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Widow’s Creek Falls (Stone Mountain State Park’s Most Beautiful Waterfall)

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on May 28, 2024.

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Widow’s Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall located inside Stone Mountain State Park. Of the four named waterfalls in the park (including Stone Mountain Falls), we’ll argue that Widow’s Creek Falls is undoubtedly the prettiest!

With a pool, cascades, and plenty of space around it, the falls get pretty busy in the summer for sliding and picnicking. It’s also just a short walk away from the parking lot, making this a convenient stop.

Visiting this waterfall is perfect for all age groups, and inside this guide, we’ll share why, including driving directions to Widow’s Creek Falls, tips for visiting, and more things to do at Stone Mountain State Park.

If you’re looking for something specific, here’s how we organized things:

  • Widow’s Creek Falls Facts
  • Driving Directions
  • Tips for Visiting (When to Visit and Safety Tips)
  • More Things to Do In and Around Stone Mountain State Park 
  • Nearby Things to Do Outside the Park

Read More: 41 North Carolina State Parks Sites and How to Enjoy Them All!

Widow’s Creek Falls Facts

Address: Stone Mountain Road, Hays, NC 28635 (Google Maps Pin)
Official Trail Map

Widow's Creek Falls

Widow’s Creek Falls is a short walk (just a few hundred feet) from the parking lot. The main waterfall is about 25 feet tall and utterly stunning.

What makes this waterfall even more remarkable is that it empties into a small pool, followed by cascades that serve as a natural waterslide. The cold water runs over smooth rocks into a shallow pool before it trickles down a babbling brook.

It’s common for visitors to wade in the pool and slide down the natural waterslide.

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

Driving Directions

The most convenient way to reach Widow’s Creek Falls is from the Visitor Center side of Stone Mountain State Park. There’s another gate off of Longbottom Rd and while the ride from there is quite scenic, much of it is gravel.

From the Visitor Center, you’ll weave past several picnic spots and over a couple of bridges. The parking area for Widow’s Creek Falls is just past a bridge to the right. A sign will be visible for the waterfall.

From the parking lot, the waterfall is less than a mile away. You’ll hear the water crashing into a shallow pool loud and clear as you walk toward it.

Read More: Western North Carolina (and 100+ Wonderful Places to Visit)

Tips for Visiting Widow’s Creek Falls 

When to Visit

Widow's Creek Falls in Stone Mountain State Park

As we mentioned, Widow’s Creek Falls is very popular during the summer and warmer months. If you plan on visiting during this time of year, we recommend going early in the morning before it gets crowded. In the morning, the sun faces the falls, illuminating the already beautiful scenery.

Weekdays are also less crowded, though we’ve still seen people there as early as 9:00 am!

Another option is to visit during the winter, though the water is definitely too cold for a dip then. However, during winter visits, we’ve been the only ones there, even on weekends! It’s perfect for pictures and just relaxing.

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

Safety Tips

Lower Widow's Creek Falls

There are plenty of rocks to sit on and shallow areas below the waterfall for younger children to play in. However, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure a safe visit.

Even though sliding is a common activity here, keep in mind that no natural rock slide is entirely risk-free, so exercise caution while on wet rocks.

Having grown up with a kayaker father, I will always remind people to wear life jackets and helmets when in the water for utmost caution. However, I also recognize that isn’t always an option. Have fun, but be safe!

Read More: How to See Elk River Falls (Trail and Safety Tips)

Ready to Enjoy Widow’s Creek Falls?

We love visiting Widow’s Creek Falls and always look forward to our next visit, no matter the time of year. If you’re familiar with this waterfall, we’d love to know what you think of it!

Is it also your favorite at Stone Mountain Waterfall?

In case you’ve never visited, we hope you’ll check out this impressive waterfall. When you do, please feel free to tell us about your experiences at Widow’s Creek Falls. You can also share Widows Creek Falls photos and videos in our Facebook Group!

More Things to Do In and Around Stone Mountain State Park 

stone mountain with a field and child running toward the massive stone wall

The 4.5-mile Stone Mountain Loop is the most popular hike at the park. It’s known for its massive granite dome and amazing 200-foot namesake waterfall.

There are offshoots of the loop, including the Cedar Rock Trail (2 miles round-trip, Moderate), Wolf Rock Trail (3 miles round-trip, Moderate), and the Middle Falls/Lower Falls Trail (1-mile round-trip, Moderate).

Other popular activities at Stone Mountain State Park include fishing, picnicking, and, of course, camping.

We also consider Stone Mountain NC to be a nice day trip from Boone, which is why we’ve included it in our guide on High Country waterfalls.

More Things to Do Nearby

If you are looking for more fun after hiking, we recommend checking out the nearby towns of Wilkesboro and Elkin.

Wilkesboro (and North Wilkesboro)

There are so many things to do in Wilkesboro, from history to moonshine to music and beyond!

Wilkesboro and its neighbor, North Wilkesboro, both have a notable history of moonshining and music, but there is plenty more to explore!

You can rent a bike downtown and ride the Yadkin River Greenway or do some serious mountain biking at Cub Creek Park.

For an outdoor activity, check out Rendezvous Mountain State Educational Forest, complete with trails and beautiful mountain views.

Read More: Delicious Restaurants in Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro


Skull Camp Elkin NC

Elkin is shared by Wilkes and Surry counties and is located in the heart of the Yadkin Valley wine region. We’ll mention more on that shortly.

If you’re more of a beer person, check out Skull Camp. Enjoy some local beer with their delicious burgers or amazing smoked wings. Elkin also has an excellent trail system, with Carter Falls (0.4 miles round-trip) being one of our favorite hikes in the area.

Whatever you do, just don’t forget to stroll around Downtown Elkin. It’s where you’ll find great shops, even better places to eat, and the iconic Reeves Theater.

Read More: 25 Wonderful Wineries Near Asheville (Vineyards Within 2 Hours)

Yadkin Valley Wineries

Grassy Creek Vineyards Elkin NC
Grassy Creek Vineyard.

The Yadkin Valley is known for its numerous fabulous wineries, all of which we recommend checking out after your hikes.

Nearby McRitchie Winery and Elkin Creek Vineyard (along with Grassy Creek Vineyard) are a few of our favorite North Carolina wineries, not just in the Yadkin Valley. Those three sit along the Surry County Wine Trail, which hosts about 20 of the area’s wineries.

These three wineries are a few of many that happen to be kid-friendly, too!

Combining Widow’s Creek Falls with a winery is one of our favorite ways to enjoy a refreshing summer or a fall day!

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4 thoughts on “Widow’s Creek Falls (Stone Mountain State Park’s Most Beautiful Waterfall)”

  1. Please be careful here. I was there the other day and saw a gentleman fall and break his ankle. There was no cell service there or at the trailhead parking so I hopped in my car and went down the mountain as fast as I safely could to dial 911 then drove back up to tell the family that help was
    On the way. That took around 45 mins and it was another 45 till the ambulance came. So please please be careful. 3 points of contact when walking and use your booty! Slide down, get low when walking, and wear good grip shoes like keens


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