The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in the world. It begins in Southern Virginia and ends in Cherokee at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Blue Ridge Parkway provides stunning scenic views, views of wildlife, amazing hiking trails, and waterfalls. In this article, we highlight the Best Waterfalls on the Blue Ridge Parkway, 14+ in total that you can visit as you travel the parkway.
This guide only features waterfalls and/or waterfall trailheads that are directly on the Blue Ridge Parkway or a very short distance from the parkway. We do not include waterfalls that are further away, although you can find many of these on our Waterfalls Guide Page.
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White Rock Falls (MP 19.9)
MP 19.9 is Slacks Overlook. Across from the overlook and .1 mile north is the trailhead. You'll see a small pullover with minimal hiking and an unmarked trail.
The hike down is 1.8 miles roundtrip and rated moderate. The hike offers beautiful scenic views and a gorgeous waterfall as a reward.
Wigwam Falls (MP 34.4)
Located off a short trail at the Yankee Horse Ridge Parking Area, is Wigwam Falls. The very short 0.2-mile round trip trail is as much of the attraction here as is the waterfall itself. The trail is part of an old narrow-gauge railroad line (Irish Creek Railway), where both the ties and rail along the trail have been restored.
The trail will take you across a stream, and shortly after, you'll follow a small trail to the left to reach the waterfall. There will be a bridge over a stream and in front of Wigwam Falls, offering excellent views and photo opportunities.
Apple Orchard Falls (MP 78.4)
Access to Apple Orchard Falls is located at Sunset Fields Overlook (MP 78.4). The falls are accessible using a 3-mile roundtrip trail that is strenuous. The hike descends 1,000 feet from the parkway to the falls, which makes the hike back out very steep.
Apple Orchard Falls is worth the strenuous hike, at 200 feet tall, and has a very nice viewing area. Apple Orchard Falls is generally considered to be the best waterfall in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.
You can't miss the large trail sign that is located in the parking area and marks the trailhead to the falls.
Fallingwater Cascades (MP 83.1)
The trailhead for Fallingwater Cascades is at Fallingwater Cascades Overlook (MP83.1). The trailhead begins at the overlooking parking area, and is a moderate 1.7-mile loop trail, with the highlight being Fallingwater Cascades. The trail has a slow descent down, meaning you'll climb back out. The total elevation change is around 1,000 feet.
The falls are 100 feet in height and includes two drops over large rock outcroppings. Both sections of the falls are pretty, but the upper section is the most beautiful and photogenic.
Cascades (MP 271.9)
Located at the Cascades Overlook (MP271.9), just 5 miles from Boone NC, the Cascades Trail will take you on an easy 1-mile loop hike to the Cascades waterfall. The trail begins paved but soon becomes gravel.
After crossing a bridge over Falls Creek, you'll turn right to the falls, where there are two observation decks for viewing the Cascades. On your return, go right at the junction and follow the stream.
This is a very popular area series of waterfalls in the Boone NC area.
Our Waterfall Guides
See our full guides to more than 40 waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on our Waterfalls Page. Information, Directions, Photos, Video, and more!
Hebron Falls (MP 296.4)
Hebron Falls is off Boone Fork Trail, at Julian Price Park Picnic area at MP 296.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Boone Fork Trail is a 5-mile long and strenuous loop trail that provides access to Hebron Falls, also commonly called Boone Fork Falls. Hiking the entire loop just to see the falls isn't necessary though, as you can hike out and back for a distance of about 3.5 miles. To take this route, go right on the loop from the Boone fork Trail trailhead.
Hebron Falls is a pretty waterfall that is about 25 feet in height. Due to a number of boulders around the base of the falls, there are numerous viewing locations and photo opportunities.
Linville Falls and Dugger's Creek Falls (MP 316.4)
The most popular waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway is Linville Falls, located at MP 316.4 and is seen by many visitors throughout the year.
Linville Falls has two main sections: The upper twin falls, and the larger lower falls. Two different trails lead to these falls, however, the lower falls are visible from the trail to the upper twin falls.
The most popular trail is Erwin's View Trail, which is featured in our video above. Erwin's trail will take you to views of the lower falls and directly to the upper portion with the twin falls.
