Mooney Falls & Trail

Categories: Play, Hiking & Backpacking, Kid-Friendly, Waterfalls, Hikes to waterfalls, Dog Friendly Hiking Trails, Outdoor Fun


  •  15 ft. Waterfall 
  •  Short but fairly steep hike to the falls 
  •  Mooney Creek is a main tributary of the world famous Nantahala River 
  •  Wild Trout Fishing (single-hook/artificial only, NC license required) in the Nantahala River Headwaters, recommended only to  experienced anglers
  •  Suitable for all ages
  •  Nearby Standing Indian Campground & Hurricane Creek Primitive Campground & Horse Camp
  •  Nearby multiple outdoor activities providing days of outdoor fun

The Local Scoop

Mooney Falls cascades over a series of rocks making this is a nice spot to visit especially if staying in the Standing Indian area at either Standing Indian Campground or Hurricane Creek Primitive Campground & Horse Camp. We suggest pairing this waterfall with one of the area's multiple outdoor activities. Close by is Laurel Falls & Trail, Pickens Nose Trail, Albert Mtn Trail & Fire Tower along with many other foot trails, horse trails, fishing and biking opportunities. You and your family can easily enjoy the majority of these activities in one day, but we recommend splitting them up especially if you are camping for more than a day or two. Take your time with them, and enjoy the peaceful settings this area of our mountains offer.  Be sure to download our 3-4 day itinerary for "Outdoor Fun & Adventure:  Standing Indian Campground."

The Local Directions

From intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 W and U.S. Hwy-23/441 North in Franklin take Hwy-64 W towards Murphy, NC for 12 miles. At just before the 12th mile you should see a Brown sign for "Wallace Gap", "Appalachian Trail" & "Standing Indian Campground" with arrows pointing you towards West Old Murphy Road(SR 1448) on your left. Stay on W.Old Murphy Rd. for 2 miles. You'll pass a Nantahala National Forest Sign for the campground saying "500 Ft Ahead", and at 2 miles you'll be at FR (Forest Road) #67 to your Right (indicated by a small, skinny Brown sign at the beginning of the road). Continue 1.8 miles on FR 67 until you come to a fork in the road. To your Right will be the entrance to "Standing Indian Campground", don't go that way, but continue on FR 67 to the left. In about 0.3 miles the road will turn to gravel at the Backcountry Info Kiosk. Continue on for 5.8 miles until you reach the Mooney Falls sign and trailhead parking. The road has a few rough spots but overall a well maintained road.

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Difficulty Levels

  • Hike6 (but very short)What's this?
  • Waterfalls6What's this?
35.02464, -83.50056
Moderate via Forest Road #67
Hike Distance
0.2 mile
Nearest City
Macon County
Distance From
Standing Indian Campground:  6.1 miles
Franklin:  21.9 miles