Laurel Fork Falls
The most popular scenic feature in the Pond Mountain Wilderness Area is Laurel
Falls on Laurel Fork Creek. The segmented waterfall drops 45 to 55 feet and is
probably the best known falls in this area. There is a large pool at the bottom
suitable for swimming to those who enjoy cold mountain water. Laurel Fork
Creek is also a good stream for fishing for wild rainbow and brown trout.
Upstream from Laurel Falls are Middle Laurel Falls (15- to 20-foot drop) and
Upper Laurel Falls (15- to 25-foot drop). Between the Middle Laurel Falls and
Upper Laurel Falls are Lower Dennis Cove Falls (10-foot drop) and Dennis Cove
Falls (20- to 30-foot drop).
Dennis Cove Recreation Area, 5 miles east of Hampton on Dennis Cove Road, is
a popular starting place for hiking to the waterfalls. After parking at the
recreation area, go 0.8 mile west along Dennis Cove Road to where the AT
crosses the road. There is a small parking area where the AT crosses the road
but there is plenty of room to park at the recreation area. Follow the AT's white
blazes to Laurel Falls.
Degree of difficulty: Moderate to strenuous.
Blaze: White .
Or here are more instructions: Go east on Dennis Cove Rd.,
( FR 50) winding up the mountain about 4-5 miles until it crosses the Appalachian
Trail (AT), where there is a parking area on the left and an information sign. (If
you get to the Dennis Cove Campground, you have gone too far.) Park near the
AT (parking my be scarce) and hike north on the AT (behind the information sign)
in a gorge along Laurel Fork on the way to Laurel Falls. Here's what you
will see as you hike on this trail:
Rustic camping under tall white pine trees, on the right just after you begin.
A swimming hole on the other side of the stream by a large rock in this camping
A sign that says "Pond Mountain Wilderness". Just past this sign, down a steep
bank, is a sandy place and swimming hole.
A footbridge over the stream. There are swimming places both upstream and
downstream at this bridge.
As you approach Laurel Falls, a sign says "Laurel Falls" and "High Water
Route". Take the Laurel Falls trail.
And yet another set of directions:
From Hwy 321/67 in Hampton, take Dennis Cove Rd to Dennis Cove Recreation
Area. This moderate difficulty trail is 8.0 miles long, begins at Dennis Cove,
follows Laurel Fork and ends at Hays Branch. Trail originated as a fishing trail
and has numerous wading crossings of the creek.
Laurel Fork Falls
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