Asheville NC, a city literally in the middle of the mountains of Western NC, is a unique and artsy city, that is within a short distance of some of the most beautiful and scenic hiking trails and waterfalls in Western NC. In fact, the Blue Ridge Parkway travels through Asheville!
Asheville NC make for a great home base for exploring the city itself, and for venturing outdoors to do some hiking, take a scenic drive, or to find some waterfalls.
Waterfalls near Asheville NC
In this guide, we're going to share with you the Top 15 Waterfalls to visit near Asheville NC. Now, unlike some other articles that will have you 90 minutes or more outside of Asheville, our list contains waterfalls that are ALL within a 1 hour drive of Asheville.
If you're interested in exploring further, you can can visit our Waterfalls Guide, for more than 40 different waterfalls.
Crabtree Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway
Crabtree Falls is one of our favorites. The hike down is great, and this waterfall is big (over 50 feet) and incredibly photogenic. A wooden bridge on the trail, provides a beautiful vantage point. You can also get off the trail and explore the creek closer to and downstream from the waterfall. The creek is full of logs and large rocks that make for a great place to park your posterior and enjoy the sights and sounds, along with a good snack.
The trailhead is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and also contains a visitors center and campground. This is a popular waterfall, so expect lots of crowds during peak season.
Triple Falls, Dupont State Park
Dupont State Park, just south of Asheville NC, and near Brevard NC is a beautiful state park, with a number of waterfalls. Four of them, Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls are located along the "waterfall trail". All four are beautiful, but Triple Falls is our favorite. Due to its multiple cascades and surrounding foliage.
If you're a Hunger Games fan, this was the filming location from the first movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence. The main scene you'll recognize is when Peta is injured, and Katniss is searching along a waterfall to find him. He is buried in the rocks. The waterfall in the movie is Triple Falls.
Looking Glass Falls
One of the most beautiful, largest, popular and majestic waterfalls near Asheville NC is Looking Glass Falls. Looking Glass Falls is roadside, just off of Highway 276 near Brevard NC in Pisgah National Forest. There is a cement walkway and stairs down to the waterfall, and multiple overlooks. The Falls can be seen from the roadside parking area.
Looking Glass Falls is always strongly flowing, and beautiful. Being that it is roadside and easy to access, it's very popular during throughout the year. So plan for large crowds. The base of the waterfall is also a very popular swimming hole, especially with families. You'll definitely want Looking Glass Falls to be on your short list to visit!
Dry Falls, Highlands NC
Dry Falls near Asheville NC is anything but dry, and is in fact a strongly flowing waterfall, and one of the few waterfalls you can actually walk behind. The name comes from the fact that trail behind it protects you (for the most part) from the strongly flowing water, and keeps you dry.
Dry Falls is very popular, and is viewable both from the parking area (handicap access), and from the trail down to it, and behind it. Dry Falls is beautiful year-round, but exceptionally beautiful in the Fall, surrounded by Fall colors and in the Spring, surrounded by blooming mountain laurel and Rhododendron.
Bridal Veil Falls, Highlands NC
There are actually two different waterfalls, both named Bridal Veil Falls, and this often confuses visitors to the area. One of them, we mentioned above, is in Dupont State Park, the other which we're covering here is just outside of Highlands NC and is roadside on Highway 64.
Prior to a large rock slide, causing damage to the road, visitors could drive behind the waterfall, however that portion of the road is now closed to vehicles, but you can still walk on it. Bridal Veil Falls isn't big or exceptionally pretty, but it does make for a nice stop and photo opportunity.
Lower Falls, Graveyard Fields
Located at Milepost 418.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Graveyard Fields is one of the most popular areas of the Parkway in North Carolina. Graveyard Fields provides unique vegetation, including wild blueberries in the Fall, hiking, creeks, and two waterfalls. Graveyard Fields is also one of the first areas to turn color in the Fall.
Of the two waterfalls, Lower Falls is the most beautiful, and the easiest to reach. Lower Falls is one of the most photogenic waterfalls in North Carolina and is also a very popular summer swimming hole as well.
