Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfall Tour

North Carolina’s gorgeous segment of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a photographer’s dream with its stunning views and overlooks at soaring heights. However, the Parkway is also home to some of Appalachia’s loveliest waterfalls, which are well worth stopping for. Bring your camera and a pair of hiking boots, as some of these falls require a short walk. Depending on which segment of the BRP you are concentrating on, consider some of the following falls.
Visit Graveyard Falls along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina

Graveyard Fields Waterfalls

It’s hard to miss Graveyard Fields with its massive overlook between the exits for highways 276 and 215. Enjoy an incredible vista from above before you trek down some stone steps and onto the path to several waterfalls. Signs will direct you to the Upper Falls, Second Falls, and Yellowstone Falls. These falls are powerful, gushing cascades that are fairly easy to reach via moderate trails, and hikers will love the music of the Yellowstone Prong as it meanders its way through the trees. Lots of picnic spots and photo opportunities at this popular Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall, so plan on taking your time.

There are many intriguing trails that weave through this area, and you may want to extend your trip to include more of the surrounding region. For more information on hiking and waterfall touring in this area, look here.

Linville Falls

Look for Linville Falls at BRP milemarker 316.4, near the Wilson Creek Wilderness Area. This is one of the area’s best-loved waterfalls with its majestic three-tiered structure and its sparkling 90-foot plummet into the Linville Gorge. Visitors can take the Falls Trail, an easy path, for 1.6 miles, or challenge themselves a bit more with the Gorge Trail, which is 1.4 miles. A nearby visitor center provides restrooms and a picnic area. A quick 3/10 mile hike from the visitor center will take you to the smaller Duggers Creek Falls as an additional excursion.

Crabtree Falls is just one of many of the beautiful stops along a Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfall Tour
Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls is located at milemarker 339.5 on the BRP.  This multi-tiered waterfall drops 70 feet and is spectacular after a heavy rain. A trail will take you from the parking area and will form a two-mile loop. It is possible to walk up the creek to the base of the falls for a better view—just be careful, as the water moves fast!

Glassmine Falls

Glassmine Falls requires a good eye and a little patience, as its beauty depends on recent weather. There is no way to hike to Glassmine Falls, but BRP travelers can spot it form the road at milemarker 361.2, or from a short, paved path starting at this overlook. Look in the distance for a thin sliver of a waterfall descending along the cliff side; the sun catching the stream will produce a mirror-glare effect and make it more visible. If strong rains precede your visit, you can expect to see this fall plummeting 200 feet or more; some spectators insist that this waterfall is actually over 800 feet high. Watch as the rivulet vanishes into the forest below and enjoy the cool winds from your overlook.

Visit Looking Glass Falls along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls

For those willing to drive just a little ways off the BRP, Looking Glass Falls is a must-see, and is wonderfully family-friendly. Just beside the road on highway 276, Looking Glass Falls features a 60-foot, ambling drop into a clean and glimmering pool where visitors are invited to swim. Nearby is Sliding Rock (a natural waterslide that is enormously popular in summer) and Moore Cove Falls. To reach this area, take highway 276 off the BRP near Brevard and drive south for about nine miles. The Falls will be on your left, after you pass Sliding Rock.

Want to know more about the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina? Visit BlueRidgeParkway.org. Or, to learn more about North Carolina’s waterfalls, particularly near Asheville, look here. 
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