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Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls Guide

The Blue Ridge Mountains have a unique way of calling us and drawing us in, and this includes everyone.  The majestic power and beauty of waterfalls in these mountains have amazed visitors for centuries. However, for individuals with mobility challenges, finding wheelchair accessible waterfalls has been difficult, especially in the past.

Fortunately, times are changing. Thanks to dedicated efforts and innovative design, many wheelchair accessible waterfalls are available for all to enjoy and enable individuals with disabilities to enjoy and see these beautiful waterfalls as well.

In this guide, we'll highlight all of the wheelchair accessible waterfalls.   If you know of one we don't have in our list, let us know so we can add it!

So if you're wondering about "wheelchair accessible waterfalls near me", we have you covered and our guide will help you find the very best accessible waterfalls near you when you visit the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Updated: 6/7/2023

Wheelchair and Disabled Accessible Waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls - Looking Glass Falls

Our list of wheelchair accessible waterfalls below was compiled by visiting each waterfall and observing the conditions.   We looked for waterfalls that were roadside viewable, meaning you could view them from your car, or by getting out of a car and viewing them from the parking lot.  

We also included waterfalls where a wheelchair, cane or walker could be easily used to see the waterfalls as well.    For these we factored in width, trail obstacles, and if any stairs were required.

There are more wheelchair accessible waterfalls the we've been told about, and we'll continue to add to this list as we explore them to confirm.  

Additionally, the various State and Federal services are adding Handicap accessible options to attractions all the time. As they do, we'll be sure to update this list.  

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls near Telico Plains TN

Telico Plains in Tennesee has two main waterfalls that are wheelchair accessible.    

Bald River Falls TN

Bald River Falls TN

Photo by: Randy Graham

Cascading over 100 feet onto the rocks below, Bald River Falls is visible roadside from your car.  This is one of the most beautiful and majestic falls in the area.  The waterfall is directly off Tellico River Road in Tennessee.

Baby Falls TN

Baby Falls TN

Photo by: Randy Graham

Just up the road from Bald River Falls, is the smaller, but still beautiful Baby Falls.  Also roadside and located off Tellico River Road in Tennesee.  The falls are about 15-20 foot high, and very pretty.  After a good rain, you'll often find Kayakers going over the waterfall.

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls near Highlands NC

The wonderful town of Highlands NC offers not only tons of shopping, restaurants, and things to do, but a number of nearby wheelchair accessible waterfalls for you to see as well.    These are some of the most popular and most visited waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and located on Highway 64, the waterfall scenic byway.

Bridal Veil Falls Highlands NC

Bridal Veil Falls

This 60' roadside waterfall is one of the most popular stops in Western NC. The waterfall is literally just 20 feet or so off of Highway 64. In the past you could drive under it, but the road under it closed. 

Cullasaja Falls NC

Cullasaja Falls NC

Cullasaja Falls NC is a 250′ tall and majestic waterfall located off of Highway 64 in the Cullasaja Gorge, near Highlands NC. The falls are viewable mainly from a small roadside pullover.   The photo above was not taken from the road, but from the base of the falls, which is not handicap accessible.

Dry Falls NC

Dry Falls NC

Dry Falls is a 75' beautiful roadside waterfall near Highlands, NC that you can walk behind! There is a nice parking area, bathrooms, a viewing platform that is handicap accessible, and a nice paved trail down to and behind the falls. Dry Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Whitewater Falls NC

Whitewater Falls NC

Whitewater Falls near Sapphire NC is a 411 foot and stunning waterfall. The paved trail to the waterfall is easy and handicap accessible. Whitewater Falls is the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.

Sequoyah Falls

Winter at Lake Sequoyah in Highlands, NC

Sequoyah Falls is located just outside of Highlands NC on Highway 64, the waterfalls byway.  While not a natural waterfall, it is viewable from a small pull over area on Highway 64 and is very pretty.  The waterfall is formed by the dam for Sequoyah Lake, and is just down the road from Bridal Veil Falls.

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls near Boone NC

Boone is a very popular spot for visitors to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and home to Appalachian State University.    Linville Falls is a bit of a drive from Boone NC, but the drive the beautiful, especially if you take the Blue Ridge Parkway.  You'll even get to cross the famous Linn Cove Viaduct on your way.

