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50+ Beautiful Waterfalls Near Asheville (Within 2 Hours)

Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on May 8, 2024.

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When thinking of the best waterfalls near Asheville, we could name hundreds and wish you all the best if you want to see them all. But let’s be real.

Unless you’ve lived in the area for decades or pride yourself as a super adrenaline junkie, it will take a while to complete all of the waterfall hikes in Asheville’s surroundings.

So in the meantime, we condensed things down a bit and want to share a few of our favorites, including roadside waterfalls. These are the best Asheville NC waterfalls, all within a two-hour drive of this fantastic city in Western North Carolina.

If you’re searching for something specific, here’s how we’ve organized this guide to Asheville waterfalls:

  • Map of Asheville NC Waterfalls
  • List of Waterfalls near Asheville
  • Leave No Trace Reminder
  • Organization and Travel Times
  • Safety Info
  • Roadside Waterfalls near Asheville
  • Waterfall Hikes near Asheville

You can continue reading about leaving no trace or scroll down to roadside waterfalls near Asheville NC, or ones requiring a hike.

Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Asheville area and are wondering, “What are the best waterfalls near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!

Read More: 80+ Great Things to Do in Asheville (The Asheville Bucket List)

Map of Waterfalls Near Asheville

Map of Waterfalls in Western NC

If you’re ready to get out there NOW, check out our map of Waterfalls in Western NC. They include these amazing waterfalls near Asheville, but also some closer to other prominent cities and mountain towns.

Read More: Asheville NC Map of Attractions (+ 7 Surrounding Counties!)

List of Asheville NC Waterfalls

For this article, these waterfalls near Asheville have been grouped first by roadside or if a hike is required. Then, they’ll be cataloged by distance from shortest to longest in minutes.

We also grouped those found on the same hike or protected area.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

  • Bearwallow Falls (Hikes Section, Gorges State Park)
  • Big Bear Falls (Hikes, South Mountains State Park)
  • Bird Rock Falls/French Broad Falls (Hikes)
  • Bridal Veil Falls (Hikes, DuPont State Forest)
  • Bridal Veil Falls (Roadside Section)
  • Bust Your Butt Falls (Roadside)
  • Cascade Falls (Hikes, Glen Burney Trail)
  • Catawba Falls (Hikes)
  • Crabtree Falls (Hikes)
  • Courthouse Falls (Hikes)
  • Cullasaja Falls (Roadside)
  • Dry Falls (Roadside)
  • Elk River Falls (Hikes)
  • Frolictown Creek Falls (Hikes, Panthertown Valley)
  • Glen Burney Falls (Hikes, Glen Burney Trail)
  • Glen Falls (Hikes)
  • Glen Marie Falls (Hikes, Glen Burney Trail)
  • Granny Burrell Falls (Hikes, Panthertown Valley)
  • Green Mountain Creek Falls (Roadside)
  • Hidden Falls (Hikes, Gorges State Park)
  • High Falls (DuPont State Forest Hikes)
  • High Shoals Falls (Hikes, South Mountains State Park)
  • Hooker Falls (Hikes, DuPont State Forest)
  • Indian Creek Falls (Hikes, Deep Creek Trail)
  • Juney Whank Falls (Hikes, Deep Creek Trail)
  • Key Falls (Roadside)
  • Laurel Creek Falls aka Trashcan Falls (Hikes)
  • Linville Falls (Hikes)
  • Looking Glass Falls (Roadside)
  • Lower Falls (Hikes, Graveyard Fields)
  • Mingo Falls (Hikes)
  • Moore Cove Falls (Hikes)
  • Otter Falls (Hikes)
  • Pearson’s Falls and Glen (Hikes)
  • Rainbow Falls (Hikes, Gorges State Park)
  • Roaring Fork Falls (Hikes)
  • Schoolhouse Falls (Hikes, Panthertown Valley)
  • Secret Falls (Hikes)
  • Setrock Creek Falls (Hikes)
  • Silver Run Falls (Hikes)
  • Silvervale Falls (Roadside)
  • Slick Rock Falls (Roadside)
  • Sliding Rock (Hikes)
  • Soco Falls (Hikes)
  • Sunburst Falls (Roadside)
  • Tom Branch Falls (Hikes, Deep Creek Trail)
  • Tom’s Creek Falls (Hikes)
  • Triple Falls (Hikes, DuPont State Forest Hikes)
  • Turtleback Falls (Hikes, Gorges State Park)
  • Upper Creek Falls (Hikes)
  • Upper Falls (Hikes, Graveyard Fields)
  • Upper Whitewater Falls (Hikes)
  • Waterfalls Park (Roadside)
  • Wintergreen Falls (DuPont State Forest Hikes)

