Plan Your Asheville Waterfall Adventure
Few things are as majestic as a waterfall in the North Carolina mountains. For decades visitors have enjoyed hiking the mountain trails around Asheville in search of the perfect waterfall. Whether you are looking for a secluded spot to take the perfect photo or just looking to stretch your legs on the Blue Ridge Parkway, nothing soothes the soul or speaks of the vibrant and rich nature of the mountains like a waterfall. This week we have all the information you need to have your perfect waterfall adventure.
Know before you go
North Carolina is home to literally hundreds of waterfalls. Choosing which one to see or trying to discover where they all are can be daunting. However, it doesn't have to be. Here are three great ways to get all the info you need on where the different waterfalls are located.
1) Western North Carolina Waterfall Map. This interactive online map allows users an easy way to look at different waterfalls. To use it you simply click on a waterfall icon. A box will appear that shares a picture of the waterfall, location, directions, and some notes about the waterfall that a visitor will find helpful.
2) Ask a local All information is not the same and the best information about waterfalls is often found right here at one of our several local outdoor stores. There is a huge hiking community in Asheville and places like Black Dome Mountain Sports, Frugal Backpacker, Diamond Brand Outdoor, REI, and Second Gear all have friendly staffs that will be more than happy to share with you the best waterfall hike for your skill level.
3) Book and more booksMaps and books are a great way to discover the area's waterfalls. In fact, there are several books and maps that focus solely on the local area. One of the best places to find these is at Malaprop's Bookstore located in the heart of downtown Asheville. Books are great because these small guides are easy to tuck in your bag for the hike. No Wifi needed!
What to bring
What to bringIf you are looking to take a day hike in search of a waterfall, there are a few things you should always carry. The trails around Asheville can be remote or well traveled. Either way, a little planning goes a long way towards ensuring you have a safe and fun day in the woods. Here are the basics you should have.
1) A backpack to carry your essential items. If you are looking at sizes, you'd want something around 25L to 30L capacity. Any local shop can help you find one. No need to break the bank. Keep it simple.
2) A good pair of shoes that have a good sole along with good ankle support.
3) A couple layers of clothing. Even in the summer, the temperature in the woods or at higher elevations can easily be five to ten degrees cooler. Avoid cotton which absorbs moisture which is not suitable for warm or cold temperatures. Always bring a raincoat. The mountains can do strange things to the weather.
4) Water is essential, especially if you are going on an extended hike off the beaten path. You can live a very long time without food, but water is critical. Many backpacks have bladders that make carrying water a lot more comfortable.
5) Basic first aid kit. Nothing fancy just a few odds and ends. Click here for more details.
6) A headlamp or a good flashlight. Nothing is worse than coming back late and not being able to see the trail. 7) A whistle is a great way to signal others that you are lost and also great for scaring away a bear... which is rarely needed, but they are helpful, and any good hiking kit should have one.
8) Map of the area. Nothing is worse than being lost just because you didn't know which trail to take. Several good maps can be purchased at any outdoor store or online.
9) Insect repellent is essential in the summer months.
10) A hat. You'll want to keep the sun off of you or help keep the rain and heat in. Either way, it is an essential item to have for your comfort.
Remember to use common sense while in the woods. If you need help or have questions about a specific trail, ask a local outdoors shop. A day in the woods is a peaceful and wonderful experience that is sure to be the highlight of your Asheville mountain vacation. Make sure to bring a camera. You''ll want to save these memories for years to come.
5 Waterfalls you must see
Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 418, Graveyard Fields is one of the more popular hiking destinations. The falls feature two waterfall adventures, the Upper Falls and Second Falls. The trails to the waterfalls are easy and relatively flat making it perfect for a family adventure. A trail map is located in the parking area for easy reference.
Catawba Falls is located in an Old Fort. Once off-limits to the public now everyone can enjoy the falls. There are two areas to explore, the lower falls, and upper falls. The hike to the upper falls is difficult, so you need to be in good shape if you want to attempt the climb. The trailhead for this hike is located at the end of Catawba River Rd. which is just off of the exit/entrance ramp of exit 73 on I-40. The entrance is on the same side as McDonald's.
Bridal Veil Falls
This 4.6-mile round trip hike in the beautiful DuPont State Forest leads hikers to an incredible cascade deep within the park. This waterfall is one of the lesser-visited sites in DuPont State Forest making it particularly enjoyable. The hike leads you across a beautiful covered bridge and through the serene Lake Julia. Finally, you'll arrive at the viewing platform for a fantastic view of Bridal Veil Falls.
If you are looking for a great waterfall that you can see from the road, then Glassmine Falls is the perfect waterfall for your adventure. The overlook at Milepost 361.2 on the Blue Ridge Parkway allows visitors a great view. Located about twenty-five miles north of Asheville near Craggy Gardens, it is best viewed after a heavy rain. The falls is named for an old mica mine located nearby.
Panthertown Valley is often referred to as the ‘Yosemite of the East’ due to its sheer-walled mountain summits and deep valleys. This adventure takes hikers through Cold Mountain Gap and down through a valley that lis lush with mountain flowers and beautiful views. The view of the falls is spectacular and well worth the 2.6 mile round-trip hike.
Rocks surrounding a waterfall are often wet and very slippery. Don’t climb, swim or hike on, around, or over a waterfall. Falls can be fatal. Avoid rivers and waterfalls after a recent rain: a high-volume river can be dangerous.
Are you ready to plan your waterfall adventure? If so, we can help make sure you find the perfect Asheville vacation home for your adventure. Give us a call today to book direct your vacation home or click on the button below to see all of our current inventory.
What's your favorite waterfall adventure. Let us know in the comments below.