Laughing Falls. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? We hadn’t really and as you may know from scrolling through this blog, we’ve been to a lot of waterfalls in Pisgah. We were camping at Davidson River and I noticed it on the topo maps. Close by as the crow flies but not accessible by trail. Then, Melanie saw a sign at the campground, “Easy to Find Waterfalls” it promised. They were the usual lot we’d expect – Looking Glass, Slick Rock, Triple, Toxaway. There on the list was Laughing Falls. Well, that sealed it, we had to go check this one out.
Just in case you aren’t planning to read any further … don’t go check this one out. It is for the experienced bushwhacker only. It is not an easy hike and on top of that, there’s very little to actually see once you get there.
This is not it. We don’t have a picture that does it justice because there is no clear view of the falls. If you really must go, take Old 280 just a little east of the Pisgah Forest entrance near Davidson River. Turn left on FR 1360 and follow that uphill until it ends at twin gates. You want the lower (right) road which immediately crosses Laughing Creek at the pleasant little confluence shown in this picture. This is the absolute highlight of this hike. If you choose to go on, after this wet crossing turn left IMMEDIATELY. You’ll probably have second thoughts at this point because there really is not much of a left turn to consider taking. There is a second gate in the woods here indicating what must be one of the least used forest roads in Pisgah. This is little more than a wildlife track at this point. Sections are collapsed or completely buried in rhododendron and mountain laurel. A half mile or so of pushing through this will bring you to the falls. There clearly is an impressive waterfall in here and you’ll get glimpses of it but we were unable to find a reasonable place to get a view of it. Perhaps in winter it’s possible.