Leave No Trace Reminder

While visiting these waterfalls near Asheville, we ask you to PLEASE leave no trace. Trash doesn’t belong in our beloved natural spaces.

If you’d like to lend a helping hand, bring a grocery bag of your own and pick up any trash that you see!

Read More: Day Trips from Asheville

Safety Notes

This is something we’ll always stress, but again, please stay on the path. Failing to do so can result in serious injury.

It may also seem like a good idea to venture to the top of these waterfalls, but we do not suggest you do that. There are a variety of factors that could lead you to fall or lose control and get seriously injured.

Once again, DO NOT hike to the top of these waterfalls near Asheville.

Organization and Travel Times

Waterfalls accessed via one hike, park, or protected area have been grouped together. Travel times vary according to when you decide to visit these waterfalls near Asheville, due to weather, traffic congestion, and other factors.

Read More: Airbnbs near Asheville

Roadside Waterfalls near Asheville

These roadside waterfalls near Asheville are viewable from your car, but a closer look is often available via a short walk to a platform or observation deck, which we’ll note accordingly.

Read More: The North Carolina Bucket List

Key Falls

34 miles from Asheville (43 minutes)

Waterfalls near Asheville NC

Key Falls is one we stumbled upon while staying at the nearby Pines Country Inn in Pisgah Forest, outside Brevard. It’s another that sits on private property (Key Falls Inn), but one where the owners are gracious enough to invite visitors.

We’ve learned firsthand that cell service can be spotty in this area, so here are some directions for you:

  • If you’re coming from Brevard, head out on US-64 East for 3.5 miles.
  • Turn right on Crab Creek Rd and travel for another 1.5 miles.
  • Turn right again on Everett Rd.
  • Travel about 3 miles from there to the driveway for the entrance to Key Falls Inn, which will be on your left.
  • From here, you have 2 options:
    • 1) Turn at the gravel road prior to the entrance and drive 0.2 miles to the falls.
    • 2) or You can turn into the Inn’s driveway, park, and walk the short path to the falls.

You can park at the entrance and walk to the falls or park right at them, enjoy, grab some photos, and head off for more adventures!

Read More: Waterfalls near Brevard

Looking Glass Falls

37 miles from Asheville (45 minutes)

Looking Glass Falls near Brevard NC

Looking Glass Falls is possibly one of the best-known waterfalls near Asheville, but like Key Falls, is largely associated with Brevard. And if you’ve visited this one, you’ll likely agree with us.

This roadside waterfall is right off US 276 after entering Pisgah National Forest. It’s easy to see from your car but if you can head down the steps for an up-close look at this beautiful 60-footer.

Read More: 20+ Kid-Friendly Waterfalls In NC (Easy Hikes And Swimming Holes!)

Slick Rock Falls

39 miles from Asheville (50 minutes)

Slick Rock Falls might be tucked away on a separate road from some of the other awesome waterfalls near Brevard, but this one is still pretty popular. You can see it from your car but as with most roadside waterfalls, get out for a much closer look.

The 35-foot waterfall cascades over a cliff and is great to stand under during hot days. Just be mindful of the namesake slick rocks that you’ll be standing on.

Read More: 15 Things We Love About The Omni Grove Park Inn

Sunburst Falls

37 miles from Asheville (1 hour away)

Sunburst Falls Haywood County

Sunburst Falls is another wonderful waterfall near Asheville along the Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway.

This roadside waterfall cascades over multiple tiers before descending into the valley below, passing through a historic stone bridge dating back to 1937.

Travelers can park on the roadside of NC-215 and walk over the bridge, offering various vantage points of Sunburst Falls. Please be cautious when walking near the road to get a closer look at this natural wonder.

