Easy waterfall hikes near Asheville beckon nature enthusiasts to discover the tranquil beauty of Western North Carolina’s cascading gems

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and an abundance of outdoor activities. 

When it comes to enjoying the beauty of Western North Carolina, one activity stands out – chasing waterfalls. 

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Asheville and its surrounding areas are home to some of the most picturesque waterfalls in the region. The best part is that you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy them. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore easy waterfall hikes near Asheville, with a focus on iconic locations, such as Pisgah Forest and Dupont State Forest.

Easy Waterfall Hikes Near Asheville NC

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Asheville, North Carolina, and its surrounding areas offer a plethora of waterfall hikes suitable for hikers of all levels.

Here are five easy waterfall hikes in Asheville, NC:

Dry Falls

Dry Falls, also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls, is a remarkable and unique waterfall in North Carolina. This waterfall is situated in the Nantahala National Forest.

What sets Dry Falls apart from many other waterfalls is that you can walk behind it without getting wet. This makes for an unforgettable and immersive experience.

Dry Falls is an impressive 65-foot waterfall that flows over a rock overhang, creating a curtain of water. While you can stand behind the falls without getting soaked, be prepared for some mist, especially on windy days.

 What makes Dry Falls especially appealing is its ease of access. A concrete walkway and stairs lead you to a viewing platform behind the waterfall. You can enjoy a dry, up-close perspective of the cascading water.

The trail to the falls is less than a quarter-mile, and it’s designed to accommodate visitors of all abilities. Put on your favorite waterproof hiking shoes, and hit the trails!

Upper Whitewater Falls

Upper Whitewater Falls is a breathtaking and impressive waterfall located in the Nantahala National Forest of Western North Carolina.

It’s renowned for being one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States and its stunning natural beauty.

Upper Whitewater Falls plunges dramatically over 400 feet, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the region. The sight and sound of the cascading water are truly awe-inspiring.

To reach Upper Whitewater Falls, visitors can take a relatively short and well-maintained trail. The round trip hike is approximately 1.0 mile, and it is considered a moderate trail, suitable for most hikers.

Soco Falls 

Soco Falls is a picturesque and easily accessible waterfall in North Carolina. 

Its unique double cascade, serene natural surroundings, and convenience make it a popular destination for travelers exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains and the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

What sets Soco Falls apart is that it’s a double waterfall, with two separate streams that flow into a single pool. The falls are approximately 120 feet tall, and they create a picturesque and tranquil scene.

Soco Falls is easily accessible via a short and well-maintained trail. The trail is about a quarter-mile round trip, and it is relatively easy, making it suitable for visitors of all skill levels.

An observation deck provides a great vantage point for capturing photographs and taking in the view of the falls from above.

The area around Soco Falls features picnic tables and is a great spot for a leisurely meal in the great outdoors.

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is another spectacular waterfall in Gorges State Park, offering one of the best views in the area.

The trail is well-marked, and though it’s a bit longer, it’s an moderately easy trail for families to enjoy. Note that the walk back up from the falls can be a little difficult for young or beginner hikers. 

The highlight is, of course, the waterfall itself, with its striking rock face and the opportunity to cool off in the mist on a hot summer day.

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Linville Falls

Linville Falls is one of the most popular and iconic waterfalls in North Carolina. It’s located in the Pisgah National Forest and offers a range of hiking trails and magnificent views.

Linville Falls features multiple cascades, with the tallest being an impressive 90 feet. The falls flow into the Linville Gorge, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians.”

Linville Falls offers a network of hiking trails, each providing a different perspective of the falls. The two primary trails are the Erwin’s View Trail and the Plunge Basin Trail.

  • Erwin’s View Trail: This moderate trail is about 1.6 miles round trip and offers four overlooks with various vantage points of the falls. The first overlook provides an impressive view of the upper falls, while the subsequent overlooks give you stunning angles of the lower falls and the surrounding gorge.

  • Plunge Basin Trail: This more challenging trail is around 1.4 miles round trip and takes you to the base of the falls, offering a unique and up-close view. Be prepared for steeper terrain on this trail.

