Gay Beach/Swimming Holes
Upper Creek Falls (Pisgah National Forest off Blue Ridge Parkway)
Phone: 800 Phone: Fax:
The scenic region of Wilson Creek where these falls are located is a popular recreation area. This area of Upper Creek Falls is popular with gay men, and nude sunbathing is common here. The gay area is separated from the swimming holes and other sites on the creek where most visitors go. RT 181 runs generally south from the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) near Linville Falls, at about milepost 315, to Morganton. RT 181 doesn't actually have an intersection with the BRP, from the Parkway, you have to go briefly south on RT 221 then left on RT 183 then right on RT 181. The Wilson Creek Area is generally to the east of RT 181. There are, however, often better ways to get into these areas than just off RT 181. The directions here offer the best apparent way. This is a 1.6 mile strenuous hike. Begin the hike from this parking area by taking the trail that goes along the level ridgeline and then winds down moderately for.4 mile to Upper Creek. Upper Creek Falls is located to the right of where the trail crosses the creek. On the right a short distance upstream you will see the first of the four pools. The first one is large, with a sandy beach on one side, and on the other side a large granite mound, over which the creek flows. To reach the other pools just follow the upstream trails that snake along the right side of the creek. You can reach the base of the falls by returning to where the main trail crosses the creek. There follow the main trail downstream. The trail descends very steeply for .1 mile to where you will see an opening to the right allowing access to the falls. This impressive waterfall crashes some 100 feet down a sheer rock face to a series of smaller cascades. Continue down the trail for .4 mile until the trail intersects the creek. At this point the creek flows over a huge slab of granite. You will find a slippery water slide that drops down to a shallow granite pool. Try the slide, it's great fun. If you continue about .1 mile you will see some very lovely cascades and clear pools, the area preferred by gay men. At this point you should return upstream, as the path becomes very difficult to travel.