For those seeking a closer view of the upper tiers of Sunburst Falls, you can rock scramble for a better view. However, swimming is discouraged due to the potential danger of slipping and falling.

Read More: 20+ Great Things to Do in Waynesville and Nearby!

Cullasaja Falls

76 miles from Asheville (1 hour 23 minutes)

Cullasaja Falls near Highlands NC

Cullasaja Falls is a great roadside waterfall along the Waterfall Byway and more viewable when the greenery that surrounds it has faded back a bit. You can descend down a tricky 0.2-mile path along rocks and ropeway but practice caution if you decide upon this way.

There are no signs to indicate you’ve arrived and cars fly on this section of the road. It’ll be easiest if you’re traveling from Franklin, as the pull-off will be on the right.

Coming from Highlands, you’ll have to make a slow turn into one of the few available spots with traffic possibly coming from around the sharp curve just beyond.

Read More: 100+ Unique Things to Do In North Carolina (Your NC Bucket List)

Bust Your Butt Falls

79 miles from Asheville (1 hour 26 minutes)

Bust Your Butt Falls Near Highlands NC

Bust Your Butt Falls is a really cool roadside fall that we stumbled upon when driving between Cullasaja and Dry Falls. And when you get a look at it, you’ll see this one fits the name.

This popular swimming hole and natural slide even has a rope for swinging! But if you’d like to stand back and take photos, you can do that, too!

Read More: Wayah Bald Tower (and the BEST Mountain Views in Franklin)

Waterfalls Park

70 miles from Asheville (1 hour 26 minutes)

Waterfalls Park Newland NC

Waterfalls Park in Newland is the first of our waterfalls near Asheville that are located in the High Country. This awesome double cascade roadside waterfall is mostly viewable from the bridge that sits in front of it.

You can take a closer look at the upper falls by hiking up and to the left, though! During your time there, you can have a seat at one of their several picnic tables.

This wonderful place is maintained by the Newland Volunteer Fire Department.

Read More: 25+ Amazing Waterfalls near Banner Elk (within 2 Hours’ Drive)

Dry Falls

82 miles from Asheville (1 hour 33 minutes)
Trail Length: Roadside or 0.6 miles round trip

Dry Falls near Highlands NC

Dry Falls is viewable from an accessible platform but also an easy and kid-friendly hike. This amazing 65-foot waterfall is just a few miles outside of Highlands.

Another awesome thing about this waterfall is that its waters gush over a cliff, creating an overflow that allows people to walk underneath. And the “dry” part of the name comes from the fact that you can remain dry as you walk behind it.

Read More: Hikes near Asheville

Bridal Veil Falls

82 miles from Asheville (1 hour 34 minutes)

Bridal Veil Falls Highlands NC

This is the first of two “Bridal Veil” named waterfalls near Asheville that we’ll mention. The other Bridal Veil Falls is inside DuPont State Recreational Forest and this one is a roadside waterfall between Highlands and Franklin on US 64.

All you have to do is pull off, get out of your car, and admire this Bridal Veil.

Read More: How to Reach Wesser Bald Fire Tower in Franklin (+ Amazing Views at the Top!)

Silvervale Falls

82 miles from Asheville (1 hour 35 minutes)

Waterfalls near Boone Silvervale Falls

Silvervale Falls is another High Country roadside waterfall and definitely worth a visit. It is a 70-footer, with the falls flowing slow and gently.

If you’re in Blowing Rock, head 6 miles south from the Green Park Inn (and the Blowing Rock) and turn right on the suitably named Waterfalls Road. Silvervale Falls sits less than 2 miles down the road on your left.

Read More: 50+ Great Things to Do With Kids in Asheville (and Nearby!)

Green Mountain Creek Falls

77 miles from Asheville (1 hour 47 minutes)

Green Mountain Creek Falls Roadside Waterfalls near Asheville NC

Green Mountain Creek Falls is the last of our roadside waterfalls near Asheville, but certainly not least of them all. This 20-foot waterfall sits just eight miles from Main Street in Blowing Rock on the section of Highway 221 that is known as the Little Parkway.

When sharing our favorite North Carolina road trips, we’ve mentioned that road before.

