail is a moderately easy, 1 mile hike in Nantahala National Forest that will take about 40 minutes to complete with Fido. For the most part, it is a steep grade of switchbacks until the last few hundred yards before the shelter. The fa… I would recommend good grippy hiking shoes for those wet spots, but it was beautiful! ", THE LOCAL DIRECTIONSFrom intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 W and U.S. Hwy-23/441 North in Franklin take Hwy-64 W towards Murphy, NC for 3.8 miles to "Old Murphy Rd. Continue on Wayah Rd. It leads to 60' Rufus Morgan Falls at its far end - a great destination. Rufus Morgan Falls Trail is a 1 mile hike with 470 feet elevation gain. Photo by Bill Lea. Rufus Morgan Falls - Nantahala National Forest 6-5-19 - Rufus Morgan Falls is a really nice 60-70' waterfall not to far west of Franklin, NC. Facilities are not available at the trailhead. The loop trail itself is only 1 mile long. Don’t stop. A large tree was over the trail on the ascent that was hard to avoid due to the mud. Best Photos. Followed google maps and found the trail perfectly. If you have dogs, please keep them on a leash and the two stream crossings will give them a chance to hydrate during the trek. Top Runs. Gorgeous forest all around. This 50-foot slide (aka Rough Fork Falls) emerges from a rhododendron thicket following a moderate .5-mile hike along the Rufus Morgan Trail. Loved the waterfall at the peak of the trail. After 6.5 miles, turn left onto Forest Service Road 388, a well-maintained gravel road that may be gated in winter. Rufus Morgan Trail Rufus Morgan Trail is a trail in North Carolina and has an elevation of 2884 feet. As stated earlier, the hike to the falls is about 1 mile long and is a nicely blue blazed loop trail. The easy one-mile loop is well-marked and well-maintained, meandering through a mature hardwood forest and crossing a babbling stream via foot bridge. Trail Guide Best Trails & Photos. Alan Cressler The waterfall was definitely worth the hike. Gnats are ubiquitous during the growing season, and often become a nuisance, due to both their numbers as well as their persistence. Don’t stop at the first waterfall. Great for kids and dogs. If you're looking for a nice half-day hike to see a local waterfall, the Rufus Morgan Falls trail is a great place to wander to. Rufus Morgan Trail to Long Rocks Trail [PRIVATE PROPERTY] is a 2.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Hendersonville, North Carolina that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. HIGHLIGHTS: This short hike starts at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) at Wesser, NC and climbs 500 feet heading southbound on the Appalachian Trail to the Rufus Morgan Shelter.For the most part, it is a steep grade of switchbacks until the last few hundred yards before the shelter. AT 2017: Day 13, Rufus Morgan Shelter to Stecoah Gap Goin' down the road feeling bad. Best time to enjoy: mid to late April. Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail Morgan was a longtime Appalachian Trail volunteer, and the trail to the falls is reminiscent of many portions of the AT in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The top tier of the falls, which tumbles nearly 70-feet, is visible from an observation area just half a mile down the trail, and the second significant portion of a falls, a wide, 60-foot flume, appears another quarter mile down the trail. for another 6.4 miles until you come to FR (forest road) #388 on your Left (you'll need to pay attention to your odometer because there are no signage for Rufus Morgan Falls or Trail, just a small brown sign with the numbers "388" on it). Rufus Morgan Trail is located in western Franklin, North Carolina. Some were only 2 inches wide and two or three were much wider. Rufus Morgan Falls One of North Carolina’s most beautiful wildflower trails, the hike to Rufus Morgan Falls is best trekked during the second half of April. A. Rufus Morgan Shelter. Best Photos. There is a smaller waterfall but the main event is a few dozen yards above that, so don't get faked out and miss the bigger one. You have to take a trail off to the right of the loop to get up close to the waterfall. The water gal at the end is absolutely beautiful. The entire right hand side of the falls are lined with Rhododendron. So keep going. Makes for a great day! oh yeah, love the Waterfalls. Description: A gentle, 1.0 mile loop trail takes visitors through a mature cove forest with nice displays of spring wildflowers, and a small waterfall reached by a short side trail. Rufus Morgan Loop Trail Reports no reports have been added for Rufus Morgan Loop yet, add a trail report. Are used to indicate a trails current condition and inform builders and other about. Easy and a half down the granite rock -83.5446. great hiking trail for all levels. Is best used from March until October return the same way Appalachians is generally mild wet. 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