Beautiful view of Crabtree Falls near Little Switzerland NC

13 Incredible Waterfalls near Boone NC to Visit 2023

Looking for the best waterfalls near Boone, NC?

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Boone, North Carolina, is known for many things. It is home to Appalachian State University, lots of rich history, and a number of fun outdoor activities, like hiking and waterfalls. North Carolina has hundreds of waterfalls all over the state, and some of the best waterfalls are located just an hour outside of Boone. 

Waterfalls Near Boone NC

If you are looking for incredible waterfalls near Boone NC, you have come to the right place. Here are some of the most fantastic and jaw-dropping waterfalls within 50 miles of Boone. 

1. Linville Falls

Distance from Boone: 40 minutes or 29.7 miles
Trail Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous 

Linville Falls is one of North Carolina’s most picturesque waterfalls and is located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 316.4. Linville Falls is only about a half-hour drive from the stunning Grandfather Mountain. 

A couple of trails give you different viewpoints of the 90-foot falls. The easiest and most popular trail is the Erwin View Trail.

This moderate hike starts at the Vistor’s Center and is 1.6 miles round trip. There are four separate viewpoints of the waterfall along this trail, including lookout points and picnic benches.

The Linville Gorge Trail is the next trail that takes you to the actual base of the waterfall. The hike is much more challenging; however, it is shorter, and you can get up close. 

Find the Trail Map and Hike Here for Linville Falls

Linville Falls NC best waterfalls near Boone NC

2. Laurel Creek Falls (aka Trash Can Falls)

Distance from Boone: 19 minutes or 11.8 miles
Trail Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

If you are looking for a good swimming spot, consider Laurel Creek Falls. It is popular among Appalachian State University students as a great swimming spot.

The Snake Pit is another favored swimming hole that is in the same area as Laurel Creek Falls. The Snake Pit is much more accessible and faster to get to. The swimming hole, and the falls, flow directly into the Watauga River. 

Laurel Creek Falls is an area that is known to flood, so be cautious after heavy rains. 

Laurel Creek Falls waterfalls near Boone NC

3. Glen Burney Falls

Distance from Boone: 17 minutes or 8.3 miles
Trail Difficulty: Strenuous 

Many love Glen Burney Falls because it is only a few blocks from downtown Blowing Rock and .5 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parking area and trailhead are found off Laurel Lane in Annie Cannon Gardens. The falls and the trail to get there are considered “a gem of the High Country” by locals. 

The hike is very strenuous and not for beginner hikers. It is a 3.2-mile round trip and has about 600 feet of elevation. The trail is maintained; however, it can be very wet and slippery.

As you walk towards the falls, you will be following the beautiful New Years Creek. There aren’t many spots for swimming, but you can always dip your toes in. 

Find the Trail Map & Hike Here for Glen Burney Falls

Glen Burney Falls waterfalls near Boone NC

4. Hebron Falls

Distance from Boone: 17 minutes or 7.7 miles
Trail Difficulty: Easy to moderate   

Hebron Falls is also known as Boone Fork Falls. The main trail to get there is called Boone Fork Trail. This trailhead is at Julian Price Park Picnic Area or off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 296.4.

There is an old trailhead sign for these waterfalls off the Old Turnpike road, but parking is no longer allowed here, and you will be towed. The trail is 3.5 miles there and back. Set aside at least an hour and a half to complete the hike.

The hike is generally easy and flat. It is a very popular place for swimming and birding. Once you have arrived at the falls, you are welcome to enjoy the water, sit under the 20-foot falls and explore the area. 

Note: These falls are in an area that is subject to seasonal closures due to weather. Check for any trail or road closures before heading out. 

Find the Trail Map & Hike Here for Hebron Falls

5. Crabtree Falls

Distance from Boone: 1 hour 9 minutes or 47.3 miles
Trail Difficulty: Moderate 

Crabtree Falls is well-loved in the Western North Carolina area. The beautiful falls flow directly down 60 feet into the rocks and make the challenging hike well worth it. Make sure to add this to your list of waterfalls near Boone NC to visit!

The trail is a strenuous 2.5-mile loop that has lots of steep, rocky terrain. The trailhead is easily accessible in the parking lot behind the Crabtree Falls Campground entrance.

