NORTH CAROLINA WATERFALLS
Pearson’s Falls (Map)
2720 Pearson Falls Road, Saluda, NC 28773 | Phone: 828-749-3031
Pearson’s Falls and Glen is the top natural attraction in Polk County, NC, (and one of our favorite waterfalls), hosting over 20,000 visitors each year. It is located in the foothills of Western North Carolina off Hwy. 176, between the towns of Tryon and Saluda, and not far from Flat Rock and Hendersonville. This unique botanical preserve is comprised of 268 acres of rich cove forest, granite, spring-fed streams, and a moderate 1/4 mile trail to a beautiful 90 ft. waterfall. Pearson’s Falls and Glen has over 200 species of rare wildflowers and plants that bloom mainly in the spring months, but there is always something blooming in summer and fall. Mosses, lichens, shrubs, and a variety of trees reside in this Glen, which is classified as a deciduous climax forest. Pearson’s Falls is a perfect stop when visiting the area, with picnic facilities that can accommodate small groups and cyclists. To learn more about Pearson’s Falls and Glen, check out their website or Facebook page.
Dry Falls is one of the most beautiful and exciting waterfalls in Western North Carolina, and one of the most easily accessible. It’s a short hike from the parking area to the observation deck, but to really enjoy this magnificent 65′ waterfall, walk down the well-maintained path and go directly behind the powerful falls. Dry Falls is located northwest of Highlands, North Carolina in the Nantahala National Forest, about a mile past Bridal Veil Falls on Highway 64.
Bridal Veil Falls (Map)
US 64, near Highlands, NC
Bridal Veil Falls is very convenient, right next to US Highway 64 about 2 1/2 miles north of Highlands, North Carolina. Visitors can drive underneath this falls on a paved driveway under the 50′ waterfall (it’s the only waterfall in North Carolina that you can drive your vehicle under). The falls is on a tributary of the Cullasaja River through the Nantahala National Forest. There is a parking area on the side of the road, where visitors can park and view the falls as well. Highway 64 used to go behind the falls so that all vehicles went behind them, but winter icing forced the re-routing of Hwy. 64 in front of the falls. A huge boulder fell on the left side of the falls in 2003, blocking the drive-under completely, but in 2007 the boulder was removed by a local developer.
Publisher’s Note: The list of Blue Ridge Mountain waterfalls below is not exhaustive. Instead, we have included waterfalls that are fairly easy to visit. There are hundreds of additional waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains that are not accessible on well-marked or maintained trails, and many that are miles away from civilization. Also, we have not had the opportunity to visit all of the waterfalls below, but instead compiled the list by researching a variety of hiking club websites and state and county travel bureaus. Please visit each link to be sure the falls are open to the public during your visit. Also, climbing on rocks above and around waterfalls can be extremely dangerous. Please use caution!
NORTH CAROLINA WATERFALLS
Courthouse Creek Falls (Map)
Courthouse Creek flows through a narrow chute into a natural amphitheater of bedrock near Devil’s Courthouse Mountain in the Pisgah National Forest. Courthouse Creek Falls is approximately 40′ high and accessible by hiking 4/10-mile on a moderately difficult trail.
Crabtree Falls (Map)
Crabtree Falls is a 70′ waterfall located about 45 miles north of Asheville, NC, in the Crabtree Falls & Meadows Recreation Area at Milepost 339.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The falls are accessible by hiking the 3 mile trail from the recreation area.
Cullasaja Falls (Map)
Cullasaja Falls is a 2/10-mile cascade of waterfalls that drop 200′, according to Kevin Adams’ book, North Carolina Waterfalls. The falls can be seen from U.S. Hwy. 64. It’s difficult and unsafe to reach the falls from the small parking area, because you must walk along the busy highway.
Eastatoe Falls/Twin Falls (Map)
Eastatoe Falls drop approximately 200′ in 1/4 mile on Shoal Creek in the Pisgah National Forest. The waterfall is on private property, however the owners do allow access. Parking is available between the residence and store.
Linville Falls (Map)
Linville Falls is a 90′ three-tiered waterfall located about 65 miles north of Asheville, North Carolina, on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Milepost 316.4. The round trip hike from the parking area is about 1.5 miles.
Looking Glass Falls (Map)
Looking Glass Falls is a 60′ waterfall conveniently located on U.S. Hwy. 276 near Brevard, North Carolina, about 35 miles from Asheville. An easily accessible observation deck and stairs to the base of the falls are only a few feet from the parking area.
