Tom's Creek Falls is just off NC221 north of Marion, North Carolina. Point your GPS to 1250 Huskins Branch Rd, Marion, NC 28752 or click on the map below to open Google Maps. It is an easy detour off I-40.
I arrived at Tom's Creek Falls at 8:15 on a cold February morning after driving 3 hours from home. The weather was overcast and threatened rain. The trees were all bare as I drove down I-40 and my expectations were low. But when I arrived at the falls I was in awe of the beauty of the falls even in the dead of winter. I stood there for some time taking in my surroundings before even thinking about capturing a picture. On this winter day I had the falls mostly to myself.
"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." —Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Parking is limited just off Huskins Branch Road in the Pisgah National Forest. It is a short 5 minute easy walk from the falls. You don't really need a map but All Trails has a good one. There are no bathrooms.
Tom's Creek Falls drops approximately 60 feet through multiple cascades to stream below. Once you reach the end of the trail you will find an observation deck with a good view of the falls. You can also follow a side trail to the right and can climb over some rocks to get closer to the base of the falls. Be prepared to get your feet wet to capture the best pictures near the falls. Just downstream on the left side is an old mica mine which is now flooded and the rocks around the base of the falls are full of mica.