Last Updated on October 6, 2021
Last Updated on October 6, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
Brevard in Transylvania County a wonderful small town known as North Carolina‘s Land of Waterfalls, and just a short drive from Asheville. With beautiful mountains and dozens of trickling streams, there’s no wonder there are so many impressive waterfalls near Brevard.
In this article, we’ll list more than 25 of our favorite waterfalls within a one-hour drive (or just a bit longer) of this mountain town. We also include why we think they’re so beautiful, and why you should visit each one!
We’ve also created a map to help you visually plan your journey.
If you’re searching for specific Western North Carolina waterfalls near Brevard, here’s how we’ve organized this guide:
- Before You Go: Leave No Trace Reminder
- Waterfalls in Dupont State Forest (High Falls, Triple Falls, and More!)
- Forest Heritage Scenic Byway Waterfalls near Brevard (Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock Falls, and More!)
- More Pisgah National Forest Waterfalls near Brevard (Graveyard Fields, Schoolhouse Falls, and More!)
- Waterfalls in Gorges State Park (Rainbow Falls and Bearwallow Falls)
- Standalone Waterfalls near Brevard (Key Falls and Pearson’s Falls)
Before You Go: Leave No Trace Reminder
We would also like to remind you to leave no trace while visiting these waterfalls. North Carolina is absolutely beautiful, and we encourage our readers to pick up everything they bring to keep it pristine.
DuPont State Forest Waterfalls near Brevard
High Falls Access (aka Visitor Center): 12 miles from Brevard (19 minutes)
Trail Length: 1.2 miles, 2 miles, or 7 miles roundtrip
DuPont State Recreational Forest is only 20 minutes away from Brevard and is home to four beautiful waterfalls! Hooker Falls is probably the most accessible and boasts one of the best swimming holes in the region.
Triple Falls and High Falls are a moderate hike away, and you might recognize them from both The Hunger Games and the Last of the Mohicans. Those falls a big part of why those two movies were filmed in North Carolina.
If you’re itching for a longer hike, then Bridal Veil Falls is your best bet. You can reach it within a 2.2-mile hike or bike ride.
Forest Heritage Scenic Byway Waterfalls near Brevard
Many of the closest waterfalls near Brevard are found along US-276 and NC-215, which unite to form the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. They also lie within Pisgah National Forest.
Looking Glass Falls
9 miles from Brevard (15 minutes)
Looking Glass Falls is easily the best-known of our favorite waterfalls near Brevard. Sitting just off US-276, this waterfall in Pisgah National Forest is very accessible.
Visible from your car, you can also descend some steps to get up close and personal with the 60-foot cascade. It’s pretty easy to see why Looking Glass Falls is one of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls!
Sliding Rock Falls
11 miles from Brevard (19 minutes)
Trail Length: A few hundred feet from the parking lot.
Note that there is a $3 admission fee, and all risks are assumed by the individual. For those of you not interested in sliding, there are two observation platforms where you can watch the fun from!
Moore Cove Falls
10 miles from Brevard (17 minutes)
Trail Length: 1.5 miles round trip
Just up the road from Looking Glass Falls is Moore Cove Falls. It is an easy 1.5-mile round-trip hike that ends at a 50-foot waterfall.
What I love about Moore Cove is that the water is less powerful and instead seems to simply glide over the rock cliff into the small pool below.
Bird Rock Falls/French Broad Falls (Mill Shoals) (3)
17 miles from Brevard (25 minutes)
Trail Length: Roadside or 0.5 miles round trip
This is one of our absolute favorite collections of waterfalls near Brevard! Located on the NC-215 side of the Forest Hills Scenic Byway, we grouped French Broad Falls (Mill Shoals) and Bird Rock Falls together because of their proximity to each other
In fact, the latter two are literally attached to one another. Panning from the red building to the cascading water makes these waterfalls is one of our favorite memories!
You can reach Bird Rock Falls after a short half-mile hike.
Also, 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.
More Pisgah NF Waterfalls near Brevard
Many of these waterfalls sit between US-276 and NC-215, which is why they aren’t included as part of the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. However, they’re still protected as part of Pisgah National Forest.
Daniel Ridge Falls
13 miles from Brevard (24 minutes)
Trail Length: 4-mile loop
Also known as Tom Spring Falls, Daniel Ridge Falls is a 150-foot waterfall that can be reached by a 4-mile loop. As we mentioned, this is one of a few waterfalls between the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway’s two main roads.
This Brevard waterfall is often overlooked, but it makes for a very peaceful escape. Meander alongside the river for a total gain of 800 feet in elevation and enjoy the sounds of rushing water as you approach.
22 miles from Brevard (35 minutes)
Trail Length: 2.5 miles round trip
Schoolhouse Falls in Panthertown Valley is one of the most popular waterfalls in Jackson County. The trailhead to reach it (Cold Mountain Gap) is north of US-64, near Lake Toxaway and Cashiers.
While small in comparison to some of the other waterfalls near Brevard, Schoolhouse Falls has a shallow pool at its base. That makes this one perfect for an afternoon of splashing.
