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25+ Wonderful Waterfalls Near Blowing Rock (within 2 Hours)

Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on November 3, 2023.

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We’ve been exploring the High Country of North Carolina for years, and have fallen in love with its wonderful mountain towns, great hiking trails, and some of the state’s most beautiful waterfalls near Blowing Rock and its surroundings.

You can find many of them in our guide to waterfalls near Boone and waterfalls near Banner Elk but those two mountain towns are about 20 minutes away and 30 minutes away, respectively.

This article specifically focuses on sharing waterfalls in Blowing Rock and its surroundings, even if there will be some overlap.

For this article, waterfalls are categorized as either “Roadside Waterfalls” or “Hikes” and ordered by distance from closest to furthest driving time. Waterfalls on the same trail or in the same protected area have been grouped together.

Here’s how we’ve organized this guide to waterfalls near Blocking Rock, in case you’re searching for something specific:

  • List of Waterfalls near Blowing Rock (ABC Order)
  • Before You Visit
    • Safety
    • Leave No Trace Reminder
  • Waterfalls in Blowing Rock
  • Roadside Waterfalls near Blowing Rock
  • Hikes to Waterfalls near Blowing Rock

And when you’re ready to see them all and want to plan your trip, our Map of Waterfalls in Western NC will help you with that, too.

Read More: 30+ Great Things to Do in Blowing Rock (Downtown, Hotels, Nearby Hikes, and More!)

List of Waterfalls near Blowing Rock, North Carolina

For this article, these waterfalls near Blowing Rock NC have been grouped by distance from shortest to longest in minutes. We also grouped those that can be found on the same hike or protected area.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

  • Big Bear Falls (South Mountains State Park)
  • Big Creek Falls
  • Carter Falls
  • The Cascades
  • Cascades Falls (Glen Burney Trail)
  • Catawba Falls
  • Crab Orchard Falls
  • Crabtree Falls
  • Duggers Creek Falls
  • Elk River Falls
  • Green Mountain Creek Falls
  • Glen Burney Falls (Glen Burney Trail)
  • Glen Marie Falls (Glen Burney Trail)
  • Hebron Falls
  • High Shoals Falls (South Mountains State Park)
  • Laurel Creek Falls (aka Trashcan Falls)
  • Linville Falls
  • Otter Falls
  • Roaring Fork Falls
  • Setrock Creek Falls
  • Silvervale Falls
  • Stone Mountain Falls (Stone Mountain State Park)
  • Upper Creek Falls
  • Waterfalls Park
  • Widow’s Creek Falls (Stone Mountain State Park)

Travel times vary according to when you decide to travel, due to weather, traffic congestion, and other factors.

Read More: 100+ of the Best Hiking Trails in North Carolina

Before You Visit these Waterfalls near Blowing Rock

Before you visit these Blowing rock waterfalls, here are a few things to remember.

Safety Info

  • Staying on the trail is something we’ll always stress, but please don’t think you know better than official signage. Failing to stay on the path so can result in serious injury, especially around waterfalls.
  • Don’t hike to the top: 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 Blowing Rock
  • And if any of their parking lots are full (or approaching full), plan to visit another day. Overcrowding can be dangerous for you and the environment that these waterfalls inhabit.

Leave No Trace Reminder

  • Leave no trace at these waterfalls so we can all enjoy them as you did. If you’d like to lend a helping hand, bring a grocery bag of your own and pick up any trash that you see!

Waterfalls in Blowing Rock

Now that we’ve covered safety and the importance of Leave No Trace, let’s get started with a few waterfalls in Blowing Rock before searching around this wonderful small town.

Glen Burney Trail (3)

Trail length: 3 miles round trip for all three waterfalls

Waterfalls near Blowing Rock

Before you leave this wonderful small town, there are a few waterfalls in Blowing Rock, just a short walk from Main St. The trailhead sits across from Annie Cannon Gardens.

The Glen Burney Trail is a short walk from Main St and is where you’ll find those amazing waterfalls in Blowing Rock! You’ll descend for nearly 2 miles on an ancient Native American path and see three waterfalls along the way!

The three waterfalls on this trail are:

  • The Cascades at 0.8 miles from the trailhead
  • Glen Burney Falls at 1.2 miles
  • Glen Marie Falls at 1.6 miles

Of them all, we think Glen Burney is the one waterfall you must see on this Blowing Rock trail!

