10 Waterfalls to Visit Near Asheville, NC

Hooker Falls
Hooker Falls – Located in DuPost State Forest. The easy hiking trail has made it one of the most popular waterfalls in the area. From the main parking lot, use the trail to the right and follow the signs to reach the falls. The trail is about a quarter of a mile. Upon getting close to the falls, you’ll notice small observation deck. You can keep going about 100 yards to get a better view of Hooker Falls. Though it’s only 12 feet high, the water rushing down makes quite an impression, especially after some heavy rain. Please use caution if you decide to take a swim near the falls.
Triple Falls
Triple Falls – Also located in DuPont State Forest. You can visit Triple Falls after seeing Hooker Falls. From the main parking lot, walk over the bridge, to reach the trail. It’s about half a mile one way, but it will feel longer once you reach the incline. You will be able to see all three cascades from an observation point. Keep going just a little more, and you’ll see some wooden steps to the left which will take you to a flat area and you’ll be able to sit and relax for a moment to enjoy some beautiful falls. Please use caution, and also be aware there is no swimming allowed.
Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls – Located in Pisgah Forest, it is has become one of the biggest attractions in the area because of its easy access. Located right off the road on Highway 276 near Brevard, NC, and there are some steps you can take to get a closer look at the waterfall. Enjoy the view from the observation deck, or cautiously walk down to the water and enjoy a little swim. Looking Glass Falls is a beautiful sight, and it looks spectacular after some heavy rain. As always, please use caution if you decide to go for a swim.
Sliding Rock Falls
Sliding Rock – Located just up the road from Looking Glass Falls, it is a popular spot in the summer for swimmers of all ages. There is a small fee to enter during the summer, so keep that in mind if you decide to go. Sliding Rock gets extremely crowded on those warm summer days when everyone wants to cool down, but it’s a fun experience. There is a lifeguard on duty during the summer months. Always use caution when swimming at the falls.
Second Falls at Graveyard Fields
Second Falls at Graveyard Fields – Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mile Post 418.8. In the summer months, chances are you will see the parking lot filled with cars. Second Falls is an easy to moderate hike. From the parking lot, walk down the steps to the paved trail. Once you reach the river, cross the bridge and keep going until you see the dirt trail on the right. You’ll come to a long, steep set of steps. Once you reach the bottom, you’ll be able to see Second Falls. If you decide to go over the observation deck, please use caution as rocks can get slick. You can take a swim right below the waterfall, but please use caution there as well. The hike is about half mile one way.
Upper Falls at Graveyard Fields
Upper Falls at Graveyard Fields – Located in the same vicinity as Second Falls. If you’re hiking in the direction of Second Falls, take a left after crossing the wooden bridge and wooden trail. Be sure to follow the signs. One you reach the falls, it may not look like much if it hasn’t rained much. Use caution while walking over the rocks as they can be slick. Expect to hike over a couple of miles if you visit Upper Falls.
Eastatoe Falls
Eastatoe Falls – It’s a beautiful waterfall located in someone’s backyard. Please respect their property if you decide to visit. Conveniently, they have allowed people to park their car behind their house (you will see the sign). Located in Rosman, NC near Brevard, it is off Highway 178. Once you turn on Highway 178 from Highway 64, go about three and a half miles until you see a sign that says “Mountain Meadow” on the right side. Follow the driveway to the back of the house. Walk further back into the backyard and you will hear the waterfall.
Dry Falls
Dry Falls – Located off Highway 64 near Highlands, NC, this waterfall is amazing. It is a beautiful 75 foot waterfall. Once you reach the parking lot, walk down the long staircase and follow the walkway to the waterfall. You will be able to walk behind the waterfall! It is definitely a great experience, especially if you go after some heavy rain!
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls – Located in Gorges State Park. Rainbow Falls is near Sapphire, NC on NC-281. It is about a mile and a half hike one way, and it is moderate. The waterfall will be worth the drive and the hike. The 150 foot tall waterfall does not disappoint, and there is also an observation deck to get a closer look. Many people also swim near the waterfall, but always use caution as the rocks get slick and currents are tough after some heavy rain. You can also walk about a quarter of a mile up the trail to visit Turtleback Falls and take a swim up there as well.
Whitewater Falls
Whitewater Falls – Located near Gorges State Park and Sapphire, NC on NC-281, Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall this side of the Rockies. Once you get to the parking lot, please be aware there is a small fee ($2) per vehicle to park – this is to contribute to the upkeep of the park area. Once there, follow the paved trail about a quarter of a mile to see this magnificent 411 foot waterfall. Once you see the waterfall, you will also see a steep staircase to the right. Go down to get a better look. The steps are steep, and there are 154 of them! Unfortunately, you cannot get a closer look of the falls other than the one from the observation deck. For the experienced hikers, there is a trail near the observation deck which takes you to the bottom, but please use caution.
Photos & Blog Post by AskAVL Team Member Hugo G Photography. Find More Great Asheville Area Information on the AskAsheville Facebook Page!

