A lot of people know and visit Silver Run Falls, but few know it has a secret – another waterfall upstream. Getting to Upper Silver Run Falls requires a little more exertion than the easy hike to Silver Run Falls, although the trailhead is the same.
Take NC 107 out of Cashiers, NC south for about 4 miles and you’ll find the well-marked and well-used parking area for Silver Run Falls. If you’re coming up from South Carolina, the parking area is 4.5 miles up NC 107 from the state line.
Take the easy and well-maintained trail to Silver Run Falls. One fork of the trail will take you down to the base pool while another will take you up closer to the rock face for a more oblique angle on the cascade.
Now, as you make the last turn to move down to the rock face, you’ll see what might be considered a “root ladder” running up an almost vertical wall for about 12 feet. You might consider it just to be a wash where the rain water runs but it is actually the start of the trail to Upper Silver Run Falls.
Carefully climb the “root ladder.” Once on top, you’ll find an informal trail generally paralleling the creek. The waterfall is about 100 yards upstream so don’t get too eager to approach the stream for a bit. There are several side trails heading down to the creek, but don’t take them, stay on the larger trail. It will take you directly to the waterfall.
A little bit shorter than her better known sister, Upper Silver Run Falls is about 15 feet tall with a completely different personality. Water flow covers the entire tiered rock face and it has no appreciable base pool.
There is an interesting feature to notice in the rocks at the base, a series of “potholes” which have siphoned off a bit of the Silver Run Creek’s water. Potholes are formed by rocks being swirled around by the water until they grind out these smooth-sided holes. You’ll find potholes many places, but this one is different because of the little water course it forms.
If you go see Silver Run Falls and don’t mind getting a little dirty on the “root ladder,” be sure and visit Upper Silver Run Falls. It will be one folks won’t be all that familiar with.