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Big Bradley Waterfall

Cove Creek in Polk County North Carolina

Cove Creek

Small waterfall along Cove Creek

Preparing to forge Cove Creek

Overlook and Big Bradley

Cathy on overlook in Cove

Pool near top of Big Bradley

Overlook near Big Bradley

Big Bradley overlook

Big Bradley

Big Bradley

Cathy near Big Bradley

Cove Creek above Big Bradley

Cathy above Big Bradley

Top of Big Bradley behind overhang

Rock above Big Bradley

Cove Creek above Big Bradley

Cove Creek above forge point

Howard's Gap near Tryon

New year's eve 2005 in and near the Green River Cove was scenic and relaxed. I hiked to Big Bradley from Holbert Cove. As a child I always hiked from the Green River Cove. The hike from Holbert Cove was much easier and safer than hiking from the adjacent Green River Cove. Cathy and I found an overlook near the trail to relax and drink a couple of beers while snapping photos of the Big Bradley Waterfall.

The trail head is located near Cove Creek on Holbert Cove Road. The trail begins leading north through a small open field before following Cove Creek. Roughly a quarter mile from the beginning you will hear rapids and can see a cave shaped like an A-frame. A shortly there after you will a small waterfall where a tributary stream joins Cove Creek; some folks incorrectly believe this small waterfall is Little Bradley. Immediately following the small water fall the path crosses Cove Creek; it is possible to cross the creek without getting wet but use care.

Roughly three quarters of a mile from Holbert Cover Road a small trail leads downhill and to the left. The side trail leads to the top of Big Bradley and another trail that leads to the bottom of the waterfall. However I suggest following the main trail to a lookout. Use care at the lookout as there is no railing and you are about 100 feet above the bolder strewn floor and Cove Creek. You may reach the foot of the falls either from the previously mentioned path or you may continue down the main trail to follow one of several alternate routes. All paths to the foot of the falls require care and some require rock climbing. Several people have been injured and killed by falling near Big Bradley.

A child I was blessed to know Moses Bradley. I shown another path that begins near a bridge over the Green River; that route is much longer and more difficult near the waterfall but the scenery and plant life and much more interesting.

Photos and Article by FastFred

Big Bradley in the Summer | Big Bradley in the Fall

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