Waynesville, North Carolina, is a small town located in the western part of the state, nestled near the scenic Great Smoky Mountains. The area is known for its natural beauty, with an abundance of hiking trails, picturesque vistas, and waterfalls. If you're looking to explore some of the top waterfalls near Waynesville NC, there are plenty to choose from that are within an hour's drive.
Here are some of the top waterfalls near Waynesville, NC for you to explore!
The waterfalls included in our list are by alphabetical order and distances from Waynesville are noted in the descriptions.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls is located about 30 miles from Waynesville, near the town of Highlands. The falls drop over 120 feet and are particularly impressive after heavy rains. Bridal Veil Falls is literally roadside and easy accessible by everyone.
Until some years ago, one of the highlights of Bridal Veil Falls was driving under it. Unfortunately, due to heavy rains during a storm, the roadway was damaged. It is still there, but is now unsafe and blocked off for vehicles. You can still walk on the old drive under the falls.
Bubbling Springs Branch Falls - Lower and Upper
Located off of Highway 215 near the Blue Ridge Parkway and only 25 minutes from Waynesville, Lower and Upper Bubbling Springs Branch Falls are two waterfalls that while not big, are very beautiful surrounded by the dense forest of the Shining Rock area of Pisgah National Forest. The falls are more impressive after a heavy rainfall.
The trail to the falls is not official, and not well marked, but is easy to follow. The best way to find these waterfalls is to watch our video.
Courthouse Falls is a stunning waterfall located in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, about 1 hour from Waynesville.
To reach Courthouse Falls, visitors must take a 5-drive down a rustic and rough forest service road to a small parking area near the trailhead. Then take a short, easy hike on a well-marked trail. The hike is about a mile round trip and takes visitors through a beautiful forest filled with rhododendrons, ferns, and wildflowers. The trail is relatively flat, but there are a few spots where visitors will need to climb over rocks and primitive bridges. The descent down to the falls at the end is steep.
The waterfall drops about 45 feet from the top and creating a beautiful pool at the bottom. The pool is popular for swimming, and many visitors enjoy taking a dip in the cool waters on hot summer days.
Dill Falls is a breathtaking waterfall located in the Nantahala National Foresto and 50 minutes from Waynesville. It is tucked away in a remote area of the forest not as heavily trafficked as some of the other waterfalls in the area, due to it being so remote.
Your adventure to Dill Falls begins with a long drive down a rough forest service road which will end in a round parking area at the trailhead. The drive will take your through dense forest and past camping areas.
The trail to Dill Falls is easy with a slight incline down to the falls. The trail is a straight shot from the parking area, and easy to follow, an d about 1-mile roundtrip.
Dill Falls cascades down a steep cliff for a total height of approximately 150 feet, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the area.
Dry Falls is anything but dry, and is a strong flowing and large waterfall located about 35 miles from Waynesville, near the town of Highlands.
The falls drop over 80 feet into a pool below and are easily accessible from the parking lot. There is a paved path that leads behind the falls, allowing you to experience the water rushing past you from a unique vantage point. There is also a viewing area just off the parking area for those with accessibility needs.
This is a stunning waterfall that is easy to get to, and should be on your short list to visit when visiting Waynesville.
Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls is a mesmerizing and large natural wonder nestled in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest. Looking Glass Falls is located near Brevard NC and about 45 minutes from Waynesville. The drive there from Waynesville is gorgeous.
Its sparkling blue waters cascade down a 60-foot drop into a serene pool below, surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees. Due to it's enchanting beauty and road-side viewing and accessibility, it is one of the most popular waterfalls in The Blue Ridge Mountains and Waynesville NC area.
You'll want to visit this waterfall early in the day to avoid the crowds.
Lower/Upper Falls Graveyard Fields
Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields is a beautiful and serene waterfall located at a popular stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway about 1 hour from Waynesville NC. Graveyard Fields actually has two Falls, both accessible by trails. Lower Falls (or Second Falls as it is also called) is the most beautiful and the easiest to get to.
As you venture along the paved and scenic trail, you'll be surrounded by Rhododendrons, which are beautiful in late spring. The trail down is rather steep, making the climb back up a good work-out. Due to this, we rate the trail moderate. The hike is just a little less than mile round-trip to the falls and back.
Lower Falls offers a refreshing oasis where you can cool off in the crystal-clear waters or relax on the smooth rocks and soak in the peaceful surroundings. To get closer to the Falls, you'll need to rock-hop your way across the creek.
Mingo Falls is located about 50 minutes from Waynesville, near Cherokee and just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The trail up to Mingo Falls is stairs nearly all the way up (around 160 of them), but it's a short at a little less than a mile roundtrip. There are benches and resting areas on the stairs for those that need a break.
Mingo Falls drop over 120 feet into a pool below, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the area. There is a boardwalk at the base of the falls that offers an exceptional viewing area. You can also explore below the falls and boardwalk as well.
Moore Cove Falls
Moore Cove Falls is a very popular easy hike and waterfall in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest. The parking area for the trailhead is roadside off Highway 276 between the the Blue Ridge Parkway and Brevard NC. The parking area and trailhead is 45 minutes from Waynesville.
As you begin the easy to moderate hike to the Moore Cove Falls, you'll be surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of nature. Upon reaching the falls, you'll love how the water gracefully cascading over the rocks and into the shimmering pool below.
There is a small viewing platform, and you can also walk directly up the falls, under it, and even behind it. The ability to approach the falls so closely makes this a unique experience for visitors.
Located 30 minutes from Waynesville, and just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Soco Falls is a stunning double waterfall that drops over 100 feet into a deep pool below. Soco Falls is is easily accessible from the roadside parking lot, with a short hike down to the viewing platform.
The viewing platform provides exceptional views, but if you want to get up close and explore the bottom portion of the falls, you can also take the scramble trail down to the bottom. This is a bit dangerous, so please be safe and use your own judgement.
Sunburst Falls is a breathtaking natural wonder located roadside in the Pisgah National Forest. The falls are directly off Highway 215 and about 30 minutes from Waynesville. The waterfall flows from above the road and down under a historic single arch bridge into multiple pools below.
The parking area is roadside an small, only accommodating 2-3 cars. The falls are a very short walk roadside to the bridge and falls. This is a great scenic stop when driving the beautiful and scenic drive along Highway 215 in North Carolina.
Wildcat Falls is a picturesque waterfall that is surrounded by the lush greenery of the Pisgah National Forest. The trailhead is about 40 minutes from Waynesville and near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The hike is moderate and follows a creek for the majority of the 1.5 mile roundtrip hike. There is a smaller fall you can view and visit on the way to Wildcat Falls as well.
You will hear the serene falls before you arrive. Wildcat Falls flows from above the trail and under an old concrete bridge. The bridge is what remains of an old logging operation and railroad grade that was here.
With its breathtaking beauty and serene atmosphere, Wildcat Falls is the perfect destination for anyone seeking a peaceful nature retreat.