Find the Trail Map & Hike Here for Crabtree Falls

Beautiful view of Crabtree Falls best waterfalls near Boone NC

6. Cascade Falls

Distance from Boone: 21 minutes or 15.5 miles
Trail Difficulty: Easy 

Cascade Falls can be accessed at milepost 271.9 off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the EB Jeffress Park Area. The trail is an easy 1 mile there and back hike and a perfect place for swimming and hiking.

The end of the walk brings you to a great lookout point to see the trails from above. Be careful at the top of the falls since the rocks get very slippery.

The pools below the falls are easily accessible right from the parking area. These pools are a great place to rest, go for a swim, and have a picnic. This area does tend to get busy during the summer and fall. 

Note: This area is subject to seasonal closures. 

Find the Trail Head & Hike Here for Cascade Falls

7. Upper Creek Falls

Distance from Boone: 41 minutes or 28.9 miles
Trail Difficulty: Easy to moderate 

Located in the Pisgah National Forest, Upper Creek Falls brings visitors from near and far to enjoy the slopped falls and the perfect swimming hole below. A loop trail will bring you to two different sections of this waterfall. 

Upper Creek Falls waterfalls near Boone NC

The loop trail is 1.7 miles long and is the only way to reach the top of Upper Creek Falls. The waterfall is 0.8 miles into the hike. Take caution in this area as the rocks are very slippery, and the trail is very steep.

Once at the waterfall, you can cross over to take a trail to the well-known swimming hole, “Jonas Hole.” You can also continue going and complete the loop on Lower Falls Trail. 

There is a fun little natural waterslide that you can tube or slide down. 

Find the Trail Head and Hike for Upper Creek Falls

8. Big Falls (aka Thompson Falls)

Distance from Boone: 51 minutes or 30.3 miles
Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Big Falls is not only beautiful, but it is also a wonderful waterfall. This large waterfall plunges 125 feet into the Thompson River. Those who favor this waterfall love it because it is in a very remote location. 

Because of its remote location, it is one of the less populated waterfalls. So if you are interested in beating crowds, this is the place to go. 

The trail to Big Falls is a long 7.5 miles out and back trail in Sapphire, NC. Most of this trail is easy, and only about one mile of the hike is very strenuous. It takes most hikers 4-5 hours to complete the trek. There are many swimming spots along the way

Find the Trail Head & Hike Here for Big Falls / Thompson River

9. Otter Falls

Distance from Boone: 23 minutes or 12.7 miles
Trail Difficulty: Moderate 

Otter Falls is a serene little spot with a nice wooden lookout deck and a small swimming hole. The hike is short and sweet, and you are only 6 miles away from Sugar Mountain for even more adventure. 

The trail to Otter Falls is only 0.9 miles there and back and takes about 30 minutes to complete. Many say the hike tends to get very muddy and icy and can get slippery with the elevation. People recommend bringing hiking poles on this trail. 

Find the Trail Head & Hike Here for Otter Falls

10. Crab Orchard Falls

Distance from Boone: 19 minutes or 10.0 miles
Trail Difficulty: Moderate

A 1.5-mile hike takes you to the beautiful Crab Orchard Falls in Valle Crucis Conference Center, just a little over 10 minutes from downtown Banner Elk. Although Valle Crucis is private property, they still welcome visitors to see the falls.

Guests are to park in the designated parking area where they can find the trailhead. 

The trail is very well maintained. It is only rated moderate for a few steep sections. Swimming is not allowed here, but the hike is perfect for a day trip with the family. Dogs are allowed on leashes. 

Find the Trail Head & Hike Here for Crab Orchard Falls

Crab Orchard Falls

11. Compression Falls (aka Twisting Falls) 

Distance from Boone: 42 minutes or 23.1 miles 
Trail Difficulty: Difficult 

Compression Falls (also known as Twisting Falls) is located right over the border in Tennessee. The waterfall is part of the Elk River and falls 20-30 feet into the pool below. The hike to see the falls is challenging and can be dangerous in wet weather. 