Read More: Delicious Blowing Rock Restaurants for High Country Travelers

Roadside Waterfalls near Blowing Rock

These roadside waterfalls near Blowing Rock are among the most beautiful, so don’t discount them because of their relative ease to reach.

  • Big Creek Falls
  • Green Mountain Creek Falls
  • Silvervale Falls
  • Waterfalls Park

Read More: The North Carolina Travel Map (with 1000+ Great Places Included!)

Green Mountain Creek Falls

Blowing Rock to Green Mountain Creek Falls: 8 miles (14 minutes)

Waterfall near Blowing Rock

Green Mountain Creek Falls is the first of the roadside waterfalls near Blowing Rock that we’ll mention.

The 20-foot waterfall sits just eight miles from Main Street on a section of Highway 221 known as the Little Parkway. It’s one of the best waterfalls near Grandfather Mountain. We’ve mentioned it before when sharing our favorite North Carolina road trips.

You’ll park your car across the winding road from the waterfall. Green Mountain Creek Falls sits at a bend in the road and continues to flow under it. However, only this view is easy to reach and see.

Read More: The Best Day Trips from Boone

Silvervale Falls

Blowing Rock to Silvervale Falls: 10 miles (17 minutes)

Waterfalls near Boone Silvervale Falls

Silvervale Falls is another roadside waterfall not far from Blowing Rock. This slow and gentle waterfall stands at 70 feet tall.

From Blowing Rock, head 6 miles south from the Green Park Inn and turn right on the aptly named Waterfalls Road. You’ll see Silvervale less than 2 miles down the road on your left. There are some parking spots along the road, but you won’t find much traffic on this country road.

Read More: 100+ Wonderful Places to Visit in Western North Carolina

Waterfalls Park

Blowing Rock to Waterfalls Park: 22 miles (35 minutes)

Waterfalls Park Newland NC

Located in Newland, Waterfalls Park is an awesome double cascade falls you can mostly see from the bridge that sits in front of it. A little further outside Blowing Rock, this waterfall is one that we don’t think you should miss.

There’s also a little hike for you to get a closer view of the upper falls. There are several picnic tables, and the area is maintained by the Newland volunteer fire department.

Read More: Airbnbs in Boone

Big Creek Falls

Blowing Rock to Big Creek Falls: 65 miles (1 hour 40 minutes)

Things to Do in Burnsville North Carolina Big Creek Falls Roadside Waterfall

Big Creek Falls is technically a roadside waterfall that is in the northwestern reaches of Yancey County about 30 minutes from Burnsville. You can barely see it from the road, which is why we suggest you get out of your car (if you can) for a closer look.

A short, steep, and sometimes slippery descent down a rock stairway will take you to a better view of this gorgeous waterfall.

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

Hikes to Waterfalls Near Blowing Rock

These Blowing Rock Waterfalls are reachable after hikes that range from fairly short to pretty lengthy! For this section, we’ve indicated driving distance and trail lengths noted as either “round trip” or a “loop.”

  • Big Bear Falls (South Mountains State Park)
  • Carter Falls
  • The Cascades
  • Catawba Falls
  • Crab Orchard Falls
  • Crabtree Falls
  • Duggers Creek Falls
  • Elk River Falls
  • Gragg Prong Falls
  • Hebron Falls (Boone Fork Falls)
  • High Shoals Falls (South Mountains State Park)
  • Hunt Fish Falls
  • Laurel Creek Falls (aka Trashcan Falls)
  • Linville Falls
  • Otter Falls
  • Roaring Fork Falls
  • Setrock Creek Falls
  • Silvervale Falls
  • Stone Mountain Falls (Stone Mountain State Park)
  • Upper Creek Falls
  • Widow’s Creek Falls (Stone Mountain State Park)

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

Hebron Falls (Boone Fork Falls)

Blowing Rock to Hebron Falls (Boone Fork Trail): 10 miles (25 minutes)
Trail length: 5-mile loop

Boone Fork Trail

To reach Hebron Falls, you’ll need to hike the Boone Fork Trail. The trail starts at Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 25 minutes away from Blowing Rock.

The trail leads through diverse terrain, crossing its namesake Boone Fork River at many turns. Hebron Falls (Boone Fork Falls) is about 1.5 miles into the hike and is one of our favorite waterfalls near Blowing Rock to watch!