6 Amazing Outdoor Spots in the Asheville Area

Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains – These mountains provide for a calm and amazing atmosphere. On a clear day, it is obvious where the name originates from. The Blue Ridge Mountains features many summits with plenty of trails to choose from.
Catawba Falls
Catawba Falls – Located only 20 minutes from Asheville, this waterfall is an attraction that is visited by many hikers. The trail is easy to medium. Because of the close distance, Catawba Falls has become one of the more popular areas in the last couple years. Be prepared to get your shoes wet as you walk over rocks to get across the river during the 3 mile round-trip hike.
Craggy Gardens
Craggy Gardens – This location provides a 360 degree view. Located off the parkway, and less than a mile hike each way, it is a great location to admire the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trail has a bit of an incline before reaching the top, but it is worth the breathtaking view you are given once reaching the top.
High Falls
High Falls – Located in DuPont State Forest, High Falls can be admired from the overlook on the trail, or continue to follow the trail as you cautiously walk over the rocks to get a closer look. It is a popular spot in the summer, but be careful as the rocks get slick when they are wet.
Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls – This waterfall get crowded in the summer because of the easy walk. You can park you car next to the road and walk down some steps to view the gorgeous waterfall. It is great location to take a swim on those warm summer days.
View From Mt Mitchell
Mt. Mitchel – The highest point this side of the Mississippi, Mt. Mitchell provides a stunning 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because of the elevation, the temperature is always much cooler than the lower elevations. Mt. Mitchell is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway.


-by Hugo G Photography

Western North Carolina Nature Center Visit … A Must!

There are so many fun things to do in Asheville, and only so many hours in a weekend to fit them. If you find yourself looking for a great way to spend a few hours outdoors, may I suggest a trip to the Western North Carolina Nature Center. 

Nestled in the trees off of Azalea Road, The Nature Center is a quiet and peaceful place to look at many of the animals who call the Southern Appalachians their home. They house over “220 animals who represent more than 60 species.”  From snakes and frogs, to wolves and cougars, to bears and otters, it really is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon.     I’ve visited the Nature Center twice in six months with my now three year old.  She doesn’t get bored because she gets to run and jump and look at really cool animals hanging out in their homes.  Our favorite exhibit is the Otter Habitat.  In her words, “Mom, they are so funny!”  

 The Amphibian Room is a really cool place to see the local snakes, turtles, and frogs. This exhibit offers a hands-on experience to feel the animal pelts and view the rocks and tree trunks up close.  

 The North Carolina Farm is a great place to get up close and personal with the farm animals.  The farm includes a section where you can pet the angora goats and sheep.  This area is monitored by a Nature Center employee and there’s plenty of hand sanitizer.  

Just a few tips on preparing for your visit: 

 There are hills. We live in the mountains so this is to be expected, but it is wheelchair friendly.  Parking Lot A is handicap accessible for those who need it.  There are plenty of spots to stop and take in the scenery if hills aren’t your thing.  To parents, I would suggest bringing a stroller. As energetic and excited as my three year old is, she still had spots where she became tired.  The first time I made the trip, I didn’t bring the stroller and I wished I had.  Also, the Nature Center is a great place to pack a lunch.  They

have a picnic area inside the center.  

I hope you enjoy your visit, and also hope you get to hear the white wolf howl!


Address: 75 GashesCreek Rd., Asheville, NC 28805,  (828) 259-8080

Hours: Open 7 days a week from 10am – 5pm.

Admission: Adults: $8, Kids (Ages 3-15): $4, Seniors (65+): $7

Website: www.wncnaturecenter.com

 *I took the information of hours and admission from the Nature Center’s website.  I would suggest visiting their website to make sure the prices and hours have not changed.*




Tracy Tanner is a Mom. Artist. Photographer. Lover of all things on and off the beaten path. Retired Roller Derby Queen, lover of Alice in Wonderland & Doctor Who.  http://www.writespeaksee.com