Boone has many different waterfalls within a short distance from the heart of the city. In this article, we feature the top 12 that are all within a 1-hour driving distance from Boone NC. Three of these are roadside and require no hiking.
We also feature a bonus waterfall that while a bit of a longer drive, is well worth it, as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Below are our top picks for the best waterfalls near Boone and Blowing Rock NC. The falls are organized in alphabetical order, and the order does not indicate our preference, as they are all unique and beautiful.
Crab Orchard Falls
Crag Orchard Falls is about 30 minutes from Boone in Valle Crucis NC. The trail is a 1-mile round trip, moderate and steep. The trailhead is located near the Original Mast General Store at the Valle Crucis Conference Center. There is parking at the trailhead. The location is privately owned, but the Conference Center welcomes visitors.
From the parking area next to the Church of the Holy Cross, there will be a gravel road, follow it until you come to a sharp left switchback and resting bench. Take the trail that goes to the right and follow it down to the base of the falls. There will be signs to help you. A wooden boardwalk and series of steps will be along the last section, just prior to the falls.
Duggers Creek Falls at Linville Falls
Duggers Creek Falls is a small, but very interesting and beautiful waterfall located at Linville Falls NC. The trail to the waterfall begins at the Linville Falls visitor center and is about a 1/2 mile long roundtrip. From Boone NC, Linville Falls is about a 45-minute drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Duggers Creek Falls is very very unique looking as it is nestled back into some rocks. There is a nice bridge on the trail for viewing, and you can also walk and rock-hop to the base.
YIn the Linville Falls section, you can see the trail and waterfall in our Linville Falls video below.
Elk River Falls
Elk River Falls is located 54 minutes from Boone NC and is near Banner Elk NC. The hike is short and the falls are large, heavy flowing, and majestic.
The hike down is literally a 10-minute walk, which is 0.6 miles roundtrip. It is moderate in difficulty due to stairs, and few areas where you'll need to climb down (and back up). But overall pretty easy for most.
Elk River Falls itself is a 50-foot tall waterfall, nestled in a rocky cove that is heavily flowing. There is a large pool below the falls and a large rock that you walk out on to get great views and photos of the waterfall.
Hebron Falls (Boone Fork Falls)
The trailhead for Boone Fork Trail is located at Julian Price Park Picnic Area, at MP296.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Boone Fork Trail is a 5-mile long and strenuous loop trail that provides access to Hebron Falls, also commonly called Boone Fork Falls.
You do not have to hike the whole loop just to see Hebron Falls. Instead, you can hike out and back, for a distance of about 3.5 miles for both a shorter and easier hike (moderate in difficulty). To take this route, go right on the loop from the trailhead.
Hebron Falls is about 25 feet tall, and surrounded by very large boulders, offering numerous viewing and photography options.
Glen Burney Trail to Cascades Falls, Glen Burney Falls and, Glen Marie Falls
Located in the town of Blowing Rock NC, just south of Boone NC, Glen Burney trail is a strenuous 3.2-mile out-and-back trail that will take you to a historic site and 3 different waterfalls. The trail is considered by many to be a real "gem" as is very historic, dating back to the late 1800s.
The trailhead is located in Annie Cannon Park and travels along New Years Creek and into New Years Gorge. The trail begins as a wide gravel road, then drops steeply to begin a very demanding hike.
Your first destination is what locals call "The Ruins", at 0.4 miles. The Ruins are the remnants of the first modern sewage treatment facility in the mountains and dates back to the 1920s.
At mile 0.7 you'll reach The Cascades waterfall. At 1.1 miles, you'll reach a side trail to Glen Burney Falls (go right). At 1.5 miles, you'll reach Glen Marie Falls, the most beautiful and photogenic of the three.
Return the parking lot the way you came.
Green Mountain Creek Falls - Roadside
Green Mountain Creek Falls is a pretty 20-foot tall waterfall, that is roadside. While not as gorgeous and majestic as many other waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is still very nice, and easy to get to. There are pull-off areas on the sides of the road for parking.
