Turtleback Falls


Turtleback Falls is a beautiful waterfall on the Horsepasture River near Gorges State Park in Transylvania County. The fall has a large plunge pool and is used as a swimming hole in the summer months.

The Horsepasture River can be quite a torrent, so be extremely careful.

From the Rainbow Falls trailhead in Gorges State Park, head down to the Horsepasture River.  Follow the gravel trail until it becomes a dirt as the trail crosses into Pisgah National Forest.  When you meet the river, head upstream to Turtleback.

Be extremely careful when the water level is high. The rocks around the falls, especially when you first reach the falls, can be quite slippery.

This fall is not as dramatic as Rainbow Falls downstream, but it has its own unique qualities, such as the immediate 90-degree turn the river makes after the fall into the pool.