Over the past year, we’ve had a few spare moments to sneak out of the Inn and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the natural wonders of Western North Carolina. Without a doubt, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is “where can we see some waterfalls?”. While we have many more on our list to check out, we had the chance to visit some truly spectacular waterfalls in this area and we’ve compiled a list with pictures of our favorites. Most these are within 45 minutes from the Inn. Even though a couple waterfalls are a bit further away, the drive to all of them is scenic and relaxing through our country roads and highways.
At the end of of our list, we’ve also included a link to a great article from the Blue Ridge Parkway Association with all the waterfalls you can find along the parkway (FYI, the Andon-Reid is closest to the Highlands, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pisgah regions of the BRP). Without further ado, here are the falls we regularly recommend to our guests:
Soco Falls – Maggie Valley – 15 Minutes from the Inn
A short drive from the Inn on Soco Road in Maggie Valley, Soco Falls is a very approachable and beautiful waterfall near the road. The path is a bit tricky and can be slippery if it has been raining, but it’s only a short downhill walk to a viewing platform. More adventurous folks can trek a bit further down below the viewing platform to get a lower view of the falls.
Deep Creek Three Waterfalls Trail – Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Deep Creek Area – 45 Minutes from the Inn
Right on the edge of the Smokies, this is a great trail to pair with a day exploring Bryson City. A popular trail, it is well-maintained and features three different waterfalls and is a relatively easy hike. The walk along the river and the gorge is just a wonderful afternoon hike.
Dry Falls – Nantahala National Forest near Highlands, NC – 1 Hour from the Inn
Dry Falls might just be our favorite waterfall in the area. While the drive to get there is a bit curvy and narrow, the payoff is worth it. Just a short hike down a few stairs to get to a roaring waterfall that you can walk completely behind! And on the way there or back, you can drive under another waterfall right along the road: Bridal Veil Falls! 2 for 1!
High Falls – Near Lake Glenville North of Cashiers – 45 Minutes from the Inn
If you are up for a bit more strenuous hike, we promise you that it will be worth it when you trek to see High Falls near Lake Glenville. The hike starts down and you have to navigate some pretty rocky and steep parts of the trail, but when you get down to the falls, the reward is sublime! These falls are truly gorgeous and well worth the steep hike back up to the parking area.
Triple Falls – Dupont State Forest – 1 hour from the Inn
If you are a fan of the Hunger Games movie franchise, we would definitely recommend heading over the Dupont State Forest to check out Triple Falls. A few of the scenes from the first Hunger Games movie were shot in the Dupont State Forest. Once you see the falls, you will surely recognize which scenes were shot there. Fair warning, on busy weekends, parking can be very tricky so we recommend either going early or going mid-week to minimize any issues related to parking at this very popular attraction.
Moore Cove Falls – Near Brevard, NC – 45 Minutes from the Inn
Another waterfall that you can walk completely behind! This one is at the end of a relatively easy hike and is a very unique waterfall that flows over a cave. it can be slippery to navigate to the area where you can walk behind the falls, but it is worth it for sure. This hike is also near the famous Sliding Rock, which is a fun spot to check out and witness one of the area’s all natural waterslides!
Graveyard Fields – 45 Minutes from the Inn
In the fall, Graveyard Fields is one of the best places to be to view the spectacular fall foliage. It also offers a relatively flat set of hikes to two waterfalls. For an easier outing, we recommend the short walk to the Lower Falls versus the longer route to the Upper Falls.
Full Day Waterfall Loop Driving Tours
If you are up for a full day of driving our area exploring waterfalls, we recommend the following loops which will take you full circle out and back to the Inn. One is longer than the other and one utilizes the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Highlands / Brevard Loop:
Take Route 74 Towards Sylva, then get on Route 23 towards Franklin. At Franklin, take Route 64 Towards Highlands. Explore Highlands and Cashiers and stay on route 64 through Brevard. Take Route 276 North all the way back to Waynesville (Route 276 is Pigeon Street which intersects Main Street). This is a full day of driving, but there are plenty of good hikes, gorgeous waterfalls, and really unique small towns to explore along the way like Sylva, Dillsboro, Franklin, Highlands, Cashiers and Brevard.
Blue Ridge Parkway Loop:
Take Route 74 Towards Sylva, but take the exit for the Blue Ridge Parkway right on the outskirts of Waynesville. Take the Blue Ridge parkway south/east heading towards Asheville. Explore all the overlooks and waterfalls along the BRP and then head north on Route 276. Take Route 276 North all the way back to Waynesville (Route 276 is Pigeon Street which intersects Main Street).
We hope you take the chance to explore all the wonders of Western North Carolina and that we see you at the Inn some time soon!