Hickory Nut Falls

Hickory Nut Falls is a spectacular and iconic waterfall located in Western North Carolina, near the charming town of Chimney Rock. It’s known for its stunning height, accessibility, and its appearance in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans.”

Hickory Nut Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the eastern United States, with a towering drop of 404 feet. The falls plunge dramatically from the towering cliffs of the Hickory Nut Gorge, creating an awe-inspiring sight.

One of the unique features of Hickory Nut Falls is its accessibility. You can reach the base of the falls via a relatively moderate and well-maintained hiking trail, which is part of Chimney Rock State Park.

The round trip hike is approximately 1.5 miles and is considered a relatively easy trek, suitable for hikers of various skill levels.

Catawba Falls

Catawba Falls is a stunning and well-loved waterfall located in Western North Carolina, near the town of Old Fort. Known for its beauty and accessibility, Catawba Falls is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Catawba Falls is an impressive 100-foot waterfall, consisting of both upper and lower falls. The falls are known for their grandeur and the soothing sound of the cascading water.

To reach Catawba Falls, you’ll embark on a relatively moderate hiking trail that leads to the base of the waterfall. The round trip hike is approximately 3 miles in total, making it a great option for a day trip from nearby Asheville or other cities in the region.

Graveyard Fields

Graveyard Fields is a beloved spot for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and photographers, especially during the fall when the meadows are painted with vibrant colors. 

While not known for a singular massive waterfall, the area’s natural beauty, multiple smaller falls, and hiking trails make it a worthwhile stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

The most notable waterfall in Graveyard Fields is known as the Lower Falls. It’s a multi-tiered waterfall, and while not as tall as some others in the region, it is a serene and attractive spot. It’s easily accessible via a well-marked trail that leads to an observation area near the falls.

Douglas Falls

Douglas Falls offers an opportunity for those who seek a quieter and more intimate waterfall encounter. 

The short hike to the falls and the remote natural setting make it a peaceful destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts exploring Western North Carolina. It’s a great choice for those looking for a tranquil and off-the-beaten-path waterfall experience.

Douglas Falls is a 70-foot waterfall, known for its graceful and scenic flow.

To reach Douglas Falls, visitors need to hike a relatively short and well-maintained trail. The round trip hike is approximately 1.2 miles and is considered an easy to moderate trek. It’s suitable for most hikers and even families.

Easy Waterfall Hikes in Pisgah Forest

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When searching for easy waterfall hikes near Asheville, you’re sure to learn about Pisgah.  As one of our favorite places to visit, the Pisgah National Forest’s waterfalls provide a multifaceted outdoor experience.

 Whether you seek visual beauty, a tranquil environment, hiking adventures, or opportunities to learn about the natural world, these waterfalls offer something for every outdoor enthusiast.

The waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest are some of the most beautiful in the region. These beauties are characterized by their stunning cascades and serene forested settings. They offer a chance to witness the raw, unspoiled beauty of nature.

The trails leading to these waterfalls are well-maintained and provide hikers with an opportunity to explore the lush and diverse forested landscapes of Pisgah National Forest.

The hikes are often short and suitable for various skill levels, creating a peaceful and enjoyable outdoor experience.

The waterfalls and the surrounding landscapes offer fantastic subjects for photographers. The cascading water, lush greenery, and the play of light create captivating scenes, making it a great place for photography enthusiasts.

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls is undoubtedly one of the most popular and easily accessible waterfalls near Asheville.

Located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this gorgeous waterfall is a great place for a short hike and a refreshing swim during the hot summer months.

The parking lot is conveniently situated, and from there, it’s just a short walk to an observation deck that provides a closer look at this stunning 60-foot waterfall.

Moore Cove Falls Trail

 Moore Cove Falls is an ideal destination for those who are looking for an accessible and family-friendly waterfall hike in the Pisgah National Forest. 

The short and scenic trek through the forest to the falls, the opportunity for a shallow swim, and the charming natural surroundings make it a perfect choice for nature lovers and hikers exploring the beauty of Western North Carolina.

