North Carolina offers an enormous amount of beautiful waterfalls to see and enjoy. In this post we will focus on the beautiful waterfalls to see near Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
This post will also include info on trail distances and waterfalls to pair on visits. When you’re ready to see these beautiful waterfalls and want to plan your trip, you’ll find a map of them included towards the end of the post.
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Waterfall Safety Tips
Before we dive into these beautiful waterfalls, I’d like to offer a few safety tips to keep in mind. In regards to Coronavirus, waterfalls are usually popular amongst tourist and locals alike. Therefore I recommend visiting these locations during the week. This will allow you to avoid the high traffic weekends and make social distancing easier.
Equally important is to honor all Waterfall safety and warning signs in these areas. These areas are commonly wet and slick and feature large and hard rocks. Unfortunately, many people and animals are seriously or sometimes fatally injured each year.Win a Gymkhana-inspired Subaru WRX STI and $20,000
Leave no trace from these waterfalls so we can all enjoy them like you did. And if any of the parking lots are full (or approaching full), plan to visit another day.
Trail length: Roadside
- Wilkesboro to Moravian Falls: 5 miles (8 minutes)
Moravian Falls is obviously the closest waterfall to Wilkesboro. Not to mention the fact that it’s easy to view after parking your vehicle. The falls are located on the property of Moravian Falls Campground and it’s recommended that you visit the campground office to get permission before crossing the road to see the falls. Definitely one of the best falls in the area due to their natural beauty and easy access for most.
Stone Mountain Waterfalls
Multiple Trail lengths ranging from .5 to 6 miles in length
- Wilkesboro to Stone Mountain State Park: 23 miles (35 minutes)
Stone Mountain State Park is the perfect day trip from Wilkesboro. Not only can you enjoy multiple waterfalls, you can also enjoy various hikes and fishing.
As to the waterfalls, the quickest route to Stone Mountain’s upper falls is to take the Stone Mountain Trail. The parking lot is located the at second left. after passing the visitors center. From this trail, when you reach the beginning of Stone Mountain Loop trial, you can go left for a short hike to the upper falls of Stone Mountain. From here you also have the option to take quite. a few stairs down to view the falls from below. If you decide to take a right instead at the Stone Mountain Loop Trail, you will soon reach the Stone Mountain Summit and be rewarded with gorgeous views of Roaring Gap below.
The next set of waterfalls can be reached from the Lower Parking Lot to Stone Mountain Falls trail. Also known as the Stone Mountain Loop trail, this same trail will lead you all the way back to the stairs we mentioned earlier that take you to the upper falls, if you feel strong enough to tackle. The hike to the middle and lower falls is easier than the previous trail, but is longer round trip. Additionally on your way to these beautiful waterfalls, you can explore the historic Hutchinson Homestead before passing the awe-inspiring view of Stone Mountain from below.
Of course if you’d just like an easy walk to a waterfall, then there’s Widow’s Creek Falls. If you keep going past the Lower Parking lot for just a little bit, you will find the parking area for these falls. The path there is an easy short walk to see the falls.
Trail length: 1 mile round trip
- Wilkesboro to Cascade Falls: 33 miles (44 minutes)
Cascade Falls are not only one of the closest falls to Wilkesboro, but they served as a great first stop along our scenic adventure. Because the trail is just a little under a mile and not too steep, it’s a great hike for most people. Not to mention it’s well worth it for the view as well. For that reason it is one of our favorite hikes on the Blue ridge because of the majestic waterfall at the end.
These beautiful waterfalls are located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 272. Another great feature is that the trail starts at EB Jeffress Park. The park features restrooms, picnic tables and gorgeous mountain overlooks as well. Additionally there’s plenty of parking as well.
Glen Burney Trail Waterfalls
Trail length: 3 miles round trip for all three waterfalls
- Wilkesboro to Glen Burney Trail: 40 miles (54 minutes)
The Glen Burney Trail just off Main St in downtown Blowing Rock will take you to three beautiful waterfalls. Of course you also have the opportunity to hang out in Blowing Rock when you return.
The trailhead sits across from Annie Cannon Gardens. The trail is mostly downhill to reach the each of the falls, rocky with exposed tree roots as well. Most everyone who takes this hike loves it, but it can be too strenuous for some.