While it’s technically a roadside waterfall, you’ll still need to park your car across the winding road from it. Green Mountain Creek Falls flows above a bend in the road and continues under it.

However, only the above view is easy to reach and see.

Read More: 10 Beautiful Roadside Waterfalls in North Carolina for Everyone!

Waterfalls near Asheville (Hikes)

For these waterfalls near Asheville, we’ve indicated trail length and driving distances from the three aforementioned destinations.

These are all very close to Asheville, so you won’t find any waterfalls in Nantahala National Forest, Chimney Rock State Park, or deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Catawba Falls

NOTE: Catawba Falls will be closed from May 2, 2022 until Spring 2024 for trail improvements

27 miles from Asheville (31 minutes)
Trail length: 3 miles round trip

Catabwa Falls Waterfalls near Asheville NC

Catawba Falls is a three-tiered waterfall in Old Fort (McDowell County), on the eastern outskirts of Asheville. It’s absolutely breathtaking and worthy of a spot in this guide!

This 100-foot waterfall is reachable after a 1.5-mile trek through a moss-covered, shady forest.

Stone foundation remnants of a former power dam serve as additional highlights along the hike. We find these beautiful falls a cool escape from the heat of summer, but the falls are one of the wonderful Ashevilles waterfall hikes throughout much of the year.

Read more: The Best Breweries in Asheville

Pearson’s Falls and Glen

38 miles from Asheville (45 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.5 miles round trip

Pearsons Falls in the Summer

Pearson’s Falls and Glen sits south of Asheville in Polk County, near the mountain towns of Saluda and Tryon. Its officially managed by the Tryon Garden Club and surrounded by a beautiful forest (known as a Glen), spring-fed streams, and a short hike that leads to the gorgeous namesake 90-foot waterfall.

A purchased ticket is required to enter, but your admission goes toward maintenance and future conservation efforts.

You’ll pass streams and numerous plants along the lovely Pearson Family Walking Trail. An interesting landmark is the dam-like raw water gravity feed, but the preserve is the 90-foot waterfall.

There are benches in front of it for you to sit and enjoy the beautiful falls coming down.

Read More: 30+ Great Things to Do in Downtown Asheville

Moore Cove Falls

38 miles from Asheville (47 minutes)
Trail Length: 1.5 miles round trip

Moore Cove Falls Brevard NC

Another Brevard-area waterfall reachable via a short hike is Moore Cove Falls. While it isn’t nearly as popular as Looking Glass Falls, it is just up the road and is a spectacular 50-foot drop.

The 1.5-mile round-trip adventure is beautiful and one that deserves a spotlight along with the bigger names around. Also, the road where you’ll find these falls is known as the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway.

Read More: 4 National Forests in NC (Things to Do + Why We Love Them!)

Dupont State Forest Waterfalls Near Asheville

37 miles from Asheville (48 minutes)
Variable Trail Lengths

Waterfalls near Asheville High Falls DuPont State Recreational Forest
High Falls.

Dupont State Recreational Forest in the North Carolina Mountains easily wins for most waterfalls near Asheville inside one park. It’s a popular place to hike and for films, based on the fact that The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans were shot here.

  • Hooker Falls is regarded as one of this area’s best swimming holes, and it’s reachable after a short half-mile hike from the parking lot. The most popular hike within DuPont State Forest will take you three miles round trip to three waterfalls: Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls.
  • From the Visitor Center parking lot that starts the High Falls Loop, you can take a 4.4-mile roundtrip hike or ride a bicycle to Bridal Veil Falls. You can also add it onto the High Falls Loop to make it about a 7-mile hike.
  • The Wintergreen Falls Trail is a 1.5-mile out and back hike that leads to a beautiful 20-foot waterfall.

Read More: Colorful Fall Hikes in North Carolina (+ 20 Beautiful Places to Explore!)

Soco Falls

41 miles from Asheville (48 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.2 miles round trip

Soco Falls near Cherokee NC

Soco Falls is an intersection of two waterfalls near Asheville that create an incredible scene. You can view them from a platform above or take a trickier scramble down to see the falls smash together.

