Travel Destinations & Stories

The Ultimate Guide: 22 Breathtaking Waterfalls to Visit in North Carolina

North Carolina is a hidden gem for waterfall enthusiasts, boasting a plethora of awe-inspiring cascades tucked away in its lush landscapes. From the majestic heights of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the stunning forests of the Great Smoky Mountains, this southeastern state offers an abundance of picturesque waterfalls waiting to be explored. In this blog, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the 22 best waterfalls to visit in North Carolina, ensuring an unforgettable adventure into nature’s captivating beauty.

Below the list is a video of all the waterfalls listed here!

Linville Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.6 miles round trip. Linville Falls, located in Linville Gorge, offers multiple overlooks accessible via a moderate hike that rewards you with stunning views of the falls.

Looking Glass Falls

No Hike Required One of the most accessible waterfalls near Brevard, Looking Glass Falls can be admired from the roadside, making it perfect for all travelers.

Dry Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.6 miles round trip. also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls, is a 65-foot waterfall located in the Nantahala National Forest northwest of Highlands, North Carolina. Dry Falls allows you to walk safely behind the cascading waters, providing a unique perspective amidst a short and easy hike.

Triple Falls

Hiking Distance: 1-mile round trip located in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Triple Falls’ trail offers fantastic views of the three-tiered waterfall featured in “The Hunger Games.”

Whitewater Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.6 miles round trip. For the tallest waterfall east of the Rockies, head to Whitewater Falls and enjoy a short hike to see this impressive 411-foot cascade.

Moore Cove Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.5 miles round trip. An enchanting hike in Pisgah National Forest leads you to Moore Cove Falls, where you can stand behind the veil of water.

Rainbow Falls

Hiking Distance: 3.9 miles round trip. With a moderate hike in Gorges State Park, you’ll find Rainbow Falls and its mesmerizing rainbow display on sunny days.

Crabtree Falls

Hiking Distance: 2.5 miles round trip. Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Crabtree Falls offers a moderate hike leading to its stunning cascades.

Courthouse Falls

Hiking Distance: 1-mile round trip. Deep in Pisgah National Forest, Courthouse Falls provides a serene setting reachable via an easy hike.

High Falls

Hiking Distance: 2.3 miles round trip. DuPont State Recreational Forest hosts High Falls, where a moderate hike leads you to witness its grandeur.

Glen Falls

Hiking Distance: 2.5 miles round trip. Glen Falls can be located near Highlands through a moderate hike, revealing three stunning cascades.

Mingo Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.4 miles round trip. Enjoy a short hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to discover Mingo Falls’ towering 120-foot drop.

Soco Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.1 miles round trip Near Cherokee, Soco Falls greets you with a unique double waterfall, easily accessible via a short walk.

Catawba Falls

Hiking Distance: 2.7 miles round trip Meander through Pisgah National Forest on a moderate hike to reach Catawba Falls, a series of cascades culminating in a spectacular 100-foot fall.

Silver Run Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.2 miles round trip. A brief hike near Cashiers leads to Silver Run Falls, where you can revel in its natural beauty.

Hooker Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.6 miles round trip Part of DuPont State Recreational Forest, Hooker Falls can be reached via an easy hike, making it ideal for families.

Tom’s Creek Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.6 miles round trip. Nestled in Pisgah National Forest, Tom’s Creek Falls features twin cascades accessible through an easy hike.

Skinny Dip Falls

Hiking Distance: 1-mile round trip. A hidden gem along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skinny Dip Falls invites you for a refreshing dip and a moderate hike.

Upper Creek Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.9 miles round trip. Located in the Wilson Creek area, Upper Creek Falls offers natural waterslides and tranquil pools, reachable via a moderate hike.

Elk River Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.2 miles round trip Near Banner Elk, Elk River Falls is a favorite spot for swimming and picnicking, and it requires only a short walk.

Shunkawauken Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.8 miles round trip. I still have no idea how to pronounce this correctly. A lesser-known gem, Shunkawauken Falls awaits those willing to embark on a moderate hike for a secluded experience.

Hickory Nut Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.4 miles round trip. Chimney Rock State Park is home to Hickory Nut Falls, a majestic 404-foot cascade accessible through a moderate hike.

As full-time RVers for seven years, waterfalls were always our happy place. We hope you find time to visit many of these incredible waterfalls, and we also hope you share others with us! North Carolina’s diverse landscapes offer an array of spectacular waterfalls, each with its unique charm and allure. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a nature enthusiast, exploring these 22 captivating waterfalls will undoubtedly create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the mesmerizing waterfalls of North Carolina. Happy exploring!

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We’d love to hear what your favorite waterfall is in North Carolina!

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