Buckeye Lake Recreation Center is just a short drive from the city center of Beech Mountain NC. The recreation center offers the lake, picnic areas, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and many other outdoor recreational activities.
We spent an extended weekend in Beech Mountain, visiting the town itself, The Land of Oz, and exploring many of the great things to do outdoors. One of those was a hike on Falls Trail, out to Buckeye Creek Falls.
Falls Trail in Buckeye Lake Recreation Center
The Buckeye Lake Recreation Area is located at 1330 Pine Ridge Rd, Beech Mountain, NC 28604. This 50+ acre park has hiking trails, walking trails, mountain biking trails, a lake, tennis courts, playground equipment, and more.
Additionally, it houses the 22,500-square-foot Recreation Center offering recreational opportunities like indoor basketball, volleyball, and tennis; a fitness room; a conference room with a catering area, and a playroom built specifically for children under 12.
During our visit, we kayaked on the 10-acre lake, and did the 1-mile loop hike to visit Buckeye Creek Falls, a gorgeous 20' cascading waterfall.
Our Beech Mountain NC Video
Our visit to Buckeye Creek Falls was part of a larger extended weekend adventure spent in Beech Mountain NC. Here is our full video.
Our Buckeye Creek Falls Video
As part of our Beech Mountain weekend adventure, we hiked down to Buckeye Creek Falls, on the Fall Trail, located in Buckeye Recreation Center, near Beech Mountain NC. Here is our video for that hike:
Hiking to Buckeye Creek Falls
The hike out to Buckeye Creek Falls begins at the Recreation Center parking area. At the end of the parking area, near the playground equipment, you'll see a paved trail. Follow this trail for a short distance, until you see a gravel trail to the right that heads down into the woods at a steep angle. This is the access trail to the Falls Trail loop and is right next to the Tennis courts.
The trail will take you down and through the forest. This portion of the trail is the steepest, and the overall elevation gain is 206ft. The majority of it is along the first part of the trail.
You'll hike down to the intersection of the loop. When we were there, it looked like the portion of the trail to the loop had been widened, and with very little care for the woods and trail itself. Frankly, it looked hacked, and wasn't very pretty at all.
Fortunately, this is only for a short distance until you arrive at the intersection of the loop trail, and the trail becomes much nicer and more rustic.
The distance to the falls is about the same, no matter which way you go, however, the elevation change is less to the left. If you want to go to the falls, then back, and not use the full loop, go left. The climb down and back out is easier. If you want to do the full loop, go right.
We did the full loop, and went right. The trails slowly descends down through the woods to the falls. The trail is very rocky with lots of roots and travels through a lot of rhododendrons. You'll eventually hike alongside a small creek, with some small cascades, and emerge shortly after at Buckeye Falls.
The hike there is .5 miles and moderate to strenuous.
Buckeye Creek Falls
Buckeye Creek Falls isn't as majestic as Looking Glass or Whitewater Falls, but it's really a very photogenic and beautiful waterfall. Buckeye Falls is about 15' - 20' foot high and flows over an angled cascade into the creek below.
A bridge is built across the creek to make the creek crossing easier and provides exceptional views of the falls. If you want to get up closer, cross the bridge, and head to the base of the Falls to the left. Just be careful, the rocks are slick.
Here are some photos we took during our visit:
After visiting the Falls, you can either head back the way you came, or continue following the trail around the loop. We really recommend doing this, as the trail follows the creek above the falls, and provides some really pretty scenes along the creek.
The hike back up the steeper portion of the trail is a good workout, but not too long.
We really enjoyed this hike, and it would make for a great family hike. We did the hike in about an hour, and that included time spent at the Falls taking photos and videos. This is a really nice hike with a beautiful waterfall and we highly recommended if you're in and around Beech Mountain NC.