Read More: 20+ Delicious Restaurants in Boone for Your Next Meal Out!

Gragg Prong Falls

Blowing Rock to Gragg Prong Falls: 25 miles (51 minutes)
Trail length: 3 miles round trip

This is one of the most relaxing waterfalls near Blowing Rock, North Carolina. There are two waterfalls, Gragg Prong Falls and Middle Gragg Prong Falls. Both are worth visiting and offer nice views and swimming. The trail can be busy on holiday weekends, but most of the time, it is very peaceful. 

This hike has a lot of river crossings on this hike, so poles and water shoes are recommended. 

Read More: The 11 Best Places to Go Snow Tubing in North Carolina

Crab Orchard Falls

Blowing Rock to Crab Orchard Falls: 13 miles (26 minutes)
Trail length: 1-mile round trip

Boone Waterfalls Crab Orchard Falls

Crab Orchard Falls is a slow and serene waterfall that you’ll find yourself staring at for hours. It’s only five minutes away from the Original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, and the trail to Crab Orchard Falls starts at the Valle Crucis Conference Center.

At the end of this steep one-mile round trip hike, we hope you enjoy the cool mountain water.

Read More: 20+ Wonderful Things To Do In Banner Elk (Events + Food)

Otter Falls

Blowing Rock to Otter Falls: 13 miles (27 minutes)
Trail length: 1.2 miles round trip

Otter Falls is one of the most serene waterfalls near Boone and Banner Elk you'll find.

We’d be letting you down if we didn’t include Otter Falls, one of our favorite waterfalls near Blowing Rock. A 30-minute drive, away, Otter Falls is a collection of four short trails, including two loops. The falls can be viewed through a strenuous 1.2-mile round-trip hike.

The park, including all the trails, sits inside the resort community of Seven Devils, near grandfather mountain and funded by several donors from the community in 2015.

Note that the Yellow trail dead-ends at a non-existent overlook. With a quick change of elevation of 230 feet, you’ll be rewarded with a nice observation deck to view the falls.

Read More: Winter in Boone (20 Great Activities, Snow Tubing, and More!)

Hunt Fish Falls

Blowing Rock to Hunt Fish Falls: 32 miles (1 hour 10 minutes)
Trail length: 1.5-mile round trip

Hunt Fish Falls is another beautiful waterfall near Blowing Rock and one of the best swimming holes in the area, with some primitive campsites and a lot of space to hang out and enjoy the falls. 

You can choose to do this hike on a 1.5-mile out-and-back trail or continue past Gragg Prong Falls for 1 mile, and you can see bother waterfalls on the same hike! The trail is rated as moderately challenging but shouldn’t be a problem for people with at least some hiking experience. 

Laurel Creek Falls (Trashcan Falls)

Blowing Rock to Laurel Creek Falls: 20 miles (30 minutes)
Trail length: 0.15 miles round trip

Trash Can Falls Waterfall near Boone

Known as Trash Can Falls by App State students, due to the trailhead being marked by a dumpster, Laurel Creek Falls is one of the most popular swimming hole waterfalls near Boone. The trail is well-maintained and short at 0.15 miles, but it’s relatively steep.

When you reach the parking lot, cross the street for the trail. You may be a little confused when you arrive–so were we! We didn’t have service when we arrived and were a bit confused to see people wading in the stream next to the parking lot.

Seeing people walking from the trail across the road confirmed our suspicions that there was more to see.

Note: This waterfall gets very crowded throughout much of the year and sits on private property. If you visit, please be respectful of the next person who wants to visit and especially the people who live in the area.

Read More: 30+ Great Things to Do in Boone (Hikes, Eats, and More in App Town)

The Cascades (EB Jeffress Park)

Blowing Rock to Cascade Falls: 21 miles (32 minutes)
Trail length: 1-mile round trip

Waterfalls near Boone

Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway (MP 272), the Cascades is a 35-footer and one of the coolest waterfalls near Blowing Rock. When you see it, you’ll agree that this one is absolutely worth the short 1-mile loop you’ll follow to reach it!

The moderate Cascades Nature Trail starts at EB Jeffress Park, which has picnic tables and overlooks mountains and valleys below. And unlike most waterfall trailheads that we’ll mention in this guide, you’ll find plenty of parking, picnic tables, and restrooms.