If you’re coming from Cherokee, you’ll see a sign for the parking lot but when we visited, there was not a sign for those coming from Maggie Valley.

Read More: 20+ Amazing Things to Do in Maggie Valley

Sliding Rock

39 miles from Asheville (50 minutes)
Trail Length: A few hundred feet from the parking lot.

Sliding Rock Brevard NC Waterfall

Sliding Rock, like its neighbor Looking Glass Falls, is one the most popular waterfalls near Asheville. This 60-foot smooth waterfall draws people from all over to slide down, especially in the summer.

Arrive early to beat the crowds because this place can get packed. The water is always cold so be ready for that. Also, there is a $3 entrance fee for anyone over 3 years old. Bathrooms and showers are available.

Read More: The Asheville Art Museum (How to Visit + 7 Great Things to Do)

Tom’s Creek Falls

42 miles from Asheville (51 minutes)
Trail Length: 1 mile round trip

Toms Creek Falls near Marion and Asheville NC

Tom’s Creek Falls in Marion is a very kid-friendly hike and within an hour of Mount Mitchell State Park. This is also the furthest east of our favorite waterfalls near Asheville and arguably the closest waterfall to Asheville NC.

The 80-foot two-tiered waterfall flows into a rocky riverbed below. The Tom’s Creek Falls hike is one of few with an accessible trail and observation deck!

Read More: Day Trips from Boone

Graveyard Fields Hike

35 miles from Asheville (56 minutes)
Trail Length: 2/3 mile round trip or 3.3 miles loop

Graveyard Fields Waterfalls near Asheville NC

Just down the road from Skinny Dip Falls is Graveyard Fields, one of the most popular Blue Ridge Parkway hikes. Gorgeous scenery, two waterfalls, and boardwalk views are a big reason so many people come to this spot.

Most people start with the short 1/3 mile hike from the parking lot that takes you to Lower Falls. Upper Falls is reachable via a 3.3-mile loop. It takes you along wildflower- and blueberry bush-lined paths.

Bird Rock Falls/French Broad Falls (Mill Shoals) (2)

51 miles from Asheville (1 hour 9 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.25 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Asheville French Broad Falls Transylvania County

French Broad Falls (Mill Shoals) and Bird Rock Falls are grouped together because of how close they are to each other. French Broad Falls is a set of twin waterfalls near Asheville, closest to Brevard and also off the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway.

A second waterfall (Bird Rock Falls or Cathedral Falls) is reachable within a half-mile roundtrip hike.

Keep in mind that these falls sit on the Living Waters Ministry’s property. Since they are kind enough to let you in, please leave no trace. Of course, that should be the case for all these waterfalls.

Linville Falls

55 miles from Asheville (1 hour 9 minutes)
Variable Trail Lengths

Waterfalls near Asheville NC Linville Falls

The tallest waterfalls in the area can be found nearest to Banner Elk, but just over an hour from Asheville. Visiting Linville Falls is one of the most popular things to do in Burke County and they’re a major part of the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians,” also known as Linville Gorge Wilderness.

You can start your hike from the visitor’s center or an overflow lot off NC 105. There are three viewing stations to see these rushing waterfalls.

If you are feeling strong and it hasn’t rained recently, great views can be had from the Plunge Basin trail (1.4 miles) into the gorge. Distant views of Linville Falls also await at Table Rock Mountain, one of the shorter yet steeper hikes in the Gorge.

After you visit Linville Falls, don’t forget to swing by Famous Louise’s Rockhouse Restaurant for some food. It’s one of the best restaurants in the area!

Read More: Wiseman’s View of the Linville Gorge

Roaring Fork Falls

47 miles from Asheville (1 hour 10 minutes)
Trail Length: 1-mile round trip

Roaring Fork Falls near Mount Mitchell NC

Roaring Fork Falls is one of a few wonderful waterfalls north of Asheville near Burnsville (Yancey County). It’s only seven miles away from Crabtree Falls, which we’ll mention shortly.

You can easily hike to Roaring Fork Falls and its Black Mountains neighbors Setrock Creek Falls and Crabtree Falls (see below) in one day. First, you’ll need to reach Roaring Fork Falls, which is more of a stroll than a hike.

