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10 Must-See Waterfalls Near Asheville

Looking for an adventure? Discover these breathtaking waterfalls near Asheville, NC, and experience nature at its finest!

Kerry Peters
KerryContent Marketing Manager
10 Must-See Waterfalls Near Asheville

Asheville is a bustling city tucked away in the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina. Known as the “Land of Waterfalls,” the North Carolina mountains are home to some of the best waterfalls in the country.

No matter which direction you take, hundreds of beautiful waterfalls are within a short drive from Wander Asheville Meadows. From twin waterfalls to swimming holes to challenging waterfall hikes, there’s a variety of waterfall chasing opportunities.

We’ve rounded up all of our favorite waterfalls near Asheville, so you don’t miss any of them!

1. Catawba Falls

  • Address: 3074 Catawba River Rd, Old Fort, NC

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 30 minutes

  • Trailhead: Moderate 2.7-miles roundtrip

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Catawba Falls is a popular waterfall hike along the Catawba River, just 30 minutes east of Asheville. The 2.7-mile day hike takes you from waterfall to waterfall as you make your way through a dense forest. Finally, you’ll reach the tall Catawba Falls and watch as it cascades over moss-covered cliffs.

The climb ascends 300 feet in total, making this the perfect hike for beginners, pets, and people of all ages.

2. Graveyard Fields

  • Address: Blue Rdg Pkwy, Canton, NC 28716

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 30 minutes

  • Trailhead: Moderate 3.3-miles roundtrip

Just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, Graveyard Fields is a dense forest full of wildflowers, rhododendrons, and mountain laurels. The three-mile moderate hike moves through lush trees, streams, and mountain views before reaching the upper and lower falls.

Both waterfalls feature multi-tiered cascades from towering cliffs. Between the dense forest and the cascading waterfalls, this popular hike is a must-visit while cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Pro Tip: Skinny Dip Falls, a series of waterfalls that end in a crystal-clear pool, is only one mile east of Graveyard Fields.

3. Dupont State Forest Waterfall Hikes

  • Address: Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC 

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 50 minutes

  • Trailhead: Moderate 4.5-miles roundtrip

If you want to get the most out of your waterfall hike, head to Dupont State Forest for a three-part waterfall experience. The forest is home to 86 miles of hiking trails and 10,000 acres of outdoor space.

The 4.5-mile waterfall hike starts at the Hooker Falls parking area, where you’ll have a short walk to Hooker Falls. Stop at the observation deck first to spot the 12-foot waterfall before heading down to the base of the falls for a swimming hole. 

About a half mile from Hooker Falls, you’ll reach Triple Falls. This massive waterfall features three cascades over a 120-foot drop. Another half mile later, you’ll find the largest waterfall, High Falls, towering at 150 feet. Three waterfalls on one hike? Sign us up!

Pro Tip: Bridal Veil Falls is another popular waterfall hike in Dupont State Forest you won’t want to miss.

4. Hickory Nut Falls

  • Address: Chimney Rock, NC

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 50 minutes

  • Trailhead: Easy 1.5-mile roundtrip

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Located in Chimney Rock State Park, Hickory Nut Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the area at a towering 404-feet tall. The waterfall is most famous for being featured in the 1992 hit movie The Last of the Mohicans.

The 1.5-mile roundtrip hike winds through beautiful forests, past native wildflowers and rhododendrons until it reaches the towering Hickory Nut Falls, then cascading over bouldering cliffs. The hike is pet and family-friendly.

5. Soco Falls

  • Address: U.S. Hwy 19, Maggie Valley, NC 

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 1 hour

  • Trailhead: .1-mile observation deck from Blue Ridge Parkway

Soco Falls is located just west of Asheville in Maggie Valley. The observation deck for this double waterfall is only .1 miles from the highway, making it an easy and rewarding waterfall hike. 

If you’re up for more of a challenge, scramble down to the base of the falls via a rope to get an up close look at the stunning waterfalls. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and practice precaution if choosing this route.

6. Crabtree Falls

  • Address: 39000 Blue Ridge Parkway, Marion, NC

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 1 hour

  • Trailhead: Moderate 2.7-miles roundtrip

Right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Crabtree Falls is a 70-foot waterfall cascading into a deep pool below. The 2.7-mile hike winds through lush forests full of scenic beauty before reaching the main attraction, Crabtree Falls.

This hike packs a punch in less than 3 miles, offering a moderate hike, cascading waterfall, and lush forest terrain full of wildflowers and rhododendrons.

7. Linville Falls

  • Address: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 316.4

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 1 hour

  • Trailhead: Moderate 2.2-mile roundtrip

Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the area. Linville Falls cascades 90 feet into Linville Gorge, a 12-mile river below. Two trails from the visitor center offer five different views of the waterfall, helping you choose which route to take based on accessibility and difficulty level.

The Erwins View Trail is a moderate hike featuring four overlook areas. If you prefer a more challenging hike, head to Linville Gorge Trail instead.

8. Looking Glass Falls

  • Address: US-276, Brevard, NC 

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 1 hour

  • Trailhead: .25 miles roundtrip

Looking Glass Falls is one of the easiest and most popular hikes in the area. Located in Pisgah National Forest, the .25-mile round trip hike leads to a tall, cascading waterfall framed by towering cliffs.

The waterfall is visible from the roadside viewing platform right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, making it easily accessible for people of all ages and needs. Stairs provide a short walk down for a closer look at the waterfall.

Limited parking is available, so be sure to arrive early if you’re visiting on weekends.

Pro Tip: Sliding Rock, a natural waterslide in Pisgah National Forest, is close by, so be sure to head there next.

9. Moore Cove Falls

  • Address: US-276, Brevard, NC

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 1 hour

  • Trailhead: Easy-moderate 1.2 miles roundtrip

Also located in Pisgah National Forest, Moore Cove Falls offers a longer trailhead for those looking to enjoy a waterfall hike. The 1.2-mile trail takes you through lush forests before reaching a 50-foot waterfall that spills from a massive cliff. Hikers can also enjoy viewing the waterfall from the base of the falls, right underneath.

This easy-to-moderate short hike is perfect for families and pets. The parking lot fills up quickly, so make sure to arrive early on weekends.

10. Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Hike

  • Address: 976 Grassy Ridge Rd, Sapphire, NC 

  • Distance to Wander Asheville Meadows: 1.5 hours

  • Trailhead: Moderate 3.9-mile roundtrip

Rainbow Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina. The hiking trail is located in the Nantahala National Forest near Gorges State Park, which is known for its rushing rivers, vibrant wildflowers, and lush forest.

Hikers begin in Gorges State Park and head toward Nantahala National Forest along the Horsepasture River. As the hike continues, the sound of the towering waterfall grows louder before it comes into view. The grand finale is a 150-foot waterfall cascading into a deep pool of water. When the sun hits it right, the waterfall creates a beautiful rainbow that gives it its name.

Pro Tip:  Head a little further into Cashiers, and you’ll find Upper Whitewater Falls, the tallest waterfalls east of the Rockies!

Enjoy Waterfall Chasing

It’s safe to say that Wander Asheville Meadows is the perfect landing spot to explore all of the waterfalls near Asheville.

Whether you prefer an observation deck viewing along Blue Ridge Parkway or a challenging day hike to reach cascading falls, the beautiful waterfalls of North Carolina await you.

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