Read More: The Best NC Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes

Upper Creek Falls

Blowing Rock to Upper Creek Falls: 26 miles (39 minutes)
Trail length: 1-mile round trip

Upper Creek Falls Pisgah National Forest NC

If you’re looking for a Blowing Rock waterfall that’s also a swimming hole, Upper Creek Falls is the perfect spot! This cascading waterfall drops 80 feet over a gradual slope and even has a rope for some Tarzan-esque fun.

Just be careful and don’t go alone as there is no lifeguard on duty.

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

Duggers Creek Falls

Boone to Duggers Creek Falls: 26 miles (39 minutes)
Trail length: 0.6 miles round trip

Duggers Creek Falls North Carolina Linville Falls

Linville Falls is next but we hope you don’t forget about Duggers Creek Falls. This waterfall is a short distance from the same parking lot and the Linville Falls Visitors Center.

The 10-foot waterfall sits in an alcove at the end of a short 3/10-mile hike.

Read More: 125+ Important Facts About North Carolina You Should Know (History, Geography, and More!)

Linville Falls

Blowing Rock to Linville Falls: 26 miles (39 minutes)
Trail length: Various trails but the most popular is 1.6 miles round trip

Linville Falls Burke County NC

One of the tallest waterfalls in Western North Carolina is just around 40 minutes from Blowing Rock. Linville Falls in Burke County is a 90-foot waterfall spilling over multiple tiers. It’s located in the Linville Gorge Wilderness area, also nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians.”

From the visitor’s center, there are three viewing stations to see the rushing falls. If it hasn’t rained and you’re a seasoned hiker, hike the Plunge Basin trail (1.4 miles) into the gorge for some great views.

While you’re in the area, drive the rough road that leads to Wiseman’s View for one of our favorite overlooks in all of North Carolina!

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

Elk River Falls

Blowing Rock to Elk River Falls: 32 miles (52 minutes)
Trail length: 0.5 miles round trip

Elk River Falls is one of the largest and most popular waterfalls near Banner Elk.

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

This waterfall near Banner Elk is a short 1/3-mile trail one way to the falls (2/3 mile round trip) with some steep steps and roots along the way.

However, the views are absolutely worth any trouble along the way. This waterfall is also the most dangerous of all we’ll mention in this guide. Please practice caution and never jump from the top.

Read More: Moses Cone Memorial Park in Blowing Rock (History + The Best Things to Do)

Tom’s Creek Falls

Blowing Rock to Tom’s Creek Falls: 43 miles (1 hour)
Trail Length: 1 mile round trip

Things to do in Marion NC Toms Creek Falls

A very kid-friendly waterfall near Blowing Rock is Tom’s Creek Falls. The 80-foot waterfall consists of two tiers that flow into the rocky riverbed below. This waterfall is also one of the few with an accessible trail and observation deck!

The trail is naturally surfaced, but it is wide and only has one uphill section that can be easily navigated by a wheelchair or jogging stroller.

There is an accessible viewing platform on the left side of the base. A short rocky climb to the right will allow you can dip your toes in the water!

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

Crabtree Falls

Blowing Rock to Crabtree Falls: 48 miles (1 hour 12 minutes)
Trail length: 2.6 miles round trip

Crabtree Falls NC

Crabtree Falls is an incredibly popular and photogenic waterfall and the first of a few Black Mountains hikes we’ll mention in this guide. The falls stand at 65 feet and rush over mossy rocks and fallen logs.

Located at milepost 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the 2.6-mile loop is considered difficult, mostly because of the rocky end to the trail. Regardless of the tricky spots near the end, we think the view from the bridge is worth as many photos as you can take!

Read More: Great Hikes near Asheville

South Mountains State Park (2)

Blowing Rock to High Shoals Falls: 53 miles (1 hour 17 minutes)
Trail Length: 2.7-mile loop

High Shoals Falls waterfall

Anyone who knows Burke County will agree that one of the best waterfalls in North Carolina not named Linville awaits inside South Mountains State Park.

  • The 80-foot High Shoals Falls is about a mile into a mostly steady hike that gets pretty steep near the end. Leading into this main event, you’ll also enjoy the streams that flow by. Another great part about this waterfall is that you have multiple angles to view, from the base to its top.
Big Bear Falls South Mountains State Park
Big Bear Falls.
  • You’ll pass intersections with the Hemlock Nature Trail, the 2.6-mile Chestnut Knob Trail (strenuous), the 0.2-mile Big Bear Trail (easy), and the 1.9-mile Headquarters Trail (strenuous) along this section. The Big Bear Trail leads to another waterfall, appropriately named Big Bear Falls.