We still love the path, which is mostly flat and paved, once a fairly active forest service road. The walk’s highlight is a 100-foot-long cascade that weaves along the rocks, framed by rhododendrons and greenery.

Read More: Hiking Roan Mountain for Beautiful Appalachian Trail Views

Gorges State Park (4)

54 miles from Asheville (1 hour 11 minutes)
Trail Length: 3.9 miles round trip

North Carolina Waterfall Byway Stops Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls.

You might think Gorges State Park would tie DuPont State Forest for most waterfalls near Asheville in one park, but the 3.5-mile Rainbow Falls Trail takes you outside the park’s boundaries into Pisgah National Forest.

In fact, this state park will lead you to three waterfalls, including the 150-foot Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls.

The unmarked Hidden Falls also sits off the trail, right before Rainbow Falls. It is a great swimming spot with a 10-foot waterfall. You won’t see a sign for Hidden Falls, but you’ll notice a clearing to your right and large rock outcroppings that serve as the perfect picnic spot.

Turtleback Falls sits upstream from Rainbow Falls and used to be a highly regarded swimming hole. However, many injuries and deaths forced officials to warn against sliding and swimming.

Also at Gorges State Park (on a separate trail) is Bearwallow Falls, reachable via a 0.4-mile strenuous hike.

Crabtree Falls

50 miles from Asheville (1 hour 12 minutes)
Trail Length: 2.6 miles round trip

Crabtree Falls NC

We have a lot of favorite Blue Ridge Parkway sections and the area around Crabtree Falls (MP 339) is one of them. Seeing the gorgeous 70-foot waterfall requires a 2.5-mile round-trip hike through hardwoods and rhododendron-covered paths.

On its own, a view of the falls from the wooden bridge that crosses over the creek is worthy of the drive and hike.

Read More: 25+ Beautiful Waterfalls near Boone (within 2 Hours)

Deep Creek Trail (3)

68 miles from Asheville (1 hour 15 minutes)
Trail Length: 2.4 miles or 5 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Asheville Juney Whank Falls Deep Creek Trail
Juney Whank Falls.

Deep Creek Trail inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park will take you to three waterfalls near Bryson City (Indian Creek Falls, Tom Branch Falls, and Juney Whank Falls). This hike near Bryson City and Cherokee follows Deep Creek upstream, with some incline during the first couple of miles.

The majority of the trip is either flat or downhill, with wildflower and rhododendron-dominated paths throughout.

Read More: Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City (10 Essential Things to Do)

Mingo Falls

58 miles from Asheville (1 hour 17 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.2 miles round trip

Mingo Falls near Cherokee NC

Mingo Falls is the most popular waterfall near Cherokee. For starters, the epic falls are reachable after climbing a steep set of 160 stairs on the Pigeon Creek Trail.

While the elevation changes about 140 feet during your ascent, the reward of these delightful falls is certainly worth it. A sturdy wooden viewing bridge awaits for you to snap that perfect photo.

Read More: How to Enjoy Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort (+ 15 Tips)

Setrock Creek Falls

50 miles from Asheville (1 hour 17 minutes)
Trail Length: 1 mile round trip

Setrock Creek Falls Waterfalls near Asheville NC

As we mentioned, Setrock Creek Falls is just down South Toe River Road from Roaring Fork Falls. The 75-foot waterfall is also reachable via an easy hike.

To and from the waterfall is a mostly flat 1-mile path, which originates at the Black Mountain Campground.

While the parking lot may be close to full when you arrive, the hike and falls are not as crowded. This could be for multiple reasons.

One is that the campground serves as the trailhead for the 12-mile round trip Old Mitchell Hike that’ll take you to the summit of Mount Mitchell.

Read More: 13 Amazing Restaurants in Burnsville (Best of the Best!)

South Mountains State Park (2)

72 miles from Asheville (1 hour 19 minutes)
High Shoals Falls Loop Trail Length: 2.7 miles loop

Waterfalls near Asheville NC High Shoals Falls South Mountains State Park

Many Burke County visitors will know about Linville Falls but if you’ve been to this area more than a few times, you’ll know that High Shoals Falls inside South Mountains State Park is pretty nice, too.

