Merry Falls was the first waterfall that “appeared” out of nowhere. I use a book written by Kevin Adams called “North Carolina Waterfalls” to locate new and interesting waterfalls. His third edition book is a perfect way to locate waterfalls both off the beaten path as well as those literally right under our noses! Even if you find a waterfall in Kevin’s book, double check the location and hiking directions, there’s still a good chance you won’t find the cascade at all. I know, because I have missed finding a waterfall on a handful of occasions.
I like to include Merry Falls as part of DuPont State Recreational Forest, even though it actually resides on private property. Unlike Drift Falls, in Gorges State Park, there are no signs indicating the falls is on private property, so use your best judgement when visiting Merry Falls. Depending on the weather and volume of water, I like to climb down to the bottom of the falls in search of that one elusive photograph that’s never been taken. While I do not condone trespassing, this remote cascade doesn’t require much hiking or climbing. It’s a gorgeous roadside waterfall that is a hidden gem.
Visiting Merry Falls is easy, especially if you’ve been hiking in and around Dupont. Take Dupont Road from Crab Creek. Dupont Road becomes Staton Road but keep going until you reach a “T” in the road a little more than 5 miles from Crab Creek. Turn right on Cascade Lake Road, where the pavement becomes gravel almost immediately. In just over 2 miles you’ll be able to hear the waterfall from your vehicle on the left. Merry Falls is what I like to call a “roadside” waterfall. There’s really no need to get out of your vehicle unless you want to truly enjoy the cascade and its surrounding beauty. Not everyone likes to hike to waterfalls like I do. Whether you’re a hiker or not, be sure to catch the natural beauty that enhances this waterfall.
With more than 250 waterfalls in Transylvania County alone, you probably won’t run out of places to see. We’ve hiked to just under 100 cascades and I still return to Merry Falls all the time. I’m fascinated with how waterfalls look in other seasons, especially in winter. If I can get out during the off season, Merry is always on the list. It’s easy to see and provides all sorts of photographic opportunities. Next time it’s raining, head out to a waterfall and see the difference! Water has a tendency to “rage” when the volume levels rise. If the water levels are high and the temperatures are freezing, then waterfalls take on an entirely new look.
Because this “roadside cascade” is so easily accessible, I like to combine it with some of the waterfalls of Dupont State Forest. For instance, you could visit Hooker and Triple initially, then make your way over to Merry Falls to complete your 3-falls hike.