This hike starts at the Coon Den Falls Trailhead, follows the Appalachian Trail south, and loops back to Denis Cove Road via Coon Den Falls Trail
. Be sure to stop by Coon Den Falls on the way down, as it is the main attraction of this hike.
The parking area is not very large but there is an adjacent private lot that only costs $1.
Snow during the winter months makes the rocky sections along this steep hike quite slippery.
From the parking area, head west on Dennis Cove Road to begin with a segment of the AT. After 0.3 miles of flat road hiking, you'll see the AT duck into the woods on the left. This segment of the AT is a gradual climb to the top of the ridge through the forest. There are some switchbacks near the top and a few open vistas. The trail is well maintained and well marked.
After about 1.6 miles on the AT, you'll reach the junction for Coon Den Falls Trail
which will head off to the left. The Coon Den Falls Trail
may be a bit overgrown at the top and there are some trees across the trail as well. But the trail is still easy to follow with the blue blazes making the way. Descending this trail can be a bit challenging, but not too hard near the top where you initially descend.
You'll reach the Coon Den Falls Spur
after a little less than a mile of hiking. The falls themselves are awesome. You get a good look at what are actually two sets of falls; you can get right to the base of the falls, and if you are adventurous, even under the water. The portion of the Coon Den Falls Trail
below the falls is steep in some areas but not hard.
After Coon Den Falls Trail
ends at Dennis Cove Road, turn left on the road and hike the 0.3 miles back to the parking lot. The road is a narrow two lane that has very little in the way of a shoulder. Thankfully, there is often very little traffic.
Rhododendrons are in full bloom the first two weeks of June; look for the pink and white flowers. These trees dominate the trail. Ferns and mushrooms are abundant due to the perpetual dampness. At the end of the hike, the path runs through a meadow with a variety of wildflowers during the spring and summer months.