This 80-foot waterfall is reachable after a mostly steady hike, though it gets pretty steep near the end.

Some really nice streams run alongside the path and are a nice addition to this wonderful waterfall hike.

Big Bear Falls South Mountains State Park
Big Bear Falls.

The 0.2-mile Big Bear Trail branches off the High Shoals Falls Loop Trail. After a short but steep hike, you’ll be treated to a lovely view of this waterfall near Asheville.

Read More: Day Trips from Charlotte

Upper Whitewater Falls

61 miles from Asheville (1 hour 20 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.5 miles round trip

Upper Whitewater Falls in Western NC

Upper Whitewater Falls in Jackson and Transylvania counties is (fun fact alert!) part of the tallest waterfall you’ll find in the Eastern US. One vantage point of Upper Whitewater Falls is accessible and another can be reached by 150-plus stairs to a viewing platform.

And if you time it right, you can see this 411-foot waterfall near Brevard all by yourself. There’s a lower section across the border in South Carolina that falls an additional 400 feet.

Read More: Facts about North Carolina

Courthouse Falls

57 miles from Asheville (1 hour 23 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.7 miles round trip

A rough three-mile drive on the gravel Forest Service Road 140 (low cars not recommended) will lead you to the Summey Cove trailhead. After a quarter-mile hike, you’ll reach the 45-foot Courthouse Falls.

The road leading to Courthouse Falls is often closed through winter and much of spring.

If that’s the case, there’s a trailhead about a half-mile north of FR 140. From there, the hike is about 3 miles to Courthouse Falls.

Read More: The Horton Hotel in Boone (10+ Things We Love About It!)

Upper Creek Falls

64 miles (1 hour 23 minutes)
Trail Length: 1.6-mile loop

Upper Creek Falls Pisgah National Forest NC

We swing back up to the High Country for Upper Creek Falls, which is a great swimming hole waterfall near Morganton. This one is a cascading waterfall that drops 80 feet over a gradual slope.

There’s even a rope for some Tarzan-esque fun. As always, please be careful and don’t go alone because there is no lifeguard on duty.

Read More: 13 Amazing Restaurants in Banner Elk and Nearby (+ Where to Drink!)

Panthertown Valley Waterfalls

Cold Mountain Gap Trailhead: 57 miles from Asheville (1 hour 26 minutes)
Panthertown Valley and Salt Rock Gap Trailheads: 66 miles from Asheville (1 hour 42 minutes)
Variable Trail Lengths

Waterfalls Near Asheville Schoolhouse Falls Panthertown Valley Jackson County NC

Panthertown Valley is home to quite a few waterfalls near Asheville. This is a 6,311-acre backcountry wilderness area in Jackson County, near Cashiers (and Sapphire).

The valley holds about 30 miles of well-connected trails and of the waterfalls here, Schoolhouse Falls is the most popular. You can reach it via a 1.25-mile hike (2.5 miles roundtrip) from the Cold Mountain Gap Trailhead, near Lake Toxaway. Greenland Creek Falls and Mac’s Falls are two other popular waterfalls in this area.

Granny Burrell Falls and Frolictown Creek Falls are closer to the Salt Rock Gap trailhead on the west side of Panthertown Valley.

Read More: 25+ Great Lakes in North Carolina (+ Our Top 5 Picks)

Silver Run Falls

67 miles from Asheville (1 hour 37 minutes)
Trail Length: 1,000 feet round trip

Waterfalls near Asheville NC Silver Run Falls Cashiers Jackson County

Silver Run Falls isn’t too far from Panthertown Valley, but closest to Cashiers and Upper Whitewater Falls. Not to be overshadowed by its neighbors, this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Asheville, especially on sunny days when you can see the mica shining on its sandy floor.

Hence the name Silver Run Falls.

There’s limited official parking available, but if you can snag a spot, a short 500-foot walk will take you to an excellent pool. You’ll have plenty of space to leave your shoes and enjoy a dip in the cool water.

The pool’s slow entry of soft sand is perfect for kids and anyone who just wants to get their feet wet.

Read More: 25+ Excellent Things to Do in Sylva and Dillsboro (+ More Nearby!)

