Connestee Falls Hiking Trails

Connestee Falls’ 15+ miles of hiking trails are maintained by our volunteer trail stewards. To report a problem on one of our trails or to volunteer to help maintain a trail please contact Linda Fradley at  Longhappytrail@yahoo.com

Should anyone come across large trees down  across trail or a washout please contact  Tucker Garrison 28tuck1@gmail.com or one of the stewards listed below. Scroll farther down for some photographs and descriptions of the trails.

                            TRAIL STEWARDS FOR THE
Tshakanawi Trail
       Fred Brown  docfhb@gmail.com
       Dolores Brown  stillwaters.silva@gmail.com  
       Bob Bell bob@connesteefallshomes.com
Ecusta Trail
       Bob Bell bob@connesteefallshomes.com
       Fred Brown docfhb@gmail.com
       Dolores Brown  stillwaters.silva@gmail.com
Oakanoah Trail
       Bill Buchler  bill.buchler@gmail.com
       Nancy  Buchler   nbuchler@gmail.com
       Becky Geiger  bgeiger71@gmail.com
       Catherine Bonadio  mmbonadio@gmail.com
Amakola Trail
       John and Ellie Kratt  theecrankyyankee@aol.com
Amakola Trail from Ticoa Dam Parking Lot to the
overlook and the Pisgah View Loop off of the Amokola Trail
        Lisa & Vale Tisdale  latisdale1@gmail.com
 Amakola Loop Trail
       Howard Colby & Penny Longhurst
       colong@comporium.net

 Carson Creek Trail to Connestee Falls Overlook

          Carson Creek Trail and Switchbacks
       Neal Estes nestes12345@gmail.com
       Lee Allaben leeallaben1943@gmail.com
       Bernie Groseclose           bernardgroseclose@gmail.com

           intersection with Middle Falls Trail down to the
           overlook of Connestee Falls
       Ken Franzen kenfranzen@comporium.net
       Lee Allaben leeallaben1943@gmail.com

            Carson Creek Connector and Switchbacks to
            Carson Creek
        Lee Allaben leeallaben1943@gmail.com
Cave Trail including connector to Amakola Loop
       Christian and Lynne Urbain
        clurbain53@gmail.com
        Neal Estes nestes12345@gmail.com
Middle Falls Trail
       Howard Colby & Penny Longhurst
        colong@comporium.net
Ogana Trail

       Bradley Caldwell adkbrad@outlook.com
       AJ Longware ajlongware@gmail.com
       Ruth Allen  ruthaallen@hotmail.com The upper part (Middle Ogana)
       Bob Plummer  bobplummer23@yahoo.com area between Connestee Trail and Dotsi also the entrance to Gusv

              Ogana Trail from Ticoa Dam to the Lay-By
       Sharon Gublo daguyzmom3@yahoo.com
       DJ Golden  djgolden3@gmail.com

Equestrian Nature Trail
       John Ditillo  jtd335@gmail.com
       Colleen Ditillo  cryer5528@gmail.com
Island Trail
       Colleen Ditillo  cryer5528@gmail.com
       John Ditillo  jtd335@gmail.com
       Brian Murphy  bmurphy@xlrotor.com
Kelly Mountain Trail
       Brian Murphy  bmurphy@xlrotor.com
       Vicki Held   vicki.held1@gmail.com
       John Held  jnhtraveler@gmail.com
        Ed and LindaFradley longhappytrail@yahoo.com
Salola Trails
       Doug Kish  douglas.kish@gmail.com
       Bruce Winfield  bruce@winfieldusa.com 
       Jody Winfield  jody@winfieldusa.com
       David Smale  dksmale@gmail.com
       Debrah Smale   dasmale@comcast.net
Tall Pines Trace
      Paula Swartz    psswartz@hotmail.com
      Brent  Ziegler  richardbziegler@gmail.com

      Bradley Caldwell adkbrad@outlook.com
      AJ Longware ajlongware@gmail.com

 

 

 


Connestee-Overview-Map

Tshakanawi Trail

The Tshakanawi Trail leads to the foot of Notsi Court, with optional extensions to the Crow’s Nest and the Tree House. Difficulty level: Easy/moderate.


