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25+ Beautiful Waterfalls near Boone (within 2 Hours)

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on February 25, 2024.

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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 the waterfalls will be special, too.

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. That includes waterfalls near Blowing Rock and a few in the small town, and also, waterfalls near Banner Elk.

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, NC, in case you’re searching for something specific:

  • Before You Visit
    • Safety
    • Leave No Trace Reminder
  • List of Waterfalls near Boone (ABC Order)
  • Roadside Waterfalls near Boone (from shortest to longest distance from Boone)
  • Waterfall Hikes near Boone (from shortest to longest distance from Boone)

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.

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

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

Before You Visit these Waterfalls near Boone

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


  • 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 of these waterfalls. It may also seem like a good idea to venture to the top, 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 Boone.

Leave NO Trace Reminder

Leave no trace at these waterfalls so we can all enjoy them as you did. You can even help out by bringing a grocery bag of your own and picking up any trash that you see!

List of Waterfalls near Boone, North Carolina

For this article, these waterfalls near Boone, 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)
  • Tom’s Creek Falls
  • Upper Creek Falls
  • Waterfalls Park
  • Widow’s Creek Falls (Stone Mountain State Park)

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

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

Roadside Waterfalls near Boone, NC

These roadside waterfalls near Boone are among our absolute favorites, so don’t discount them because of the relative ease of reaching each one.

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

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

Green Mountain Creek Falls

Boone to Green Mountain Creek Falls: 16 miles (27 minutes)

Waterfall near Blowing Rock

Green Mountain Creek Falls is one of our favorite waterfalls 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

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

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

Big Creek Falls

Boone to Big Creek Falls: 67 miles (1 hour 35 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. We say “technically” because you can barely see the waterfall from the road during warmer months.

That’s 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 rocky stairway will take you to a better view of this gorgeous waterfall.

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

Waterfalls Hikes near Boone

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

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

Glen Burney Trail (3)

Boone to Glen Burney Falls: 8 miles (16 minutes)
Trail length: 3 miles round trip for all three waterfalls

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

Boone to Laurel Creek Falls: 12 miles (19 minutes)
Trail length: 0.15 miles round trip

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

Boone to Cascade Falls: 16 miles (21 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 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

Boone to Otter Falls: 12 miles (22 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, another one of the best waterfalls near Grandfather Mountain. 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!)

Hebron Falls

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

Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes Boone Fork Trail

Boone Fork Trail is an almost 5-mile loop that starts at Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 25 minutes away from Boone. 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 favorites to watch!

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

Crab Orchard Falls

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

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

Boone to Upper Creek Falls: 29 miles (40 minutes)
Trail length: 1-mile round trip

Upper Creek Falls Pisgah National Forest NC

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.

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

Duggers Creek Falls

Boone to Duggers Creek Falls: 29 miles (42 minutes)
Trail length: 3/10-mile

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

Linville Falls

Boone to Linville Falls: 29 miles (42 minutes)
Trail length: Various trails but the most popular is 1.6 miles round trip

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

Boone to Elk River Falls: 30 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 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!)

Tom’s Creek Falls

Boone to Tom’s Creek Falls: 46 miles (1 hour 5 minutes)
Trail Length: 1 mile round trip

Things to do in Marion NC Toms Creek Falls

Another kid-friendly waterfall near Boone 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)

Carter Falls

Boone to Carter Falls: 58 miles (1 hour 10 minutes)
Trail length: 1-mile roundtrip

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)
Trail length: 0.2 miles to Stone Mountain Falls and 200 to 300 feet to Widow’s Creek Falls

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

Boone to Crabtree Falls: 51 miles (1 hour 16 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 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

South Mountains State Park (2)

Boone to South Mountains State Park: 58 miles (1 hour 25 minutes)

High Shoals Falls waterfall
High Shoals Falls.

Two of our favorite waterfalls near Boone are inside South Mountains State Park near Morganton.

  • Hiking the High Shoals Falls Loop Trail is one of the most popular things to do in South Mountains State Park and is usually what many people do first. That’s primarily because of the 80-foot waterfall reward, and this being is one of the shortest trails in the entire park.

Read More: 25+ Amazing Restaurants in Morganton and Nearby! (Map Included!)

Big Bear Falls South Mountains State Park
Big Bear Falls.
  • The even shorter 0.2-mile Big Bear Trail is an offshoot of the High Shoals Falls Trail. It leads to the appropriately named Big Bear Falls which is a nice diversion from the main event.

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

Catawba Falls

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

Boone to Catawba Falls: 64 miles (1 hour 28 minutes)
Trail length: 3 miles round trip

Catawba Falls North Carolina Waterfalls

Catawba Falls in Old Fort made the cut here, even if some may not consider it among waterfalls near Boone NC. 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.

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

Roaring Fork Falls

Boone to Roaring Fork Falls: 58 miles (1 hour 30 minutes)
Trail length: 1 mile roundtrip

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)
Trail length: 1-mile roundtrip

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 (Travel Guides)

Beyond these amazing waterfalls near Boone, you’ll find a plethora of attractions. These NC travel guides have you covered for the High Country and beyond!

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