Mingo Falls aka Big Bear Falls (Map)
Mingo Falls drops about 200′ over granite boulders and is very impressive after a big rain. The waterfall is located five miles from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Big Cove Road. The 1/4-mile hike to the falls follows a rushing stream and includes more than 150 steps to a viewing bridge at the base of the waterfall.
Moore Cove Falls (Map)
Moore Cove Falls is located on Moore Creek on a moderate-difficulty ¾-mile trail in the Pisgah National Forest. The waterfall flows over a bluff that lets visitors walk behind the falls.
Rainbow Falls (Map)
Rainbow Falls is a 150′ waterfall that visitors can see from the front, bottom, side, and top. The waterfall is located in the Pisgah National Forest, next to Gorges State Park, in Sapphire, North Carolina, near Lake Toxaway.
Skinny Dip Falls (Map)
Skinny Dip Falls is a small but attractive waterfall and swimming hole located off of the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Looking Glass overlook and milepost 417. (No, you can’t legally skinny dip, so just fuhgedabowdit!)
Sliding Rock Falls (Map)
Sliding Rock Falls is an extremely popular 60′ natural water slide located north of Brevard on U.S. Hwy. 276. The recreation area is open with staff from Memorial Day to mid-August. There are two observation decks and public restrooms.
Turtleback Falls aka Umbrella Falls (Map)
Turtleback Falls, also called Umbrella Falls, is located near Brevard, North Carolina, on the Horsepasture River in the Pisgah National Forest. The falls is accessible from Gorges State Park and is a popular place for swimming and sliding during low water.
There are several waterfalls in the mountains where Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina meet. Upper Whitewater Falls (Map) is located near Cashiers, North Carolina, on the Whitewater River. Upper Whitewater Falls drops over 411′. Lower Whitewater Falls (Map) is located just across the border in South Carolina, and it drops another 400′.
SOUTH CAROLINA WATERFALLS
Carrick Creek Falls at Table Rock Park (Map)
Carrick Creek Falls is a 15′ waterfall located on a 2 mile trail loop that offers some terrific views of Table Rock State Park. The trail starts at the Carrick Creek Nature Center.
Hidden Falls at Oconee State Park (Map)
Hidden Falls is a 50′ waterfall on a 2-mile trail in Oconee State Park. Hidden Falls has several rock benches to sit and enjoy the view while hanging your feet in the creek.
Issaqueena Falls at Stumphouse Tunnel Park (Map)
Isaqueena Falls is a 100′ waterfall located near Walhalla, South Carolina, in the Oconee District of the Sumter National Forest. The hike to Issaqueena Falls is only about 300’ down a graveled path.
Kings Creek Falls (Map)
Kings Creek Falls is a 70′ waterfall near Long Creek, South Carolina, in the Oconee District of the Sumter National Forest off a short spur from the Foothills Trail. Kings Creek is a tributary of the Chattooga River.
Twin Falls (Map)
Twin Falls is a 75′ waterfall that is also known as Reedy Cove Falls, Rock Falls, or Eastatoe Falls. It is an an easy 1/4 mile hike on a trail that crosses through a private nature preserve that is open to the public.
Anna Ruby Falls (Map)
Anna Ruby Falls is a pair of waterfalls (50′ and 150′) located north of Helen, Georgia, in Unicoi State Park. There are two viewing platforms accessible from a paved trail. The Anna Ruby Falls Scenic Area is a 1,600-acre area that is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest.
Duke Creek Falls (Map)
Duke Creek Falls, in White County, near Helen, Georgia, is a 150′ waterfall on a 2 mile trail with beautiful views. There are multiple waterfalls at the trail’s end that cascade over a high cliff.
Helton Creek Falls (Map)
Helton Creek Falls is a 120′ waterfall near Vogel State Park and Alpine Helen, Georgia. The waterfall is on a 1/2-mile trail Chattahoochee National Forest in Union County, Georgia.
Long Creek Falls (Map)
Long Creek Falls is a 50′ waterfall on the Appalachian Trail near Springer Mountain. The falls are located in Chattahoochee National Forest near Three Forks, and are accessible from the Appalachian Trail, the Benton MacKaye Trail, and the Duncan Ridge Trail.
Minnehaha Falls (Map)
Minnehaha Falls is a 100′ waterfall with a 1/2-mile round-trip hike near Lake Rabun. Located on Falls Creek in Rabun County, Georgia, and the Chattooga River Ranger District of the Chattahoochee National Forest.