Hickory Nut Falls, Chimney Rock State Park
Hickory Nut Falls is located in Chimney Rock State Park, south of Asheville. At over 400 feet tall, it's one of the tallest waterfalls on the East Coast. The waterfall is at the end of an easy 3/4 mile trail. While there isn't a large wading or swimming area, you can stand in the water at the base of the falls. There are picnic tables as well.
Hickory Nut Falls was featured in the final fight scene of Last Of the Mohicans, and is visible from the road through Chimney Rock NC. To visit Hickory Nut Falls, you'll need to purchase a ticket to Chimney Rock State Park.
Moore Cove Falls, Pisgah National Forest
Located near Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock, south of Asheville near Brevard NC is the trailhead to Moore Cove Falls. To reach the Falls, you'll need to hike the moderate trail for 0.7 miles. The hike out is very nice, and Moore Cove Falls itself is definitely worth it.
While not a large or strong flowing waterfall, it is very pretty, and has the unique feature of being able to stand under it. Just be careful, the rocks are slick!
Moore Cove Falls is a popular hike for visitors year-round, but especially during peak season, so plan accordingly.
Skinny Dip Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway
Just down from Graveyard Fields at Milepost 417 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the overlook for Looking Glass Rock, is the trailhead to Skinny Dip Falls. This moderate 1/2 mile trail will take you down to the absolutely stunning Skinny Dip Falls. The area is so beautiful, it's almost like wandering into a tropical oasis.
Skinny Dip Falls is made up of a number of different cascades, and a small pool at the center, that is a popular swimming hole. People enjoy jumping off the large rocks and plunging into the small pool.
While there is no skinny dipping done today (at least that we know of), we're sure the name is founded from some done in the past when the location was less popular. Be warned, the water here is crystal clear and refreshing, but cold.
Wildcat Falls NC
Wildcat Falls isn't far off the road, and is part of an old logging grade used by both the railroad and trucks. The waterfall features an old concrete bridge, that makes it very unique.
Dill Falls NC
Dill Falls is a real hidden gem, and one of our personal favorite waterfalls. Getting to the falls is an adventure itself, but the hike down to it is short and easy.
Dill Falls is located in the Nantahala National Forest, and is reached by a 5 mile drive back into the National Forest on an old forest service road. While 4-wheel drive isn't required, but it is recommended.
Dill Falls is incredibly beautiful, year-round, and very photogenic. The creek below the falls is a great place for kids to wade and play in the cool clear water.
Cedar Rock Falls NC
Just a short drive from Looking Glass Falls, is the trailhead for Cat Gap Trail, at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery. Cedar Rock Falls is actually one of 3 waterfalls you can see on this hike, including Upper Cedar Rock Falls, and Grogan Creek Falls.
The hike out to the Cedar Rock Falls is about a mile, and is a very nice and moderate trail. The waterfall itself is very pretty, and is about 20' tall.
Grogan Creek Falls NC
Further down the trail from Cedar Rock Falls (above), is Grogan Creek Falls. While a much further hike, the falls are worth it. Grogan Creek Falls, as you can see from the photo is very unique looking, and absolutely beautiful. While visiting, we enjoyed exploring the creek below the falls as well.
Sliding Rock NC
Some might argue Sliding Rock really isn't a waterfall per se, but it really is. Yes, it is a highly popular natural waterslide, but it's also a very beautiful waterfall as well, especially in the off-season when it's not full of people.
Sliding Rock is roadside on Highway 276 near Looking Glass Falls and Moore Cove Falls. During the summer, the parking area is often full and cars are parked all alongside the roadway. Sliding Rock is one of the most popular summer locations for families and as you would expect, very popular with kids and teens.
Sunburst Falls NC
Sunburst Falls is a roadside waterfall that cascades through a beautiful and historic single arch bridge. The falls are located off Highway 215 between Bethel NC and the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a small parking area just before the Falls on the right if heading south on 215.
Viewing the upper portion of the falls is easy, and is visible from the road. Viewing the lower portion, as shown in the photograph above, requires a scramble down a steep incline.
If you are interested in venturing out a little further from Asheville, there are many more waterfalls you can visit. See our Waterfalls Page for more than 40 different waterfall guides in the 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!