If you like waterfalls, then planning a trip to Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina should definitely be on your bucket list! With so many hikes to chose from and so many breathtakingly gorgeous waterfalls, what are you waiting for?
Here are some of my favorites, just to name a few:
This gorgeous 70-foot waterfall along the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Linville Falls, is accessed by a loop woodland hiking trail. An easier 3-mile hike to and from on the same trail with a steady descent and return climb. Or a more strenuous 3.5-mile loop trail that climbs a ridge above the falls. It’s a beautiful hike, complete with plenty of wildflowers.
This popular hiking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway has two waterfalls. Second Falls is just 1/3 mile walk from the Parkway. Upper Falls is on a four-mile loop trail in the mile-high meadow. The area got it’s name years ago from the tree stumps and surrounding trees that looked like grave stones in a graveyard setting.
Setrock Creek Falls is a hidden gem of a waterfall in the Pisgah National Forest at the base of Mount Mitchell. Take two one-mile roundtrip waterfall hikes, just a few miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland, Grassy Creek Falls is a multi-cascade waterfall. A gentle hiking trail takes you to a beautiful collection of cascades. It’s a two-mile round trip hike: a gradual descent to the falls, so a gradual uphill hike back.
Some General Western North Carolina Mountains Hiking Tips:
- Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Do research ahead and print instructions on hikes (since cell reception in the mountains is limited.)
- Go early to avoid crowds and heat, and to take advantage of daylight.
- Take extra clothes and rain gear, in case of a quick weather change.
- Wear layers and good hiking shoes.
- Stay on marked trails. Do not disturb any wildlife or plantlife.
- Take plenty of drinking water. Although it may be tempting, don’t drink from the streams.
- Take a cell phone in case of emergency. Coverage is surprising good on some mountaintops, although it is very spotty in valleys.
- Take hiking maps and snacks, especially if you are going on a longer trail.
- If you have an emergency along the Parkway, call 1-800-ParkWatch. Otherwise, call 911.
- Trail lengths can be misleading if the trail has a big elevation gain. We do have the highest mountains in the eastern USA.
- Dogs are allowed on most hiking trails (on a leash), except in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See Pet Friendly Asheville for more info.
- Follow principles of Leave No Trace.
For more tips and info on other trails, visit hikewnc.info.