The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of America’s most spectacular eastern drives, and we wanted to share 10 Beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls. The parkway is known for its slow-paced, breathtaking views and 469 miles of pure bliss.
The Blue Ridge Parkway connects Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to western North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although the ride is 10.5 hours driven straight through, it can turn into a fun 3-day road trip.
Along the way, there are many hikes, camping areas, and waterfalls that you can stop and enjoy. With a grand total of 65 waterfalls, it would be hard to fit them all in one trip, so here are the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway waterfalls.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY WATERFALLS
1. APPLE ORCHARD FALLS (located in VA)
There are many reasons Apple Orchard Falls is number one on the list. The scenery is out of this world, especially if you visit in the fall, and the hike is just right. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, at milepost 78, the trail to the falls begins at the Sunset Field Overlook.
The hike is a bit challenging and is 2.8 miles long there and back. You can expect to spend at least half a day taking this hike, but it is well worth it! The view of the 200-foot-tall falls is spectacular, along the gorgeous hike through the hundreds of trees resembling apple orchards.
The trail is usually not too crowded, even in the summer. There are plenty of little swimming holes near the bottom of the trail, which is great for warm summer days! Watch out for any road closures during the rainy months.
2. MOORE COVE FALLS
Moore Cove Falls is a wonderful family spot. The hike is extremely easy, and it is a short 0.7 miles from the parking area. The trail leads you to a peaceful 50-foot waterfall, and the best part is that you can walk behind and under the falls! People of all ages enjoy this waterfall.
Moore Cove Falls can be found at milepost 411 of the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a perfect day trip.
3. GRAVEYARD FIELDS FALLS
Here you can take pictures, relax, and even go swimming! It is a great spot for family gatherings. This is a preferred swimming spot since it’s a little less crowded than other popular swimming pools in the area.
If you are eager to keep going, you can continue to see a second waterfall. This hike is a total of 4 miles there and back and is fairly easy; older kids love it, but it may be harder for younger children.
4. SLIDING ROCK FALLS
At milepost 412 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, you will come across Sliding Rock Falls! Sliding Rock Falls is a super fun family event. Naturally formed, the falls are a low-rise cascade that sweeps over smooth rocks that thousands of people slide down each year.
What can be better than a natural waterslide? There are also smaller pools of water at the base that are fun to enjoy.
It is a trendy spot in the summer and costs $4 per person to enter. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months, and bathrooms are open during this time as well. Sliding Rock Falls is open all year round; however, you may not want to swim during the cold!
5. WHITE ROCK FALLS (located in vA)
If you are looking for a good hike with some great views, White Rock Falls is the perfect spot for you. White Rock Falls trailhead is found at milepost 18.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. You have the option of the 2.4 miles there and back hike or the 4.4-mile loop.
The falls are located a little over a mile in. There is an excellent pool at the bottom of the falls, perfect for swimming on a hot day.
The hike isn’t overpopulated and is a bit challenging! It involves some rock scrambling and can get slippery in the rain. Overall, it’s so worth it.
6. CRABTREE FALLS
Crabtree Falls has two wonderful trails and is a popular camping area with 71 campsites! The first trail is a 1.8-mile, there-and-back hike with a decent view of the falls. For even more views of the 60-foot falls, you can take the 3-mile loop.
Both trails have amazing views of the falls. Remember that both trails are challenging due to some steep elevation gain. Crabtree Falls is a favorite waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Crabtree Falls Campground can be found at milepost 339.5. The campgrounds are only open from May 27 to October 31. However, you can enjoy the hiking trails all year round.
While you are in the area, stop by the cute small town of Little Switzerland NC.
7. SKINNY DIP FALLS
Skinny Dip Falls is a wonderful spot to stop and hang out. If it’s warm outside, you can enjoy the fresh swimming pools!
The parking area can be found at milepost 417, and the easy hike is only 0.9 miles, making it great for families or a short day trip. The falls are low rising, and the pools of water are crystal clear and perfectly chilly.
Skinny Dip Falls can see several people during the summer, but don’t worry about watching out for skinny dippers! It’s only in the name.
8. LOOKING GLASS FALLS
Looking Glass Falls is probably the most popular waterfall on this drive, and for good reason! The waterfall is 60 feet tall and can be seen from the road.
This makes it great to visit during any season, but it is a very popular swimming spot in the summer. Be warned; it gets pretty crowded.
The walk from the parking area to the falls is very short, 0.3 miles, and it’s about a 10-minute walk. The trail is generally flat and has benches and picnic tables along the way. It is free entry. Looking Glass Falls is located at milepost 411.8.
9. CASCADES FALLS
The Cascades overlook can be found at milepost 271.9 of the parkway. It’s an easy 1-mile loop that is perfect for all family members.
The trail is very well maintained and will lead you to two overlooks that are about midway on the 150-foot tall falls. Unfortunately, there is no trail going to the top of the falls, but the overlook is still gorgeous!
10. GLASSMINE FALLS
Lastly, Glassmine Falls deserves a spot on the list. Glassmine Falls is a jaw-dropping sight, but only after a good rain. It is not so spectacular during dry seasons.
At milepost 361.2 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find a pull-off with an overlook to see the massive 200-foot tall falls. You cannot hike to the base of the trail, so this overlook is your only option!
Don’t forget your binoculars for this one!
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls: FAQs
✅ What waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway is closest to Asheville NC?
Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, and Moore Cove Falls are the closest to Asheville NC, that we have included from our list of waterfalls on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
✅ Where does Blue Ridge Parkway begin and end?
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic route that spans an impressive 469 miles, starting from Rockfish Gap in Virginia and winding its way through picturesque landscapes until it reaches Cherokee, North Carolina.
This beautiful roadway serves as a gateway between Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering visitors a breathtaking journey through the Blue Ridge Mountains.
✅ How long does it take to drive the Full Blue Ridge Parkway?
Driving the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway can take anywhere from 2-3 days to several weeks, depending on how much time you have to explore and how many stops you want to make along the way.
To make the most of your Blue Ridge Parkway experience, it’s recommended that you plan ahead and allow plenty of time to explore the various towns, parks, and natural wonders along the way.
You may also want to consider staying overnight at one of the many campgrounds or lodges located throughout the Parkway, which will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of this iconic American roadway.
It has been hard to narrow down the best waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, these all deserve a spot in the top 10 waterfalls. Next time you are driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, or you’re in the area, be sure to try and stop at any one of these amazing Blue Ridge Parkway waterfalls!
If you want to continue your explorations. We encourage you to get out and explore all the beautiful trails and greenways NC has to offer.
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