Directions are fairly simple, and you can actually Google them. For simplicity, you would come in on I-40, and take the Old Fort exit from either direction. If you are coming from Westbound 40, you would take a left and cross I-40 before taking the right that is the ramp from Eastbound. Just after entering the ramp, you would take a quick left onto Catawba River Rd. If you are coming Eastbound, you would just turn off of the exit onto Catawba River Rd before coming to the main intersection. At this point, you just follow the road until it ends. You will pass the camp grounds on your left which is an indication that you are almost there. It isn't far at all. The parking area is at the end of the road and is a gravel loop.
Remember when I said that the only technical part came at the end of the trail. Well, I crossed a bridge and the trail turned to the right and it was nothing but rocks. It was not difficult, but there was a little bit of climbing involved to get up the trail, and it almost appears that you are off trail at that point. Just after the rocks, you are there at the base of Catawba Falls. Had I waited about 150 feet to look at the phone, I would have been there.
As you can see from the leading image here, Catawba Falls is a rather large waterfall, standing at 100 feet for the main falls. However, unless there has been a tremendous amount of rain, it does not present as a waterfall of this size should. On my visit here, there had been average rainfall recently, and I suppose that this is the "normal" state of the falls with swings in either direction due to water levels.
|Foot of the Falls|
I would say that this waterfall is very worth visiting if for nothing else, it is very pretty, and the hike is really simple to make. Be prepared to shoot a range of focal lengths as the magic of this waterfall is in the details.