Although the trail is challenging, it is only 0.8 miles there and back. It takes most hikers about 40 minutes to finish. This trail consists of rock scrambling up steep rocky faces, winding turns, and many tree roots. Be mindful of your feet and wear proper hiking shoes.

The view of the falls is well worth the hike. Visitors are allowed to swim in the pools below, however, it can be dangerous to swim close to the plunging waterfall. 

Find the Trail Head & Hike Here for Compression Falls

Roadside Waterfalls near Boone NC

12. Green Mountain Creek Falls

Distance from Boone: 28 minutes or 15.8 miles
Trail Difficulty: Easy

This easily accessible waterfall isn’t as well-loved as other waterfalls in the area. However, it is still beautiful. The falls are only 8 miles from downtown Blowing Rock on Highway 221. It is also only a short distance from the Blue Ridge Parkway, making it a perfect stop for travelers. 

The falls only drop about 20 feet, and you can stand at the pool from the road. The water isn’t deep, but you can still get your feet wet.

If you want to see a waterfall without the hassle of hiking, then this is the perfect stop! The pull-off to see Green Mountain Creek Falls doesn’t fit many cars; be mindful of your time there. 

13. Silvervale Falls

Distance from Boone: 28 minutes or 16.9 miles
Trail Difficulty: Easy

Silvervale Falls is a spectacular 80-foot roadside waterfall near Blowing Rock, NC.  Silvervale Falls is one of the more beautiful falls that visitors can see right from the road.

There is a decent-sized pull-off off Waterfalls Road where you can park and get out to take pictures and enjoy the water. Waterfalls Road is right off exits US-221 from the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Waterfalls Near Boone NC: FAQs

Here are a few tips and things you should know before visiting the stunning waterfalls near Boone, North Carolina

✅ What To Pack

Wearing the proper clothes and having a well-stocked backpack can be life-changing on a long hike to see waterfalls. It is crucial to bring all the necessities on any hike. 

A good pair of hiking shoes is one of the most important things since they will keep your feet safe while on the hike. These trails often involve steep, muddy terrain, so a hiking stick will be helpful. Wear comfortable clothing, and always check the weather before heading out. You may need to bring a rain jacket, a swimsuit, and water shoes. 

Pack plenty of water and some snacks or sandwiches. You can munch along the way or enjoy a  picnic once you reach the falls. Usually, in the summer, it is a good idea to remember to bring bug spray, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Don’t forget a waterproof camera and a pair of binoculars! 

✅ What is the biggest waterfall in Boone NC?

North Carolina has too many waterfalls to count, but none of them come close to the biggest one of them all. Whitewater Falls is North Carolina’s biggest waterfall, plunging 411 feet.

Whitewater Falls is just 60 miles from Asheville and 3 hours south of Boone, in the Nantahala National Forest. Whitewater Falls is actually the highest waterfall east of the Rockies.  

There is a very accessible lookout point to see the falls in all their glory. This lookout point is paved and is only a quarter of a mile. You can walk down a flight of 154 stairs to the bottom of the trail to get an even better view. 

Whitewater Falls

✅ What waterfalls are easy to hike near Boone NC?

Many of the waterfalls in the Boone area are in places that are challenging to get to. This is because of elevation gain, large boulders, rock scrambling, and slippery pathways.

Cascade Falls, Hebron Falls, and Upper Creek Falls are some of the more accessible falls. These falls are great for families with younger children or older folk. 

The easiest falls to see are, of course, the ones you can see from the road. Both Silvervale Falls and Green Mountain Creek Falls require no hiking at all! 

✅ Can you swim in any of the waterfalls near Boone NC?

Some of the best swimming hotels are found by the waterfalls near Boone. Linville Falls, Laurel Creek Falls, and Cascade Falls are notorious for having great swimming holes.

Since these places are so popular, they get busy during warm months. Big Falls is the best and least populated waterfall to visit and swim under. 

Wrap-Up: Waterfalls near Boone NC

There is no lack of marvelous waterfalls in the High Country of North Carolina. While you are visiting Boone or the surrounding towns, it is a great opportunity to get out into nature and see some of these phenomenal waterfalls. 

We hope you can get out and enjoy as many of these waterfalls near Boone NC.

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