Ecusta 

Ecusta Trail is a loop trail that follows the forested shore of Lake Ticoa, turns up a creek with numerous small waterfalls and heavy rhododendron and hemlock growth, then returns across ferny slopes under a light canopy. A lovely walk in the woods! A link connects the Ecusta trail to the RV park located adjacent to the 11th hole of the golf course.

Difficulty level: Easy/moderate.

Ecusta-Trails

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Cascades on Ecusta Trail

Oakanoah Trail (Oukanekah was one of the seven Cherokees who went to England in 1730)

  The Oakanoah Trail begins at either end of the walking track near the tennis courts and leads up to a large water tower. Just before the water tower are two overlooks with expansive views of the western mountains. Past the water tower the trail ascends the crest of the hill, then descends to follow the bank of a beautiful creek through a rhododendron and mountain laurel thicket. A proliferation of Flame Azaleas bloom along the trail in late May. The Oakanoah Trail ends at Tili Court.

Difficulty level: Easy. 1.6 miles round-trip; 220 ft elevation gain.

Oakanoah-Trail

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Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum)

Trails accessible from Ticoa Dam 

Amakola Trails
Amakola Trails
Connestee Falls
Connestee Falls

Amakola Trail (place where water makes rolling thunder noise)

The Amakola Trail features several spur trails. The first spur after the trail head crosses the creek below Upper Batson Creek Falls and connects to the Ogana Trail. The loop trail to Pisgah View gives a winter view of Mt Pisgah, and the Cave and new Carson Creek spurs have many interesting rock formations. Amakola Trail ends at an overlook that provides an excellent view of Connestee and Batson Creek Falls.

Difficulty level: Easy; Moderate where the trail descends to the falls overlook.

Upper Batson Falls
Upper Batson Creek Falls

Carson Creek Trail

The trail follows Carson Creek upstream from the edge of the Connestee Falls property towards Connestee Falls. The many cascades can be best viewed by starting from the end of the Cave Trail so that you are facing the cascades and falls as you come up the trail. This route will also ensure that the steepest part of the trail is hiked in the downward direction.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Cascade on Carson Creek
Cascade on Carson Creek

Amakola Loop Trail

Amakola Loop Trail follows Amakola Brook then crosses Chagee and enters an open forest. Views of the French Broad River Valley and Mount Pisgah can be seen from the area above the cave. A trail extension connects Amakola Loop directly with the Cave Trail, or you can continue and connect with Amakola Trail near Pisgah View.

Difficulty level: Easy

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Creek Crossing on Amakola Loop Trail

Cave Trail

 


Middle Falls Trail

Middle Falls Trail follows Amakola Brook and Batson Creek. The many cascades and Middle Batson Creek Falls can be best viewed by starting from the Ogana Connector at the north end of the trail so that you are facing the cascades and falls as you come up the trail. Rare Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia) and many other native wild flowers grow along the banks of Amakola Brook and Batson Creek.

Difficulty level: Easy.

Middle Batson Creek Falls
Middle Batson Creek Falls

Ogana Trail

From Ticoa dam, Ogana Trail provides access to a spur trail with a view of Upper Batson Creek Falls. Short connector trails connect to Middle Falls Trail and Amakola Trail. The Grotto features ferns year round and wildflowers in the spring and early summer, with abundant Jack in the Pulpit and Trillium. Ogana Trail continues past the lay by for another mile where it passes through open forest and follows a mountain brook before exiting on Dotsi Drive.

Difficulty level: Ticoa Dam trailhead to The Grotto – Easy.
The Grotto to Dotsi Drive – Moderate

Ogana-Trail

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Creek on the Upper Ogana Trail

Equestrian Nature Trail

The Equestrian Nature Trail entrance is off Ugugu, across the street from the Equestrian Center. The trail begins on a former logging road that follows along Middle Creek. Signs placed along the trail identify various trees and wildflowers. Rare Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia) grow prolifically along the banks of Middle Creek. Benches and a picnic table have been placed on the trail to accommodate walkers. Added to the original trail is the Island Trail, which is a favorite spot for seeing trillium, jack in the pulpit, and other wildflowers in spring. At the water tower, Wanteska View Trail continues to Kelley Mountain through an open hardwood forest that provides winter views of Brevard on one side and Lake Wanteska on the other.

