With hundreds of North Carolina mountain waterfalls in the Asheville area, how do you choose which ones to see this fall? This year, the peak fall color for most of these waterfalls will come in mid October. See our NC Mountain Fall Foliage Guide for more details. Here are our top 20 waterfalls to enjoy in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, including along the Blue Ridge Parkway:
- High Falls & Triple Falls: A three-mile hike takes you to three waterfalls in DuPont State Forest. High Falls is a powerful 150-foot drop and Triple Falls was a film location for The Hunger Games. Nearby is Hooker Falls.
- Looking Glass Falls: This beautiful 60-foot waterfall is located on the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway between Brevard and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Linville Falls: The most photographed waterfall in North Carolina is on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take a 1.6-mile hike to enjoy a variety of views of the falls and Linville Gorge.
- Dry Falls: Walk behind this waterfall, located near Highlands. Nearby, drive behind Bridal Veil Falls.
- Sliding Rock: While this is a popular swimming spot in the summer, it’s a beautiful fall setting too with a 60-foot cascade in Pisgah National Forest, near Looking Glass Falls.
- Graveyard Fields: The popular meadow on the Blue Ridge Parkway features hiking trails to two waterfalls. Second Falls is just 1/3 mile from the parking area.
- Rainbow Falls: This 150-foot waterfall in the Nantahala National Forest is accessed via a hiking trail from Gorges State Park.
- Crabtree Falls: This beautiful 70-foot waterfall is along a 2.5-mile loop woodland hiking trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Upper Whitewater Falls: The highest waterfall east of the Rockies plunges 411 feet and is easily viewed via a short paved trail.
- Skinny Dip Falls: These cascades on the Blue Ridge Parkway are a “best kept secret” for fall color hikes.
- Pearson’s Falls: This 90-foot waterfall in a beautiful glen is located between Saluda and Tryon. It’s a must see if you are driving on I-26 to/from South Carolina.
- Soco Falls: This twin waterfall is easy to miss along busy Highway 19 between Maggie Valley and Cherokee since there are no signs for the small parking area. A short walk takes you to an observation deck.
- Deep Creek Waterfalls: See three waterfalls (Tom Branch Falls, Indian Creek Falls and Juney Whank Falls) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City.
- Mingo Falls: Located near Cherokee in the Great Smoky Mountains, this 200-foot waterfall is a short walk from the parking area.
- Hickory Nut Falls: This 404-foot waterfall in Chimney Rock Park was featured in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans.
- Catawba Falls: Hike 1.5 miles to the lower falls, a 100-foot cascade with best views in the winter months since leaves hide the top of the falls.
For details and other waterfalls, along with a waterfall tour map, go to www.romanticasheville.com/waterfalls.htm.