20 Beautiful Waterfalls near Boone

Last Updated on September 28, 2022

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You’ll find some of North Carolina’s best waterfalls near Boone, at least that’s what we’ve uncovered after years of visiting this mountain town and its surroundings! We already know that some of the best hiking trails are in this part of the state, so of course

While there aren’t any waterfalls in Boone, there are more than 20 stunning falls within a 2-hour drive of Boone that we have uncovered for you. We think you’ll fall in love with these just as we have!

We’ll also include info, including trail distances, tips about roadside waterfalls, and more. Here’s how we’ve organized this guide to waterfalls near Boone, in case you’re searching for something specific:

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: 100+ Wonderful Places to Visit in Western North Carolina

Waterfalls near Boone Organization Note

For this article, these waterfalls near Boone 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:

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

Leave NO Trace Reminder

Leave no trace at these waterfalls so we can all enjoy them as you did. And if any of their parking lots are full (or approaching full), plan to visit another day.

Roadside Waterfalls near Boone

Green Mountain Creek Falls

Trail length: Roadside

  • Boone to Green Mountain Creek Falls: 16 miles (27 minutes)
Waterfall near Blowing Rock

Green Mountain Creek Falls near Grandfather Mountain is the first of the roadside waterfalls near Boone 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. 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

Trail length: Roadside

  • Boone to Silvervale Falls: 17 miles (28 minutes)
Waterfalls near Boone Silvervale Falls

Silvervale Falls is a great roadside waterfall just thirty minutes from Boone. It flows gently down a 70-foot cliff.

Silvervale is directly south of Boone on US-321. It sits 2 miles down on the aptly named Waterfalls Road. There are several parking spots along the road, but you won’t find much traffic on this country road.

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

Waterfalls Park

Trail length: Roadside

  • Boone to Waterfalls Park: 23 miles (34 minutes)
Waterfalls Park Newland NC

Located in Newland, Waterfalls Park is a double cascade waterfall you can mostly see from the bridge that sits in front of it. For a closer look at the upper falls, you can also hike up and to the left.

This is a wonderful area to sit and enjoy a picnic lunch near the base of the falls. There are several picnic tables, and the area is maintained by the Newland volunteer fire department.

Read More: Airbnbs in Boone

Waterfalls Hikes near Boone

These hikes from fairly short to pretty lengthy lead to some of the best waterfalls near Boone.

Glen Burney Trail (3)

Trail length: 3 miles round trip for all three waterfalls

  • Boone to Glen Burney Falls: 8 miles (16 minutes)
Glen Burney Falls is our favorite of all the waterfalls near Blowing Rock.

The Glen Burney Trail in Blowing Rock, which is about 20 minutes from Boone, will take you to three waterfalls. Its trailhead sits across from Annie Cannon Gardens, and you’ll descend for nearly 2 miles on an ancient Native American path.

The three waterfalls on this trail are:

  • Cascades Falls at 0.8 miles
  • Glen Burney Falls at 1.2 miles
  • Glen Marie Falls at 1.6 miles

They are all equally stunning, but if we had to pick one, we would recommend seeing the Glen Burney waterfall.

Read More: Delicious Blowing Rock Restaurants for High Country Travelers

Laurel Creek Falls

Trail length: 0.15 miles round trip

  • Boone to Laurel Creek Falls: 12 miles (19 minutes)
Trash Can Falls Waterfall near Boone

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

When you reach the parking lot, you’ll have to cross the street for the trail. Don’t worry if you’re confused, because we were too upon arrival. We didn’t have service and were confused about people wading into the stream nearby.

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

Trail length: 1-mile round trip

  • Boone to Cascade Falls: 16 miles (21 minutes)
Waterfalls near Boone

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

If you’re looking for a waterfall near West Jefferson, the Cascades is right in between the two towns. The moderate Cascades Nature Trail starts at EB Jeffress Park, which has picnic tables and overlooks mountains and valleys below.

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

Otter Falls

Trail length: 1.2 miles round trip

  • Boone to Otter Falls: 12 miles (22 minutes)
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 the best waterfalls near Boone. You’ll get to admire these falls in between a strenuous 1.2-mile round-trip hike.

The park is a collection of four short trails, including two loop trails. All sit inside the resort community of Seven Devils, funded by several donors from the community in 2015.

