The Plunge Pool At Little Bradley Falls In North Carolina Is Perfect For A Summertime Swim
In the mountains of North Carolina, summertime is already a glorious season, with temps that are moderated by higher elevations resulting in cooler air. But we still find joy in chasing waterfalls that have the potential for swimming or just getting our toes wet.
Little Bradley Falls, located near Saluda, is one of those waterfalls. This 50-foot natural wonder has a heavy flow of water on Cove Creek that pours over ledge after ledge before reaching a jungle green plunge pool at the base.
For locals, it's a must in the summer. But for most visitors it remains under the radar as one of the more secluded swimming holes in western North Carolina.
The plunge pool at the bottom of the falls is perfect for wading, lounging, or just getting your feet wet after the short hike from the parking area.
From where you park your car along Holbert Cove Road (map below) to the falls, it's a mere 0.9-mile hike. But the journey isn't quite a piece of cake.
To start, you'll need to find the trail. (Directions below). Then, it's a steady climb at the start of the trail before it levels off a bit. You'll also need to follow the red markers.
The trail to Little Bradley Falls has a few water crossings and hikers are better off wearing shoes that can get wet, or to just wear water shoes.
Bring a picnic and a bag to carry out all of your trash as you leave. This is one place you'll want to stay a while!
Once you park your car near the trailhead, you'll need to cross the road and head east to find the trail. Note: there IS a trail on the same side of the road as the parking area, but that trail leads to Big Bradley Falls, not to Little Bradley Falls.
In total, you should be able to reach Little Bradley Falls in under 30 minutes. The total elevation gain for this trail is 164 feet. For more information, or to download a trail navigation map, see our friends at
If you’re considering hiking to Big Bradley Falls, too, then be sure to read all about how
Big Bradley Falls is one of the deadliest, most dangerous falls in North Carolina, first!
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Trail to Little Bradley waterfall - head upstream, Little Bradley Trail, Saluda, NC 28773, USA