Read More: 75+ Fun Day Trips from Asheville (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

Carter Falls

Blowing Rock to Carter Falls: 63 miles (1 hour 18 minutes)
Trail length: 1-mile round trip

Things to Do in Elkin NC Carter Falls

Thanks to the well-connected trail system in Elkin, there are quite a few ways to access Carter Falls. The shortest hike is from the Carter Falls Trailhead, a half-mile from the waterfall.

You can hop on the Powerhouse Trail and make it a mile-long loop back to the parking lot or backtrack via the Carter Falls Trail. However, the Powerhouse Trail will also take you by the equally stunning Lower Falls section.

Carter Falls is beautiful throughout the year, but it is easiest to view before and after the greens of spring and summer. That way, no tree cover will get in the way of your eyes.

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

Catawba Falls

NOTE: Catawba Falls will be closed from May 2, 2022, until Spring 2023 for trail improvements

Blowing Rock to Catawba Falls: 70 miles (1 hour 21 minutes)
Trail length: 3 miles round trip

Catawba Falls North Carolina Waterfalls

Catawba Falls in Old Fort made the cut here, even if many don’t consider it among waterfalls near Blowing Rock. It sits off I-40 and is one of many waterfalls inside Pisgah National Forest. Catawba Falls is a 100-foot-tall mossy waterfall that is worth the three miles round trip hike.

While the change in elevation is rather large (465 feet), the steady uphill makes this one manageable for most active people.

Read More: 75+ Great Hikes Near Asheville (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

Stone Mountain State Park (2)

Blowing Rock to Stone Mountain State Park: 63 miles (1 hr 25 min)

Waterfalls near Boone Widows Creek Falls Stone Mountain State Park
Widow’s Creek Falls.

There are two named waterfalls inside Stone Mountain State Park. The tallest is Stone Mountain Falls, accessible via the Stone Mountain Loop. The quickest way to reach it is from the Upper Trailhead Parking Area (0.2 miles away), but the entire loop itself (4.5 miles) is worth the trip.

We consider Widow’s Creek Falls to be the park’s most beautiful waterfall. It’s also a swimming hole and is just a short walk away from the parking lot. Crowds come early to enjoy this waterfall, especially on hotter days. We recommend you plan an early visit.

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

Roaring Fork Falls

Blowing Rock to Roaring Fork Falls: 55 miles (1 hour 25 minutes)
Trail Length: 1 mile round trip

Roaring Fork Falls near Boone Blowing Rock Banner Elk NC

Roaring Fork Falls is a wonderful waterfall near Burnsville in Yancey County. It’s only seven miles away from Crabtree Falls, making it easy to hike both (and the Setrock Creek Falls nearby) on the same day.

To reach Roaring Fork Falls, you’ll take more of a stroll than a hike. It’s a rather leisurely half-mile walk. The path remains mostly flat and paved, as it was once a fairly active forest service road.

The highlight of the walk is a 100-foot-long cascade that weaves along the rocks, framed by rhododendrons and greenery.

Read More: Hiking Roan Mountain via Carvers Gap (near Bakersville)

Setrock Creek Falls

Blowing Rock to Setrock Creek Falls: 58 miles (1 hour 33 minutes)
Trail Length: 1 mile round trip

Setrock Creek Falls High Country Waterfalls NC

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

You can enter the trail at the Black Mountain Campground, and follow a rather easy half-mile hike from there.

While the parking lot may be close to full when you arrive, the hike and falls are likely not to be as crowded. The campground also 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: 50+ Beautiful Waterfalls Near Asheville (Within 2 Hours)

Ready to Visit these Waterfalls near Blowing Rock?

I think that if you don’t answer that question with a resounding “yes!” we might begin questioning whether or not you love North Carolina as much as we do. And as always, we want to hear from you!

Which of these waterfalls near Blowing Rock would you visit first, if you’ve never been before? And if you’ve been lucky enough, which ones are your favorite?

Let us know in the comments or feel free to send us an email.

Don’t forget to share your Blowing Rock waterfall adventures in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group!

More Things to Do in Blowing Rock (and Nearby)

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