Elk River Falls

77 miles from Asheville (1 hour 39 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.5 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Asheville NC Elk River Falls

Probably one of the most photogenic waterfalls is Elk River Falls, a 50-foot plunging waterfall that we highly recommend!

Another great one closest to Banner Elk, the falls are reachable after a short quarter of a mile trail with some steep steps along the way.

The views are absolutely worth any trouble along the way, though. Bring your swimsuit, too, as this is a popular place to hop in the cool mountain water!

Again, please be careful and do not get in the water from above the waterfall. You can be taken over the falls by the swift currents. Also, do not jump or dive from above the waterfall. Injuries and deaths have occurred here.

Read More: Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster in Banner Elk (7 Important Tips Before You Go!)

Otter Falls

76 miles from Asheville (1 hour 39 minutes)
Trail Length: 1.2 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Asheville Otter Falls Seven Devils

Otter Falls is easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Asheville, also in the High Country. You’ll get to admire these falls in between a moderate/strenuous 1.2-mile round trip hike.

The four trails here (including two loops) sit inside the resort community of Seven Devils. Those paths were funded by several donors from the community in 2015.

With a quick change of elevation of 230 feet, you’ll be rewarded with a nice observation deck to view the falls. The way back up will remind your calves of that change.

Read More: 25 of the Most Amazing Winter Hikes in North Carolina

Glen Falls

87 miles from Asheville (1 hour 44 minutes)
Trail Length: 2 miles round trip

There are so many waterfalls near Highlands and Glen Falls is another one we need to share with you. It sits east of the Macon County town and is viewable from an observation platform about a half-mile from the parking lot.

You can descend down another 1/3 mile to a platform in front of the middle section. And if water levels are low, you can get on the rocks for an even closer look!

Glen Burney Trail (3)

90 miles from Asheville (1 hour 46 minutes)
Trail Length: 3.1 miles round trip

Glen Burney Trail Blowing Rock Waterfalls near Asheville NC

The Glen Burney Trail lies just off Main St in downtown Blowing Rock and will take you to three waterfalls. You’ll find its trailhead across from Annie Cannon Gardens.

An ancient Native American path will take you down for nearly 2 miles and you’ll pass Cascades Falls at 0.8 miles, Glen Burney Falls at 1.2 miles, and Glen Marie Falls at 1.6 miles from the trailhead.

Of them all, we love Glen Burney Falls the most, but we’ll let you be the judge.

Read More: Blowing Rock Restaurants

Laurel Creek Falls (aka Trashcan Falls)

94 miles from Asheville (1 hour 50 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.3 miles round trip

Laurel Creek Falls aka Trash Can Falls Waterfalls near Asheville NC

If you ask an App State student or alum, they’ll probably refer to this one as Trash Can Falls. That’s because a dumpster used to mark the trailhead.

The dumpster is gone but Laurel Creek Falls remains a popular swimming hole waterfall. The trail is short at 0.15 but is steep but the trail is well-maintained.

When you reach the parking lot, cross the street for the trail. Don’t worry if you’re confused like we were upon arrival. We didn’t have service when we arrive and were a bit confused to see people wading in the stream next to the parking lot.

Also, many locals aren’t too happy with the popularity of this waterfall so please be respectful and leave no trace.

Secret Falls

92 miles from Asheville (1 hour 56 minutes)
Trail Length: 1.3 miles round trip

The last of our Asheville-area waterfalls goes by two names just like the one before it. You can call it Secret Falls or Big Shoals Falls but either way, this 50-foot waterfall outside Highlands leads to an awesome swimming hole.

Reaching the waterfall takes a not-too-difficult half-mile hike through the woods.

Be careful at the top of the waterfall, which will be where you first arrive. From there, a wading area and a small sandy beach await for you to enjoy a relaxing dip in some water!

Ready to Explore these Waterfalls near Asheville?

And as we mentioned, there are hundreds of waterfalls near Asheville. You can easily see plenty of beautiful ones without touching them all.

It’s even okay to check out more than the ones we’ve listed here.

Have you ever been to this part of North Carolina? If so, what are your favorite waterfalls near Asheville?

If you’ve got a beautiful waterfall (or multiple) that you’d like to share, let us know in the comments section below and we might just add it to our list!

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