When visiting, you'll often have the falls to yourself. Green Mountain Creek Falls cascades into a small pool, that you can stand next to and directly in front of the falls. The water then proceeds into a culvert and under the road.
This is a worthwhile stop for everyone and a great waterfall for those who cannot hike.
Our Waterfall Guides
See our full guides to more than 50 waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on our Waterfalls Page. Information, Directions, Photos, Video, and more!
Laurel Creek Falls
Laurel Creek Falls is located near Boone NC, and off-highway 321. Laurel Creek Falls is a very popular waterfall and swimming hole. The falls are near the roadside, and a short path from the parking area will take you to the lower portion of the falls. The path is very steep. The roundtrip hike to the waterfall is 0.3 miles.
The waterfall is locally known, especially by Appalachian State students as "Trash Can Falls". This waterfall and swimming hole is very popular with college students, and you'll see many hanging out here in the summer.
The waterfalls are nice, by viewing and photographing the entire falls is difficult. There is a short fall at the top, then the water flows through a small chute in the rocks, then empties into the base.
Linville Falls is the most popular waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and for good reason. The lower portion of the falls that flows into Linville Gorge is strong flowing, tall, and majestic.
Linville Falls itself is broken up into two sections the upper twin falls, and the larger lower falls. There are two separate trails to the falls from the main parking area and visitor center.
The most popular trail is Erwin's View Trail, featured in our video above. This trail will take you to the top of the falls, and the upper portion with the twin falls. You can hike further out for multiple scenic views from the upper portions of the gorge, offering incredible views of the gorge and the lower portion of the falls.
For those wishing to get up closer, and hike to the base of the falls, you can hike the strenuous Linville Falls trail.
A third waterfall is also located in the Linville Falls area, called Dugger's Creek Falls (mentioned above)
Silvervale Falls - Roadside
Another roadside waterfall is the 80-foot-tall Silvervale Falls, located near Blowing Rock NC.
Access to the waterfall is by parking areas right next to the falls. There is no hike, and the waterfall is visible from the road and parking area.
This is actually a really pretty waterfall, the only issue is it's often marred by graffiti which has to constantly be cleaned off. f you're lucky, you'll visit on a day when it's clean, and you can really enjoy it.
Otter Falls is located in the resort community of Seven Devils, and the trail system and observations deck was constructed in 2015 to make the falls more accessible to the public. From the trailhead, the falls are a short .6 miles from the trailhead, making the total hike 1.2 miles roundtrip.
Otter Falls itself isn't one of the most majestic waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it's still very pretty, especially when you consider the surrounding forest. The water gently flows over mossy rock, and into a pool below.
From the observation deck, the falls are easy to view and photograph.
Upper Creek Falls
Upper Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall, area, and swimming hole located about 40 minutes from Boone NC. The trailhead is located about 5 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Jonus community of North Carolina.
The trail is a 1.6-mile loop trail that provides multiple views and access points to Upper Creek Falls, and access to the swimming hole area, complete with a swing rope!
Upper Creek Falls is about 50 feet tall, that has a set of lower cascades popular for water sliding and swimming.
Waterfalls Park - Almost Roadside
Waterfalls park is a beautiful park, where three different waterfalls cascade down into the park. These 50-foot waterfalls can be enjoyed from picnic tables.
The waterfalls are accessible by a very short but steep walk from the parking area. However, there is a small parking area that offers roadside viewing of the lower cascades.
Crabtree Falls - Extra
Crabtree Falls is longer than an hour from Boone (but only by a few minutes), if you have time the hike and waterfall are well worth it. Crabtree Falls is, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The trailhead is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Crabtree Falls Recreational area (MP339.5). The hike is a loop, but you can do an out and back to the falls. The hike is 2.5 miles.
The waterfall is 70 foot tall and is a gorgeous cascade down the mountain surrounded by forest. The trail down is really nice as well. You'll definitely want to put this one on your list!