Last Updated on March 23, 2023
Every day in the Blue Ridge Mountains is an adventure, especially if you know where to look. We live in a remarkable enclave for hikes of all levels of difficulty. There are countless hidden trails and lookout spots dotted throughout our local mountains and protected forests. And each offers its own unique perspective on native flora, fauna, and nature at large.
Better still, our prehistoric topography is bursting with waterfalls. At least 250 falls exist in Transylvania County alone, giving it the moniker “The Land of Waterfalls.” Some are relatively small and gentle. Others take big, breathtaking plunges into mountain pools.
On hot mountain days, there’s nothing better than a safe* hike to one of the region’s many inspiring waterfalls. Here are three of our favorite waterfall hikes for beginner or experienced hikers.
Pink Beds Trail
This trail was originally named after the pink native flowers that grew through the area. Today, this relatively flat loop hike, which features a shortcut option, is all about water. You’ll cross over rare mountain bogs (via boardwalks) and pass through a section where beavers have dammed the South Fork Mills River to form their ponds. Those ponds are drowning out the trees, marking an ecosystem in transition. You’ll also find crystal clear brooks, wildlife meadows, scenic fern-filled woods, and an optional waterfall. To reach the waterfall, take the turn for Barnett Branch trail. After about a third of a mile, you’ll reach a 25–30-foot waterfall that is spectacular after a rain. Dogs are allowed, but must be on a leash between April 1–August 15 and must be under voice control at all times.
US 276, Pisgah Forest | hikewnc.info/besthikes/davidson-river/pink-beds-loop
Triple Falls and High Falls Trails
Among our favorite local waterfall hikes is the trail that runs around Triple Falls and High Falls. This trail is a moderately easy, 2.6-mile loop hike that takes about 1.5 hours to complete. Triple Falls is accessible about a third of a mile down. And at the one-mile mark, stay left to follow the river to High Falls. Although this trail is short, it takes you past some of the most beautiful areas on the way to the waterfalls. Color is plentiful in spring when the flowers are blooming and in fall when the leaves are changing. Dogs are allowed, but they must be on a leash and under control of the owner. Hunting is allowed by permit on certain days.
204-226 Staton Road, Pisgah Forest | alltrails.com/trail/us/north-carolina/triple-falls-trail
From hiking to mountain biking to over 100 miles of multi-use trails, DuPont State Forest has enough to keep any outdoor enthusiast active. And waterfall lovers always have something new to discover. Hooker Falls is the fourth waterfall on Little River after Bridal Veil Falls, High Falls, then Triple Falls. But it’s the only waterfall in the forest that is marked safe for swimming—and it certainly does not disappoint. A parking lot sits just a quarter mile away, making access relatively easy. And because the waterfall feeds into Cascade Lake, there are no dangerous currents or downstream hazards to worry about. Just float, try the rope swing, and enjoy your day.
1300 Staton Road, Cedar Mountain | dupontforest.com/explore/hooker-falls
*Safety Tips for Waterfall Hikes*
Complete with pools of crystal clear water and vibrant green ferns, there’s hardly a better place to cool off on a summer day in the mountains than at a local waterfall! But staying safe is the key to an afternoon of fun.
Live Abundantly in Transylvania County
With more than 100,000 acres of public land in Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest, Headwaters State Forest, and Gorges State Park, Transylvania County is the perfect destination for countless outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing. The county is also known as “The Land of Waterfalls,” as some 250 waterfalls flow through the area.
Closer to civilization, Transylvania County offers eclectic in-town living with many opportunities for education, art, eclectic dining, and music. The county seat of Brevard is just one local and welcoming community that offers many lifestyle opportunities. Homes in Brevard and across the county range from historic single-family homes to downtown condos and new construction.
Does that sound like the perfect lifestyle for you? Find your dream home in Transylvania County now!