The three waterfalls on this trail are Cascades at 0.8 miles, Glen Burney at 1.2, and Glen Marie at 1.6 from the trailhead. Of them all, we think Glen Burney is the one waterfall you must see on this Blowing Rock trail! This would be a good turnaround point, if you are worried about the steepness of the trail going forward.
Trip Planing Note: Our Next two beautiful waterfalls are not far from each other, so I would recommend visiting Crab Orchard Falls & Otter Falls on the same trip.
Trail length: 1.2 miles round trip
- Wilkesboro to Otter Falls: 45 miles (95 minutes)
Indeed Otter Falls is one of our favorite waterfalls in the area. When you reach the main falls you will find yourself in a magical grotto. Like something right out of a fairytale. You’ll get to admire these falls in between a strenuous 1.2-mile round trip hike.
The park is a collection of four short trails, including two loop trails. Located inside the resort community of Seven Devils. Also to reach the parking lot, you must drive uphill on a very curvy road. Another thing to keep in mind is that the parking lot is quite small. So definitely avoid the weekends with this one.
Note that the Yellow trail dead ends to a non-existent overlook. But with a quick change of elevation of 230 feet, you’ll find a lovely observation deck to enjoy the falls.
Crab Orchard Falls
Trail length: 1 mile round trip
- Wilkesboro to Crab Orchard Falls: 42 miles (92 minutes)
Crab Orchard Falls is one of those beautiful waterfalls you just want to sit and stare at. Located in Banner Elk, the trail is not only easy for most skill levels, but is also dog friendly. It’s only five minutes away from the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, and the trail to Crab Orchard Falls starts at the Valle Crucis Conference Center.
Trip Planing Note: Linville Falls is farthest from Wilkesboro. But it’s also right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Best advice would be to make a day of exploring the Parkway on your way to Linville Falls.
Trail length: Various trails but the most popular is 1.6 miles round trip
- Wilkesboro to Linville Falls: 62 miles (1 hour & 41 minutes)
Next on our list is Linville Falls. In addition to being one of the most beautiful waterfalls to view in this area, there are many options for trails to see the falls. These trails range from easy to difficult, due to the fact that some have quite an incline uphill. Linville Falls also holds the title of being the tallest waterfall in the area.
Starting from the visitor’s center, there are 3 ways to access views of the falls. The first is to take the Falls Trail with a distance of 1.6 miles round trip is relatively easy. Or you can choose the Gorge Trail which is 1.4 miles round trip and strenuous due to land elevation and steep staircases. Last but not lease you have the Plunge Basin Trail a 1 mile round trip moderate hike. This trail allows you to see the view of the falls from below. If you venture on this trail you a cool view looking up at the dramatic 45 foot plunge of the lower falls.Win A Orlando Dream House or $1,000,000
Trip Planing Note: As noted with other waterfalls above, I would recommend visiting Waterfalls Park & Elk River Falls on the same trip.
Trail length: Roadside
- Wilkesboro to Waterfalls Park: 55 miles (1 hour & 18 minutes)
Waterfalls Park Is not only easy for all skill levels, it is also the most accessible for persons with disabilities. Located in Newland, North Carolina, these falls can be enjoyed from your vehicle. The park features a double cascade falls you can mostly see from the bridge that sits in front of it.
Additionally you can view the upper falls by hiking up and to the left for a closer look! There are several picnic tables to enjoy a snack or rest as well.
Elk River Falls
Trail length: 0.5 miles round trip
- Wilkesboro to Elk River Falls: 62 miles (1 hour & 36 minutes)
Of course Elk River Falls are probably the most photogenic of the beautiful waterfalls near Banner Elk. Elk River Falls features a 50 feet plunge over a rock cliff into a picturesque oval pool. Obviously this makes Elk River Falls quote impressive. While it is a short quarter mile trail to reach the falls, there are some steep steps to tackle. However, the views are absolutely worth the effort. This is a very popular spot for swimming in the summer as well.
Map of Beautiful Waterfalls Near Wilkesboro
In conclusion, I do hope you found this beautiful waterfalls to see near North Wilkesboro, NC post inspiring. Additionally, if you have any cool trails in this area that we did not mention, please leave a comment and share. We’d love to hear from you.
Furthermore, if you liked this post you might also like a few other posts on North Carolina. Such as Awesome Outdoor Activities at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Outdoor Fun & ActivitIes near North Wilkesboro, NC. Of course you may also enjoy, Blue Ridge Parkway – Photo Inspo from Wilkesboro to Linville Falls, NC.
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