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Wildcat Rock Trail

 4.4 (8)

This trail has it all: waterfalls, climbing access, picturesque views and a peaceful meadow. It is not to be missed!

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Point to Point

4,165' 1,270 m


2,373' 723 m


1,911' 583 m


214' 65 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers


The Wildcat Rock Trail features three outstanding landmarks: a stunning waterfall, breathtaking views from a rock outcrop, and a picturesque ridgeline meadow at the top of Little Bearwallow Mountain. This strenuous, 3-mile out-and-back (6 mile total) trail reaches these natural features after each mile of hiking, which allows you to customize your outing for a short hike or a long hike.

The Wildcat Rock Trail was formerly known as the Little Bearwallow Falls Trail. In 2018, Wildcat Rock Trail won the Coalition for Recreational Trails achievement award in the category of design and construction.

To access this trail, you'll park at the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead and then cross the street. You'll begin by descending into an orchard (watch out for curious bears!), and quickly enter the forest, hiking alongside a babbling brook. This trail gains elevation quickly, but after about a mile of hiking, you'll find yourself at the foot of Little Bearwallow Falls. The 100-foot falls create a popular climbing spot most of the year, and an ice climbing spot in the winter.

Immediately beyond Little Bearwallow Falls lies the most difficult part of the trail, a steep stone staircase that leads you around to the other side of the Falls. About two miles into the trail, you'll see a side trail leading up to Wildcat Rock. A short scramble away are some stunning views of the Hickory Nut Gorge. The trail continues another mile, ending in a meadow at the summit of Little Bearwallow Mountain. The trail ends here for now, but there are plans to connect Wildcat Rock to the Bearwallow Mountain Trail soon.

Conserving Carolina partnered with Upper Hickory Nut Gorge conservation champions John Myers and Jane Lawson as well as the Brock family in 2013 to acquire and preserve 128 acres on the north slopes of Little Bearwallow Mountain. This is the land that most of the Wildcat Rock Trail crosses. John Myers and Jane Lawson protected an additional 38 acres of their property through a conservation easement with Conserving Carolina in 2017. The first mile of the Wildcat Rock Trail crosses this land. Now protected forever, Wildcat Rock tract is considered one of the most biodiverse locations in the Natural Heritage Inventory of Henderson County.


Land Manager: Conserving Carolina

Shared By:

Conserving Carolina with improvements by Scott Abshire

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 8 votes


in Asheville


  4.4 from 8 votes
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in Asheville


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25 Views Last Month
570 Since Dec 11, 2019



Love the rocky areas of this hike -- especially above the falls area.
Jan 20, 2020 near Edneyville, NC
Nothing beats a Bearwallow sunset!
Jan 23, 2020 near Edneyville, NC
Beautiful views from the top.
Jan 20, 2020 near Fairview, NC
Little Bearwallow Falls is also a popular ice climbing spot in winter!
Dec 12, 2019 near Edneyville, NC
You'll reach Little Bearwallow Falls about 1.1 miles up the trail
Dec 12, 2019 near Edneyville, NC
Begin your hike at the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead.
Jan 23, 2020 near Edneyville, NC



Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 10 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In


Jul 11, 2021
Heath Schneider
Dec 29, 2020
Jason Burger
Nov 7, 2020
Katy Allen
Jul 28, 2020
Alan Mushlin
awesome. saw 4 foot rat snake 8.3mi
May 24, 2020
Eric Busch
Feb 23, 2020
Adam Gibbs
4.9mi — 1h 47m
Sep 14, 2019
Chip Summers
very strenuous — 12h 00m