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Moore Cove Falls is a 50-foot waterfall that flows gracefully over a rock outcrop, creating a serene and picturesque cascade.

To reach Moore Cove Falls, you’ll embark on a relatively easy and well-maintained hiking trail with wooden bridges along the way.  

The round trip hike to the falls is approximately 1.5 miles, making it a great option for hikers of various skill levels, including families and beginners.

Daniel Ridge Falls

 Daniel Ridge Falls, located in Western North Carolina, is a picturesque waterfall nestled within the Pisgah National Forest. This stunning waterfall, while not as well-known as some of its counterparts in the region, offers a serene and rewarding natural experience.

 Daniel Ridge Falls is a relatively modest waterfall, standing at around 150 feet in height. While not as towering as some of the waterfalls in the area, it possesses a tranquil and enchanting beauty.

To reach Daniel Ridge Falls, you’ll embark on a hiking trail that leads you through a serene forest. The round trip hike is approximately 1.5 miles and is considered a relatively easy trek, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels.

Tom’s Creek Falls

Situated in Pisgah National Forest, Tom’s Creek Falls is an easy and accessible waterfall hike. The half-mile trail to the base of the waterfall is relatively flat and suitable for hikers of all levels. The falls are a beautiful reward at the end of the short hike.

Skinny Dip Falls

Skinny Dip Falls is a natural gem located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. More specifically, within the Pisgah National Forest. This unique waterfall and swimming hole is a popular destination for both hikers and those seeking a refreshing dip in a beautiful mountain setting.

Skinny Dip Falls is known for its clear, cool waters and picturesque setting. The waterfall itself is a series of cascades that create a serene and inviting pool at the base. This makes it a perfect spot for a swim.

To reach Skinny Dip Falls, you’ll need to hike a short distance on the well-maintained trail. The hike is relatively easy, and the trail is approximately 1 mile round trip. The path meanders through a lovely forest, and it’s accessible to hikers of various skill levels.

Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls is another enchanting waterfall located in North Carolina, known for its stunning cascades and accessibility. It’s situated in the Pisgah National Forest and offers a picturesque and relatively easy hiking experience.

Crabtree Falls is an impressive 70-foot waterfall, with the water flowing over a series of rock ledges, creating a mesmerizing cascade.

The trail to Crabtree Falls is accessible via a loop trail that is approximately 2.5 miles in length. The hike takes you through a beautiful forested area, following the Crabtree Creek. The trail features well-constructed steps and bridges, making it a suitable option for hikers of various skill levels.

Easy Waterfall Hikes in Dupont State Forest

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 Whether seeking relaxation, exploration, or an outdoor challenge, Dupont State Forest offers a well-rounded and captivating experience for visitors of all backgrounds and interests.

 Dupont State Forest boasts a collection of stunning waterfalls, each with its unique charm and picturesque surroundings. Visitors are treated to the visual beauty of cascading water amid lush forested landscapes.

Many of the waterfalls in Dupont State Forest are easily accessible via well-maintained hiking trails and parking areas, making them suitable for visitors of various ages and hiking abilities.

The forest offers a diverse range of waterfalls, from towering falls like High Falls to elegant and unique cascades like Bridal Veil Falls. This variety ensures that there’s a waterfall experience for every taste.

Last, the forest’s waterfalls have made appearances in popular films, like “The Hunger Games”. This adds an exciting cinematic element to the visit.

Hooker Falls

Hooker Falls is a beloved and family-friendly destination within DuPont State Recreational Forest. Its accessibility, swimming opportunities, and the overall natural beauty make it a fantastic choice for those looking to enjoy the outdoors in a relaxed and picturesque setting.

This is an ideal spot for a day of recreation and relaxation in the heart of Western North Carolina.

Hooker Falls is a 12-foot waterfall with a wide, cascading flow. It’s not as tall as some other waterfalls in the area, but its broad and picturesque nature makes it captivating.

