Do you and your family enjoy relaxing outside? Whether enjoying a fun day out on the water, having a picnic in the park, or just sitting around taking in the beautiful weather this time of year, there is an excellent way to turn up the relaxation factor!
We are talking about heading out for a drive and taking in some fantastic sights, including waterfalls. There are so many beautiful falls hidden throughout North Carolina that we know you will fall in love with.
So I hope that this article will give you some helpful information on several different waterfalls within North Carolina we think everyone will fall in love with and will want to visit very soon, especially with the Autumn season upon us and cool weather. Some of these may be closer than others, but all of them would make great day trips, and each one is worth a visit.
Before getting into the list of waterfalls, you will need a little background information to know where they are located and give them context for those who have never been before – but we promise it is not as much as you think! Don’t be afraid to navigate directly to each one by clicking on the title or thumbnail images throughout this article. Then read on below for what you should expect from each fall, along with our favorite memories from visiting. Even if your famous falls are not listed here, please share in a comment at the end since there are so many more waiting just beyond our scope!
Best Waterfall Memories:
This past summer, we visited three different waterfalls that all had their unique beauty and feeling. The first was Falls Lake. It was our first time calling, and the falls are impressive in that there are carvings of animals around the falls, including a turtle, snake, frog, and fish on one side. This added to its beauty since you could not only see them up close but also from afar on the bridge if looking out over the water or while walking on top of it. The second was High Rock Tower at High Rock Park, which is incredible because it may be just a waterfall to some, but with climbing opportunities, this waterfall is multi-faceted – who wouldn’t love that?!
Lastly, we visited Linville Falls in Pisgah Forest! There were several different levels to these falls, which made for exciting exploring and great photo opportunities.
Waterfalls Near Raleigh & Cary:
There are so many beautiful waterfalls within a short drive from Raleigh! One of the closest and most popular is Crabtree Falls (and Crabtree Creek Recreation Park). It’s only about 46 miles (30 minutes), and you can find directions and tons of information at http://www.visitcrabtreefalls.com/.
There you’ll find information about hiking trails that range from super easy to moderate difficulty – something for everyone! If climbing isn’t your thing, there’s also an overlook – exquisite during the fall months (covered in our blog post about traveling through NC)! This particular waterfall is easy to get to and an excellent place to spend the day with your family and friends.
Waterfalls in North Carolina: Crabtree Falls (and the park) we just mentioned; however, many other waterfalls can be found throughout our fine state!
One example that we have not visited but are dying to see this year is Sliding Rock near Brevard. It’s about 51 miles from Fuquay Varina, but countless individuals have recommended it, so it must be worth the trip! They say if you want to get wet, slide down on top of one of these rocks. If you look online, you’ll find people snapping pictures while sliding, so it seems like a fantastic time!
Falls Lake can be found about an hour east of Raleigh. This particular waterfall is easily accessible with a vast amount of beauty to behold—this information was shared by many friends and family who have visited before. We were told by many friends and family members who have visited before it’s worth the trip!
Waterfall Location: Crabtree Creek Recreation Park near Raleigh, North Carolina second location is Crabtree Creek Recreation Park, where Crabtree Falls is located nearby to each other via hiking trails along Crabtree Creek…more details are at http://www.visitcrabtreefalls.com/.
Our last locations are High Rock Tower at High Rock Park near Apex, NC; Panthertown Valley in Cashiers, NC; and Linville Gorge Wilderness Area near Linville Falls, NC.
Waterfall Location: Crabtree Creek Recreation Park near Raleigh, North Carolina.
As we briefly mentioned before, each trail surrounding Crabtree Falls is unique in its way. Whether it’s a simple walk along the creek or a hike up to the top of the falls, trails for all ages and skill levels, one trail that also has some incredible scenery en route is from Thomas Brooks Park approximately 1 mile from Crabtree Falls, which leads to another waterfall called Triple Falls – this trail is listed as moderate due to its steep uphill climb so it may be a bit more difficult for those not used to an incline – but worth it!
Waterfall Location: High Rock Tower near Apex, NC, is a beautiful location for climbing and enjoying the great outdoors. It’s located along John’s River, and even though waterfalls surround you, there are also miles of trails for hiking and exploring! You can find out more about this incredible place at http://www.highrockpark.org/.
Waterfall Location: Panthertown Valley bordering Cashiers, NC, is an incredible place to hike, especially since they always have special events throughout the year! There are several different hiking trails here, so you’ll never get tired of seeing all that this park has to offer.
The best place to see waterfalls near Raleigh is the famous Glen Falls in Hooker Creek, located just south of Seven Springs, NC. What makes these falls so special? Well, other than being incredibly beautiful, they are one of only two sets of free-falling waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. They are perhaps most known for their unique shape that kindles images of long tresses tumbling over rock cliffs into peaceful pools at their feet. The entire area benefits from a lush rainforest setting and is surrounded by spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Glen Falls Trailhead is located just off Hooker Creek Road, a short drive south of Seven Springs.
Waterfall Location: Linville Gorge Wilderness Area near Linville Falls, NC, is a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy camping, fishing, and hiking through some of the area’s most untouched natural beauty. There are many waterfalls to see here, including Moore Cove with its 45-foot drop at the base of towering granite cliffs; Hawksbill Crag; Table Rock; Little Table Rock; Plunge Basin; Jones Gap with its 20 footfalls on Jones Creek (all within an easy hike);
North falls (a favorite) with a 100-foot drop into a deep blue pool and Little Green Mountain with 80 footfalls. If these aren’t enough to satisfy your waterfall cravings, there are many others in the area as well!
Waterfall Location: High Rock Park near Apex, NC, is a fantastic park for exploring, whether on land or by water. There are many different activities here, including camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and even climbing rocks! A unique feature at this location is Rocktop Tower which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains – it’s entirely possible that if you make this hike during the fall season, you’ll be greeted with incredible views of changing leaves. For more information, visit http://www.hcfrp.
So lace up those boots, grab those backpacks and head out on an adventure!
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