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12+ Best Waterfalls Near Boone NC

Boone NC is a popular Blue Ridge Mountain travel destination for many reasons, including modern city conveniences, a historic downtown, Appalachian State University, and easy access to many outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, the Blue Ridge Parkway, cascades, swimming holes and our favorite, waterfalls.

Boone has many waterfalls within a short distance from the heart of the city, making for easy visitor access.

In this guide, we highlight the best waterfalls near Boone, all within a 1-hour driving distance. Three waterfalls are roadside and require no hiking at all. Many of these waterfalls are great for those looking for a crisp and cool mountain swim near Boone NC as well.

We also feature a bonus waterfall at the end, that while a bit of a longer drive, is well worth it and one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Let's discover all the exceptional waterfalls near Boone NC!

Updated: 9/6/2023

We listed the waterfalls below in alphabetical order, and the order does not indicate our preference, as they are all unique and beautiful.

Crab Orchard Falls

Crab Orchard Falls near Boone NC

Crab 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 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. The trail will split on up.  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. 

Directions to Crab Orchard Falls: 

Duggers Creek Falls at Linville Falls

Duggers Creek Falls NC

Duggers Creek Falls is a small, but very interesting and beautiful waterfall at Linville Falls NC. The trail to the waterfall begins at the Linville Falls visitor center and is about a 1/2 mile long round trip. From Boone NC, Linville Falls is about a 45-minute drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Duggers Creek Falls is 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.

In 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 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 complete 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 large boulders, offering many viewing and photography options.

Directions to Boone Fork Falls: 

Glen Burney Trail to Cascades Falls, Glen Burney Falls and,  Glen Marie Falls

Glen Marie Falls Blowing Rock NC

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.  Many consider the trail to be a real "gem" as is very historic, dating back to the late 1800s.

The Glen Burney Falls trailhead is 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.

The Cascades waterfall is located at mile 0.7.  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 to the parking lot the way you came.

Directions:

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.

Directions to Green Mountain Creek Falls:


Our Waterfall Guides

See our full guides to over 50 waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on our Waterfalls Page. Information, Directions, Photos, Video, and more!

Laurel Creek Falls

Laurel Creek Falls

Laurel Creek Falls is near Boone NC, and off-highway 321. Laurel Creek Falls is a very popular waterfall and swimming hole, on the Watauga River. You can easily access the lower portion of the falls as they are located near the roadside and a quick path from the parking area. The path is very steep. The round-trip hike to the waterfall is 0.3 miles.

The waterfall has gained the nickname "Trash Can Falls" among Appalachian State students. 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 waterfalls at the top, then the water flows through a small chute in the rocks, then empties into the base.

You may wonder, can you can swim at Laurel Falls? Yes, you sure can, and it is a very popular and beautiful swimming hole.

Directions to Laurel Falls:


Linville Falls

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 is 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's 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 in the Linville Falls area, called Dugger's Creek Falls (mentioned above)

Silvervale Falls - Roadside

Silvervale Falls

Photo by Richard Greene

Another roadside waterfall is the 80-foot-tall Silvervale Falls, 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 sole concern is that it is frequently defaced with graffiti, which requires constant cleaning.  If you're lucky, you'll visit on a day when it's clean, and you can really enjoy it.  

Directions to Silvervale Falls:

Otter Falls

Otter Falls Near Boone NC

Otter Falls is in the resort community of Seven Devils NC, and the trail system and observation deck was constructed in 2015 to make the falls more accessible to the public. From the trailhead, the falls are a short 0.6 miles from the trailhead, making the total hike 1.2 miles round trip.

Otter Falls itself isn't one of the most majestic waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it's still beautiful, especially when you consider the surrounding forest. The water gently flows over mossy rock, and into a pool below. There are several smaller cascades below the main waterfall that are pretty as well.

From the observation deck, the falls are easy to view and photograph, as you can see in the photo above.

Directions to Otter Falls:

Upper Creek Falls

Upper Creek Falls NC

Photo by: Tony Trivette

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.

Directions to Upper Creek Falls:

Waterfalls Park - Almost Roadside

Waterfalls Park NC

Photo by: Chris McKinley

Waterfalls park is a beautiful park, where three different waterfalls cascade down into the park. You can enjoy these 50-foot waterfalls 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.

Directions to Waterfalls Park:

Crabtree Falls - Extra

Crabtree Falls Blue Ridge Parkway

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 one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

The Crabtree Falls Recreational area (MP339.5) is where the trailhead is located, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although the hike is a loop, you can opt for an out and back to the falls. The distance of 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!


About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.

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