NC High Country Waterfalls
Top NC High Country Waterfalls
Even though the temperatures average in the 70’s during the summers here in the High Country, jumping in the cold mountain water can be hard to resist. Some waterfalls are an easy walk right off the main road, while some trails meander through the woods and open up to a hidden pool. Here is our insiders list of the best waterfalls to visit on your journey.
Boone Fork Trail Falls
Blue Ridge Parkway MP 296.5
The Boone Fork Trail has lots of little swimming holes located on paths off the trail. Some have slippery rocks that you can slide down at your own risk. The falls are located starting 25 feet down the trail from the Julian Price Park picnic area.
About a mile down the trail, you will see a trail marker indicating the detour to the Hebron Colony Falls. These popular falls are a great place to play in the water as well.
Blue Ridge Parkway MP 271.9
One of 3 waterfalls located in the NC High Country region of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this waterfall located in the EB Jeffress Park is a one mile round trip with many stairs. When you get to the bottom of the stairs, you will see a 35 foot waterfall. After heavy rains there is a fine mist that comes off the rocks. In the cooler months, you might want to wear a rain coat!
There are restrooms and a few picnic tables with shade trees beside the parking area above the falls.
Crab Orchard Falls
Hwy 194, Valle Crucis
Just 5 minutes from Mast General Store up Hwy 194 is the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Take the trail from the Center parking lot down a steep half mile trail to the falls. The Falls make for great photos and have lots of places to climb around and play in the water (but there is no swimming hole).
Elk River Falls
Hwy 19E, Elk Park NC
The roaring falls offer a large volume of water that plunges 85 feet. The falls are located in Elk Park and are easy to access from the parking area. Take 19E toward Tennessee and turn right onto Old Mill Rd, then left onto Elk River Rd. Travel several miles and the road dead-ends into the falls.
**No jumping from top of waterfall. Swimming permitted in pool only
Glen Burney Falls
Downtown Blowing Rock
The trail to these falls is said to be an ancient Native American pathway and descends steeply through John’s River Gorge. The trail is less than 2 miles long and offers several mini falls along the way that make for good photographs.
The trailhead is located in the heart of Blowing Rock at Annie Gannon Park on Laurel Lane, just two blocks from Main Street.
Blue Ridge Parkway MP 316.4
Linville Falls are the tallest waterfalls on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are two main trails that start from the visitor center. The easy .8 mile trail to the upper falls leads to a newly constructed patio from where you can view the waterfall (pictured). The more strenuous .5 mile trail to the lower falls will lead you up and down steep stairs to a rewarding view from above the falls. Open year round (weather permitting)
Lower Pond Creek Falls
Buckeye Recreation Center, Beech Mountain
This one mile trail within the town of Beech Mountain is a great place for a picnic. Native trout can be found in the pools along the creek!
TIP: Pick up a picnic lunch at Freds General Merchanitle when you enter the town of Beech Mountain
Skyland Drive, Seven Devils
This is the newest waterfall trail in the NC High Country and is a strenuous loop trail that descends 230 feet. The trail leads you through a cool mountain forest to the cascades.
Waterfalls Rd, Blowing Rock
One of only two "drive up" waterfalls in the NC High Country. Silvervale Falls are located beside a little pull off area (This photo was taken from inside a car!)
944 Cranberry St, Newland NC
One of two "drive up" waterfalls in the NC High Country, this series of 50 foot falls is located right by the highway! You can view from you car, or walk up to the falls. There are also picnic tables on site.
The site is well maintained by the local fire department.