Graveyard Fields (2)
26 miles from Brevard (43 minutes)
Trail Length: 2/3 mile round trip or 3.3 miles loop
If you choose to continue onto the Upper Falls (3.3 miles), be warned that it’s not as easy to locate as the first one. However, the boardwalk at the beginning of the Upper Falls hike is a picturesque and popular spot for wild blueberry picking!
We are hopeful that Skinny Dip Falls nearby can make a recovery from the damage sustained from Tropical Storm Fred.
Gorges State Park Waterfalls near Brevard
20 miles from Brevard (28 minutes)
Rainbow Falls Trail Length: 3.9 miles round trip
Bearwallow Falls Trail Length: 0.8 miles round trip
It’s is an impressive 150-foot waterfall with multiple vantage points along the trail. A 3.5-mile out-and-back hike will take you past Hidden Falls, Rainbow Falls, and finally, Turtleback Falls.
Note that while it might be tempting to jump in the cold water, it is not recommended at either of the latter two waterfalls. Many injuries and deaths have occurred in recent years as Turtleback Falls especially used to be a sliding waterfall.
Additional waterfalls in our westernmost state park include Bearwallow Falls, reachable via a 0.4-mile strenuous hike.
Nantahala National Forest Waterfalls near Brevard
Upper Whitewater Falls
26 miles (36 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.5 miles round trip
If there is only one waterfall near Brevard that you travel for, Upper Whitewater Falls should be it! Earning the badge of the highest waterfall east of the Rockies (at 811 feet), Whitewater Falls is located in both North Carolina and South Carolina.
The “Upper” portion on the North Carolina side makes up 411 of those feet. It’s a dramatic multi-drop waterfall that’s an easy walk from the parking lot.
Descend 154 steps to a viewing platform for some spectacular views. Remember to stay on the trail—serious injuries have occurred when hikers have ventured off for different vantage points.
Also, parking for Upper Whitewater Falls is $2, so remember to bring cash.
Silver Run Falls
32 miles from Brevard (48 minutes)
Trail Length: 1,000 feet round trip
Silver Run Falls is a beautiful 25-foot waterfall in Jackson County, just a few miles south on NC 107 from Cashiers. It’s one of the trickiest waterfalls near Brevard to reach, largely because of the limited parking available.
Once you get out of your vehicle, though, a short 500-foot walk will take you to an excellent pool. There’s plenty of space in front of the pool, which is why Silver Run Falls is the perfect swimming hole and picnic spot.
If the sun is out, look down below and you’ll see the shining flecks of mica down in the water.
40 miles from Brevard (1 hour 6 minutes)
Dry Falls is the first exception we’ll make for waterfalls near Brevard that are a little more than one hour’s drive.
This is a special waterfall because you can actually walk behind Dry Falls. Just follow the quarter-mile kid-friendly trail for a look from underneath. It really is a wonderful experience.
The waterfall itself plunges 65 feet into the river below. We visit a visit to Dry Falls is definitely one of the best things to do in North Carolina!
More Waterfalls near Brevard
4 miles from Brevard (8 minutes)
Trail Length: Roadside
A truly hidden gem, Key Falls is only 4 miles from Downtown Brevard! Located on private property at the Key Falls Inn, this little cascade is absolutely beautiful. Cell service can be spotty in this area, so here are some directions for you:
- From Brevard, you’ll head out on US-64 East for 3.5 miles.
- You’ll then turn right on Crab Creek Rd and travel for another 1.5 miles.
- Turn right 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.
- You have 2 options here. 1) Either turn at the gravel road prior to the entrance and drive 0.2 miles to the falls. 2) You can turn into the Inn’s driveway, park, and walk the short path to the falls.
Please remember to be respectful of the guests staying at the Inn, as well as the owners, as they have graciously let visitors enjoy their waterfall.
We visited while staying at the Pines Country Inn, which is a wonderful spot in Pisgah Forest.
37 miles (54 minutes)
Trail Length: 0.5 miles round trip
The land includes a deciduous climax forest (hence the “Glen”), spring-fed streams, and a short hike that leads to the gorgeous namesake 90-foot waterfall.
A small admission fee is required to enter, but your money goes toward maintenance and future conservation efforts.
Hickory Nut Falls (inside Chimney Rock State Park)
37 miles from Brevard (1 hour 2 minutes)
Trail Length: 2.8 miles round trip
If not for Upper Whitewater Falls, the 404-foot tall Hickory Nut Falls would be North Carolina’s tallest waterfall. Regardless, this is still worth the drive from Brevard.
You can start the hike to Hickory Nut Falls in a couple of different places. We combine it with a hike up to the Chimney Rock itself, with the option of continuing on the Exclamation Point Trail (0.6-mile loop) and the Skyline Trail.
Keep in mind that the Skyline Trail will take you to the top of the waterfall, but there’s no view of it from there.
You can skip those additions and simply hike to the base of Hickory Nut Falls via the Hickory Nut Falls Trail. It’s 2.8 miles round trip and gets busy, so like the rest of these waterfalls near Brevard, try to arrive as early as possible.
Ready to Explore these Amazing Waterfalls near Brevard?
Have you visited any of these beautiful waterfalls near Brevard? We’d love to know which are your favorites if so!