Difficulty level: First mile – Easy.
Mile 1 to Kelley Mountain – Moderate.

Island Trail

Difficulty level:  Easy.

Kelly Mountain Trail

Equestrian-Trail-Map

Oconee bells (Shortia galacifolia)
Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia)

Salola Trails

The original Salola Trail meanders through mountain laurel beside a creek. A short detour brings you to the Old Beasley Place Ruins. Shortly thereafter the trail descends through hemlock and rhododendron alongside numerous small cascades. It intercepts with two loop trails from which can be seen a large rock outcropping and stupendous views of Toxaway Mountain and the Hogback. The trail then climbs up through rhododendron and mountain laurel thickets to the end of Ohwanteska Lane. Several additional intersecting loops meander alongside mossy creeks. One extension connects the trail to Soco Way.

Difficulty level: Salola Lane to Ohwanteska Lane, Easy. 0.5 miles; 200 ft elevation change.

Salola-Map

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Rock outcropping on Salola Trail

Tall Pines Trace

Located at the end of Hokassa Court, Tall Pines Trace leads to the ruins of the Frederick V. Batson home. Built around 1910, the stone chimney is all that remains of the house. From the house, the trail continues 0.4 miles through the former Batson farmstead before returning to the trailhead.
Difficulty level: Easy.

INTERPRETIVE TRAIL MARKERS
1.   In spite of the size of the pines, as of 2007, a professional forester estimated their age at 40-years. This land was cleared in 1910, farmed until 1925 and logged in the 1950s.
2. Fred Batson raised crops here, as evidenced by the discovery of a one-horse “Side Hill” plowshare point that was made in Syracuse, New York before 1914. Two of Fred’s main known crops were com and cabbage.
3.  This is believed to have been a form of root cellar known as a “bank house”, which is simply a cut into the bank with a wooden enclosure that creates even temperature storage for fruits and vegetables. Fragments of an iron pot and the base of a wood stove were found buried here.
4.   This path leads to what is believed to be the Batson’s water source. The creek is too shallow to even permit dipping a bucket, but the small earth dam would have pooled sufficient water for easy collection or bathing.
5.   Driveway through the “yard”, providing access to the road in either direction.
6.   Site of Frederick Vernon Batson’s 900 square foot two story frame house. Only the stone chimney remains.
7.   Stone paved footpath from house to road and lower fields.
8. This area contains several clusters of small locust comer posts arranged in a rectangle. They may be the remains of a small chicken coop.
9.   This road connected between Carson Creek Road to the north (along Setsi Lane near Echota Lane, in Qualla Village), and to East Fork Road to the south. At that time Carson Creek Road continued from its current termination all the way to near Connestee’s East Fork gate.
10. Headwaters of Laurel Branch creek that passes through Frederick Batson’s farm and merges with the East Fork of the French Broad River.
11. Oral history suggests that Fred grew his sorghum cane between the house and the creek, which would include this area. Now club mosses grow here.
12. The Batson’s cane mill would have been in this general area (see plaque), on as flat a spot as possible to accommodate the mule that would have walked around the mill that squeezed the juice from the cane.
13. Old farm road with a ford that crosses the creek.
14. Matching pieces of semi-porcelain dishes were found here, in the creek bed. The porcelain’s markings identify it as being made in Baltimore in the period 1897-to-1904.
15. There was, most likely, a simple log bridge here. This is the continuation of the road that you observed at marker number 9. Traveling south on this road would have taken you to the East Fork Road, near Masters Road.
16. Fred Batson’s Barn.

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Chimney at former Frederick V. Batson home

 Photography by Howard Colby and Penny Longhurst


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