Note that the Yellow trail will dead-end to 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!)

Crab Orchard Falls

Trail length: 1-mile round trip

  • Boone to Crab Orchard Falls: 13 miles (26 minutes)
Boone Waterfalls Crab Orchard Falls

A slow and gentle flow makes Crab Orchard Falls one of the most serene waterfalls nearby. The trail to Crab Orchard Falls begins at the Valle Crucis Conference Center, which is only five minutes away from the Mast General Store.

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

Read More: Things to do in Banner Elk

Upper Creek Falls

Trail length: 1-mile round trip

  • Boone to Upper Creek Falls: 29 miles (40 minutes)

And if you’re looking for a swimming hole waterfall near Boone, 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 because there is no lifeguard on duty.

Linville Falls

Trail length: Various trails but the most popular is 1.6 miles round trip

  • Boone to Linville Falls: 29 miles (42 minutes)
Linville Falls Burke County NC

The tallest waterfalls in the area can be found about 40 minutes from Boone. Linville Falls in Burke County is known for its beauty and height and are located in the Linville Gorge Wilderness, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians.”

Starting from the visitor’s center, 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.

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: Things to Do in Morganton and Burke County

Elk River Falls

Trail length: 0.5 miles round trip

  • Boone to Elk River Falls: 30 miles (52 minutes)
Elk River Falls is one of the largest and most popular waterfalls near Banner Elk.

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

The views are worth any trouble you might encounter along the way. Bring your swimsuit, too, as this is a popular spot to hop in the cool mountain water!

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

Carter Falls

Trail length: 1-mile roundtrip

  • Boone to Carter Falls: 58 miles (1 hour 10 minutes)
Things to Do in Elkin NC Carter Falls

Elkin has an expansive and well-connected trail system, meaning there are multiple ways you can reach Carter Falls. However, the shortest hike is from the Carter Falls Trailhead, a kid-friendly 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 also-beautiful Lower Falls section.

Carter Falls is beautiful throughout the year, but it’s 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: 14 Delicious Restaurants in Elkin (+1 Great Cocktail Bar)

Stone Mountain State Park (2)

  • Boone to Stone Mountain State Park: 55 miles (1 hr 12 min)
Waterfalls near Boone Widows Creek Falls Stone Mountain State Park
Widow’s Creek Falls.

There are two named waterfalls near Boone inside Stone Mountain State Park.

  • The tallest is Stone Mountain Falls, which you can access while hiking 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 just a short walk away from the parking lot. Crowds come early to enjoy this waterfall, especially on hotter days. That’s why we recommend you please plan an early visit.

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

Crabtree Falls

Trail length: 2.6 miles round trip

  • Boone to Crabtree Falls: 51 miles (1 hour 16 minutes)
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 Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 339.5, the 2.6-mile loop is considered difficult, mostly because of the rocky end of 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

Catawba Falls

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

Trail length: 3 miles round trip

  • Boone to Catawba Falls: 64 miles (1 hour 28 minutes)
Catawba Falls North Carolina Waterfalls

Catawba Falls made the cut here, even if some may not consider it among waterfalls near Boone. It sits off I-40 and is one of many waterfalls inside Pisgah National Forest. This 100-foot tall mossy waterfall is absolutely 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.

Roaring Fork Falls

  • Boone to Roaring Fork Falls: 58 miles (1 hour 30 minutes)
Roaring Fork Falls near Boone Blowing Rock Banner Elk NC

Roaring Fork Falls is a wonderful waterfall that is also only seven miles away from Crabtree Falls, making it easy for those two (and Setrock Creek Falls nearby) on the same day.

To reach Roaring Fork Falls, the hike is more of a half-mile stroll. The path is 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

  • Boone to Setrock Creek Falls: 61 miles (1 hour 35 minutes)
Setrock Creek Falls High Country Waterfalls NC

Setrock Creek Falls is just down South Toe River Road from Roaring Fork Falls. The 75-foot rushing waterfall is accessible 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 is because 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: Colorful Fall Hikes in North Carolina (+ 20 Beautiful Places to Explore!)

Ready for these Waterfalls near Boone?

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 Boone would you visit first, if you’ve never been before? And if you’ve been lucky enough, which ones are your favorite?

More Things to Do in Boone (and Nearby)

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