23 of the Most Beautiful Waterfalls near Brevard (Within 1 Hour)

Last Updated on May 24, 2021

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Brevard is 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 our 23 favorite waterfalls within a one-hour drive of this mountain town, why we think they’re so beautiful, and why you should visit them! We’ve also created a map to help you visually plan your journey.

For longer drives, check out our guide to waterfalls near Asheville! Also, if you’re searching for specific Western North Carolina waterfalls near Brevard, here’s how we’ve organized this guide:

  • Public Lands Waterfalls near Brevard*
  • Waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest
  • Waterfalls in Dupont State Forest
  • Waterfalls in Gorges State Park 
  • Standalone Waterfalls near Brevard

*Categories are bolded and followed by subcategories.

This post is part of our series that covers waterfalls in North Carolina.

Public Lands Waterfalls near Brevard

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.

Waterfalls near Brevard (Pisgah National Forest)

Looking Glass Falls

9 miles (15 minutes)

This image will hopefully convince people that Looking Glass Falls is one of the best waterfalls near Brevard.

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 best waterfalls in North Carolina!

Slick Rock Falls

11 miles (20 minutes)

Trail Length: Roadside or 2 miles round trip

Slick Rock Falls is pretty popular, even if on a separate road and tucked away from some of the other awesome waterfalls near Brevard.

You can see it from your car but as with most roadside waterfalls, you should definitely get out for a much closer look. This one is different because that closer look requires a hike.

This 35-footer cascades over a cliff and welcomes you to stand under, especially during hot days. The namesake slick rocks you’ll be standing on are worthy of caution.

Sliding Rock

11 miles (19 minutes)

Trail Length: A few hundred feet from the parking lot.

Sliding Rock Brevard NC Waterfall

Slide down this cold 60-foot rock face inside of Pisgah National Forest! Easily one of the best ways to cool off in the summer, families and young adults flock to Sliding Rock.

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 (17 minutes)

Trail Length: 1.5 miles round trip

Moore Cove Falls Brevard NC

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. 

Daniel Ridge Falls

13 miles (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. 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. 

Schoolhouse Falls

22 miles (35 minutes)

Trail Length: 2.5 miles round trip

Schoolhouse Falls in Panthertown Valley is one of the most popular waterfalls in Nantahala National Forest. 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. 

Waterfalls in DuPont State Forest (4)

12 miles (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.

Waterfalls in Gorges State Park (4)

20 miles (28 minutes)

Rainbow Falls Trail Length: 3.9 miles round trip

Bearwallow Falls Trail Length: 0.8 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park
Rainbow Falls.

Rainbow Falls sits just outside Gorges State Park but is only reachable from the park. This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Brevard.

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 especially used to be a sliding waterfall. 

Additional waterfalls in Gorges State Park include Bearwallow Falls, reachable via a 0.4 mile strenuous hike.

Standalone Waterfalls near Brevard

Key Falls

4 miles (8 minutes)

Trail Length: Roadside

Waterfalls Near Brevard NC Key Falls Image

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.

Bird Rock Falls/French Broad Falls (Mill Shoals) (3)

17 miles (25 minutes)

Trail Length: Roadside or 0.5 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Brevard NC French Broad and Mill Shoals Falls

This is one of our absolute favorite collections of waterfalls near Brevard! Located on the side of NC-215 (also part 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.

Upper Whitewater Falls

26 miles (36 minutes)

Trail Length: 0.5 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Upper Whitewater Falls

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. 

Skinny Dip Falls

24 miles (39 minutes)

Trail Length: 0.8 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Brevard Skinny Dip Falls

Skinny Dip Falls is the first of two Blue Ridge Parkway stops that lead to waterfalls in this guide. It is very popular for folks seeking a swimming hole during summer, so plan to arrive early if traveling then.

After you park at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway (MP 417), you’ll reach the three-level falls after a quick 0.4-mile hike. The walk toward the falls leads through a lovely scenic forest.

When jumping in Skinny Dip Falls, please don’t give in to the name and keep your swimming clothes on. Skinny dipping is neither allowed nor encouraged.

Graveyard Fields (2)

26 miles (43 minutes)

Trail Length: 2/3 mile round trip or 3.3 miles loop

Just down the Parkway from Skinny Dip Falls is the Graveyard Fields trailhead. The first waterfall of two on this hike is a short 1/3 mile and is easily the most recognizable.

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!

Pearson’s Falls

37 miles (54 minutes)

Trail Length: 0.5 miles round trip

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Pearsons Falls Tryon Saluda

Pearson’s Falls is part of a nature preserve east of Brevard in Polk County, between the mountain towns of Saluda and Tryon. The Tryon Garden Club manages Pearson’s Falls and Glen.

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.

Ready to Explore these Amazing Waterfalls near Brevard?

Brevard is the perfect spot for outdoor adventure and exploring! While you’re exploring the many nearby waterfalls, make yourself comfortable in some of our favorite Airbnbs near Brevard

Have you visited any of these beautiful waterfalls near Brevard? We’d love to know which are your favorites if so!

Also, if you’re interested in heading a little farther away, we also have great articles detailing waterfalls near Asheville and also, Boone, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk in the High Country!

More Waterfalls in North Carolina

More Things to Do in Brevard and Western North Carolina

2 thoughts on “23 of the Most Beautiful Waterfalls near Brevard (Within 1 Hour)”

  1. We never would’ve found Bird Rock Falls/French Broad Falls/Mill Shoals Falls last summer without these precise directions. It was our favorite! We came back three different days over the course of one week. Plenty of shallow spots for kids to swim and explore, even down at Bird Rock. There’s also a secret deep jump water hole in the middle of the French Broad Falls—shout out to the gutsy teenagers who led the way for these parents. Thanks Christina and NC Tripping!


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