Linville Falls NC

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls is listed as Handicap accessible, and the trail to some of the views is paved.   View of the Falls are available at the end of the Wiseman's trail and are stunning, providing both views of the waterfalls, and Linville Gorge itself.   There is a fairly steep slope, which may require assistance, and many of the views will not be accessible due to stairs and rocks.

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls near Brevard NC

We love visiting and exploring the town of Brevard and the areas in Pisgah National Forest around it, as well as Dupont State Forest.  Brevard has a number of wheelchair accessible waterfalls, including the famous Looking Glass Falls, which is one of the most majestic waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Looking Glass Falls NC

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls, located immediately roadside on Highway 276 near Brevard NC, is probably one of the most beautiful and popular waterfalls in North Carolina. The falls are visible from the road, and thus handicap accessible. Looking Glass falls plummets 50+ feet into the creek below, and is a popular summer swimming destination.

Sliding Rock NC

Sliding Rock is a popular and famous waterfall, due to not only being a waterfall, but a waterfall that you can slide down. The smooth surface of the falls allows visitors to slide down the fall, and plunge into a basin below. Sliding Rock is located just off Highway 276 in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard NC.

Slick Rock Falls - Pisgah National Forest

Slick Rock Falls is located off of Forest Service Road 275B in Pisgah National Forest.  Those will mobility challenges won't be able to get up close to the falls, but they can be seen from the parking area on the service road. 

Slick Rock Falls isn't a big waterfall, but it is pretty, as you can see in our video.

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls near Waynesville NC

Our hometown of Waynesville NC has a few wheelchair accessible waterfalls, both along beautiful scenic drives.  One on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the other on Highway 215.

Lower Falls Graveyard Fields NC

Fall at Lower Falls, Graveyard Fields

Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is a very beautiful and photogenic waterfall, that is also a popular summer swimming hole.  

Most visitors hike down the falls, but for those wanting a roadside view, you there is a pull off just past Graveyard Fields (towards Asheville) that offers a roadside view of the waterfall.

Sunburst Falls NC

Sunburst Falls NC

Sunburst Falls is road-side waterfall located along Highway 215. The waterfall flows under an old rock bridge on 215, and is a popular stopping point along the scenic roadway.

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls near Bryson City NC

Bryson City is located just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Bryson City has a wonderful historic downtown, full of shops and restaurants.  Bryson City is also home to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, offering scenic train excursions through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Road to Nowhere is nearby as well, and well worth a drive and visit.

Deep Creek, one of the more popular areas of the National Park offers up a small, but beautiful waterfall that is just a short walk from the parking area, Tom Branch Falls.

Tom Branch Falls NC

Tom Branch Falls is located in the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's a gorgeous and easy to access falls that is a short walk from the parking lot, and handicap friendly.   The short trail to the falls is not paved, and a little rough, so assistance may be required.

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls on our list to confirm

We've personally visited all of the waterfalls above, but there are a few more that are on our list as wheelchair accessible, waterfalls, but we have not been able to personally visit and confirm that.  

As as soon as we can we'll get them added to our list, by in the meantime here they are:

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls near Helen GA

  • Amicalola Falls - GA
  • Anna Ruby Falls - Helen, GA - Paved trail, with a couple of steeper sections, someone should accompany you to assist and probably not wheelchair friendly.
  • Dick's Creek Falls - Georgia
  • Toccoa Falls, GA - access fee, flat trail to observation deck.
  • Lover’s Leap Falls, GA

Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls near Covington VA

  • Falling Spring Falls near Covington VA

Final Thoughts on Wheelchair Accessible Waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Sunburst Falls NC

Wheelchair accessible waterfalls provide an incredible opportunity for people with mobility challenges to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. Thanks to roadside visibility and specially designed areas, those that have accessibility needs can also enjoy the beauty and splendor of Blue Ridge Mountain waterfalls.

By embracing inclusive design and accessibility, towns and parks are enabling equal access to waterfalls but also promoting a more inclusive and compassionate society.  We'll continue to keep this list updated as we discover and learn about more wheelchair accessible waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

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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