For those wishing to get up close to the lower falls, you can hike to the base of the falls, on the strenuous Linville Falls trail.
A third and much smaller waterfall is also located in the Linville Falls area and named Dugger's Creek Falls (mentioned above)
Crabtree Falls (MP 339.5)
While it's hard to choose just one, with so many beautiful waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Crabtree Falls is probably our pick for the most beautiful waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway AND in the Blue Ridge Mountains as a whole.
This 70-foot tall waterfall gently cascades down a steep rocky cliff with small rock outcroppings that really create a gorgeous and magical waterfall. Surrounding the falls is a beautiful dense forest and small pools below the falls.
The hike to Crabtree falls is directly off the Blue Ridge Parkway and is 3 miles roundtrip to and from the falls or 3.5 miles on the loop trail. The hike is moderate in difficulty.
Glassmine Falls (MP 361.2)
Glassmine Falls is visible roadside on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Glassmine Falls Overlook (MP 361.2). There isn't a trail to the falls, as it's located in the Asheville watershed, and off-limits to the public.
The waterfall is easily viewable from the overlook and is about 200 feet high. The waterfall is named "Glassmine" due to it having a Mica mine literally right in the waterfall. If you use Binoculars, you can see a dark spot near the base and to the right that is the old mine entrance.
Douglas Falls (MP 363.4)
The hike to Douglas Falls is 8 miles roundtrip using the Mountains-To-Sea trail. You access the MST for the hike at Graybeard Mountain Overlook at MP 363.4. The hike is strenuous and very serious hike. If you elect to do this hike, come prepared.
You'll follow the MST from the overlook for 1 mile to the junction of the Falls trail, then travel 3 miles to the 70-foot-tall Douglas Falls and a series of cascades. Douglas Falls Cascades off a sheer cliff, and you can explore behind the falls, and walk under it. Douglas Falls is far more impressive after heavy rainfall.
Skinny Dip Falls (MP 417)
While we list Skinny Dip Falls here, the waterfall is now significantly different than it was a few years ago. The severe flooding in August of 2021 due to Tropical Storm Fred literally destroyed Skinny Dip Falls as many knew it.
the multiple cascades, swimming hole, and jumping rock are gone. While the location still offers a few small cascades, there is no longer a notable waterfall at this location. You can see before and after shots in our video above, and learn more in our guide.
Lower and Upper Falls at Graveyard Fields (MP 418.5)
Located at MP 418.5, Graveyard Fields is a popular overlook and recreation area. The foliage in the area is very unique due to fires that occurred here many years ago. The area is full of blueberry bushes that not only produce wonderful blueberries in the late summer but also turn a vivid red color in the fall, making this area extra gorgeous during the peak Fall season.
Graveyard fields provides gorgeous views, a number of nice hikes, and two different waterfalls, lower and upper falls. Both falls are nice, but the lower falls is the most beautiful and photogenic. Lower Falls is also a very popular summer swimming hole.
Upper Falls is accessible along a longer and moderate like, and lower falls along a shorter and also moderate hike.
Wildcat Falls (MP 423.3)
Wildcat Falls is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 423.3, Highway 215. Head North on Highway 215 and go 0.8 miles to a small road and camping area. The trailhead begins at the creek on the far side.
The hike is an easy 1.5 miles round-trip on an old railroad grade out to a concrete bridge in the middle of the woods. The falls are about 60' high, and visible from the bridge, and below the bridge using a small scramble trail on the far side.
This is a very nice hike (as you can see in our video), and a beautiful waterfall. A highly recommended stop and hike.
Soco Falls (MP 455.7)
Soco Falls is located just a short drive off the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Soco Gap exit (Maggie Valley NC). You'll drive 1.5 miles toward Cherokee, and watch for a small turn-off and parking area on the left. There are small signs about .5 miles before the falls, but they are hard to see.
Be careful turning into the parking area, as it's a blind curve.
After parking, go to the end of the chain link fence for the short and easy walk down. For those with mobility issues, the trail is a bit rough and has some large rocks and large step-down areas. The short trail will take you to the viewing platform just a stone's throw from the main road.
For the more adventurous, use the climbing ropes to "scramble" down to the base of the falls for the best and most unique views (photo above). This is dangerous, so please use your best judgment.
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!