This is one of those waterfalls that hides in plain sight. It can be seen from the road – if you know when to look down. And there are man-make identifiers at the parking area – if you can see them. So this is an easy waterfall to find, if you pay attention.
From the intersection of US 65 and NC 215 in Rosman, NC take US 64 east toward Brevard for 5.4 miles to Cathey’s Creek Road. There will also be a Park Service sign for the Kuykendall Group Camp. Immediately turn left. Cathey’s Creek Falls is found 3.1 miles down this road (only 0.7 miles is paved). At about 2.7 miles, you’ll encounter a very sharp switchback. You’ll be 0.4 miles from the parking area.
Now, here’s where you have to pay close attention. Just before the parking area, on the left side of the road and a few feet off the road is a power pole. Looking up you should see 2 (and only 2) wires coming off that pole and crossing the road. Park at the next pulloff just past these lines.
When you open your door, you’ll hear the waterfall down below and you will see a trail that is more of a water course heading straight down from the parking area. In March of 2012, the trailhead was marked with surveyor’s tape. After a few feet of scrambling, the trail becomes more trail-like as it moves on down the hill and approaches the base of the waterfall. Warning, that final 20 vertical feet near the creek are very slippery.
Measured at about 45 feet high, Cathey’s Creek Falls is two sets of tiers, both at about the same angle with the top tier longer than the second. Water flow tends to be split to the left and right with more water on the right. The creek falls into the base pool and exits through a sluice that drops another 10 feet or so.