Located in the pit of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness of North Carolina, Scotsmans Falls is a true gem and one not to miss. The 40-ft drop tumbles over an impressive, rocky overhang before cascading out over beautiful mini-ledges. Best of all, this hike is less than a quarter mile round trip!
Access to Scotsman is nearly roadside in Cashiers, NC. It is off of the gravel Bull Pen Road, which is also access for tons of other great trails and adventures. Because this hike is so short, I recommend combining it with other destinations around the road.
There as multiple ways to reach the Bull Pen area, but the easiest is off of NC-107. From the main junction of US-64 and NC-107 in Cashiers, turn south onto 107. Follow it for approximately 6.9 miles before reaching Bull Pen Rd on your right. Once you turn onto the gravel road, follow it for about 4.2 miles to reach the parking for Scotsman Falls – which will be a grassy pullout on a bend.
Look just up the road and towards the sound of water to find the reasonably defined path down. This hike is only about 400-ft, but be prepared because it is steep! To make it even more fun, it’s usually quite muddy and slippery. Take your time and enjoy some small log climb overs while you’re headed down!
The base of Scotsman Falls opens up to clean bedrock on river right, which is perfect for getting the full view of the waterfall or just good ol’ fashioned hanging out. With some strong water behind it, Scotsman can look quite impressive – especially the free falling part. Note that climbing behind the veil is slippery and delicate spray communities thrive there so be sure to watch your footing!
There are more cascades below before Scotsman Creek joins the Chattooga. A good summer hike idea is a shuttle of the creek from Scotsman Falls to the Iron Bridge, which is an absolute blast!