One of the key features of Hooker Falls is its easy accessibility. Visitors can reach the falls with a short, family-friendly hike that is approximately 0.3 miles round trip. The trail is well-marked and includes a wooden bridge that crosses the Little River.

The pool at the base of Hooker Falls is a popular spot for swimming and cooling off on hot summer days. The clear, cool waters make it an inviting place for visitors of all ages.

Note that while this is a short trail, it is a steeper climb back up to the parking area.  

Triple Falls

Continuing through Dupont State Forest, you’ll come across Triple Falls. These falls gained fame for its appearance in the movie “The Hunger Games.”

This hike is a bit longer than Hooker Falls. However, the well-maintained flat trail and the sight of three stunning cascades make it well worth the effort. 

It’s a popular destination, especially during the summer months, so make sure to arrive early.

High Falls

High Falls is one of the most iconic and beautiful waterfalls in Dupont State Forest. This forest is renowned for its numerous waterfalls, and High Falls is a true gem in the park.

High Falls is approximately 120 feet tall. Its powerful cascade creates a mesmerizing sight and soothing sound that draws visitors year-round.

High Falls is easily accessible via a well-maintained and relatively short trail. Thus, making it a great choice for hikers of all skill levels, including families and beginners.

The round trip to view High Falls is approximately 1.2 miles.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is another enchanting waterfall located in Dupont State Forest. It’s a natural paradise in Western North Carolina known for its stunning landscapes and cascading waterfalls.

The Bridal Veil Falls is one of the highlights of this forest. It has its own unique charm and characteristics.

This waterfall is approximately 120 feet in height, creating a stunning and picturesque cascade. What makes it particularly unique is that the waterfall flows over a massive, slanted rock face. It resembles the appearance of a bridal veil, hence the name.

Thankfully, Bridal Veil is accessible via well-maintained trails that are suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The hike to Bridal Veil Falls is relatively short, with a round trip of about 1.4 miles.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to explore these easy waterfall hikes is during the spring and summer months. During this time. the water flow is at its peak.

However, some waterfalls, like Rainbow Falls, offer a different kind of magic during the winter months when the icicles and frost create a stunning winter wonderland.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, these easy waterfall hikes near Asheville offer something for everyone.

From the breathtaking beauty of Pisgah Forest to the charming allure of Dupont State Forest. Clearly, there’s no shortage of natural wonders to explore in Western North Carolina.

So, pack your hiking gear! Embark on a memorable adventure to some of the most accessible and spectacular waterfalls in the region.

Don’t miss the chance to witness the magic of Asheville’s waterfalls. They’re waiting for you just a short drive from downtown Asheville, NC.

Conclusion: Easy Waterfalls near asheville

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In conclusion, the best easy waterfalls near Asheville, NC, offer a delightful blend of natural beauty, accessibility, and a range of outdoor experiences.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature enthusiast, or a family looking for a scenic day trip, the waterfalls in the Asheville area have something to offer.

From the serene charm of Skinny Dip Falls to the majestic heights of Linville Falls and the serene accessibility of Dupont State Forest’s cascades, these waterfalls provide a connection with the great outdoors and the beauty of North Carolina’s mountains.

These waterfalls are refreshing destinations for cooling off on a hot summer day. They also offer an opportunity for peaceful reflection, wildlife observation, and picnicking amid the tranquil sounds of cascading water.

Whether it’s the convenience of parking areas, well-marked trails, or a network of wooden bridges that enhance the hiking experience, these waterfalls have been designed with visitor enjoyment in mind.

The Asheville area’s waterfalls stand as a testament to the region’s commitment to preserving natural beauty. Thankfully, they are accessible to all.

The ease with which visitors can experience these waterfalls is a testament to the dedication of conservation efforts. Plus, they reflect the desire to share the wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

These easy waterfalls serve as a reminder of the incredible natural heritage of Western North Carolina. Furthermore, they offer an open invitation to all who seek a refreshing, educational, and visually stunning outdoor adventure.

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

45 Things to do in Asheville NC

16 Family Campgrounds in NC Mountains

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Easy Waterfall Hikes Near Asheville