The Asheville area has so many amazing hiking trails it can be overwhelming to find the right one for your family. If you love hiking through the woods to find waterfalls, this is a short list of our favorite easy waterfall hikes near Asheville. All of these Asheville waterfall hikes are easy to moderate, and can be enjoyed solo or with kids and families.
Moore Cove Falls Trail
Moore Cove Falls Trail is nestled in Pisgah National Forest in Brevard, NC. This easy trek makes for the perfect family waterfall hike near Asheville. It is located right between the look out areas for Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock, so all three sites can be easily seen in one day. It is an easy 1.2 mile out and back hike, making it perfect for kids or families.
Distance from Asheville: 45 minutes
Trailhead Address: Moore Cove Falls Trail, US-276, Brevard, NC 28712
Length: 1.2 Miles Out and Back
Moore Cove Falls Guide
To visit the Moore Cove Falls Trail, follow the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway to the entrance of Pisgah National Forest in Brevard, NC. You will first encounter the Pisgah National Forest Visitor Center. Shortly after on your right is the breathtaking Looking Glass Falls overlook (another great waterfall near Asheville). After enjoying this breathtaking waterfall, continue your drive to the Moore Cove Falls Trailhead.
The Moore Cove Falls Trail is found on the right side of the road about one mile after Looking Glass Falls. Look for a small parking lot with a bridge and a tall stairwell.
There is an initial imposing ascent of stairs, but the trail levels out to a steady incline. After ascending the hill, you will walk aside the water as you near the waterfall.
Take a rest on the large downed trees which make perfect picnic spots. Kids will enjoy adventuring on the small stream crossings that preview the beautiful falls ahead.
Much of what I read says you can go behind these falls. This seems to have been easier before they built an observation deck. We didn’t see anyone attempting this, and wouldn’t recommend it. The view from the observation deck was beautiful and the hike was definitely one of the best waterfall hikes near Asheville we have done.
Triple Falls – DuPont State Forest
Distance from Asheville: 45 minutes
Trailhead Address: Triple Falls Trail, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
Length: 2.9 mile Loop
The Triple Falls trail in DuPont State Forest is of the most beautiful waterfall hikes near Asheville. Scenes from the Last of the Mohicans and the Hunger Games were both filmed at this gorgeous location. It features two tremendous waterfalls, and a romantic covered bridge. It is located in DuPont State Forest which is south of Asheville. The trail itself is a three mile loop, but can be taken in shorter hikes depending on how much you want to see.
Triple Falls Trail Guide
To reach the Triple Falls Trail, park in the Hooker Falls parking area. Descend down to the bridge and travel along side the river. A half a mile up some rocky terrain will lead you to the the first overlook of Triple falls.
Shortly after there is a short path of steps that leads down to the falls. At the base, stand on the rocks below the falls and feel the power of the large cascade in front of you. This is safe with kids, but stay on the flat rocks close to the stairs.
Continue up the trail to a fork in the road. Take the left hugging the river to continue on to High Falls. You will come upon Riverbend Trail which depends 0.3 miles to the base of High Falls. Don’t miss this descent, as it provides a spectacular view of the falls. We recommend this area as the perfect place to find a rock or a small patch of land for the perfect mid trail picnic.
After absorbing the incredible views of High Falls, continue back up Riverbend Trail and rejoin High Falls trail uphill. When you meet the Covered Bridge Trail, turn left and about .25 miles you will reach the Covered Bridge. The coolest part of the Covered Bridge is knowing that you are looking at the top of the incredible High Falls you just viewed from below.
Return back to Covered Bridge Trail and you will reach the intersection where you can now take Triple Falls Trail down hill. Triple Falls trail meanders through the forest and is serene and peaceful. Our kids admittedly found this segment a bit boring compared to the spectacular waterfalls from the hike up, but it was not strenuous, and it was less crowded than the hike in. Finally, take Triple Falls Trail back down to the intersection of High Falls Trail, where you can follow the river back to the parking lot. After your trip, be sure to return to town and enjoy one of the many Asheville breweries! You deserve it!
In total, this 3 mile waterfall hike near Asheville leads you to multiple waterfall vistas, as well as a cool covered bridge. It is the perfect waterfall hike near Asheville that delivers unique views that the whole family will enjoy.
Hickory Nut Falls Trail
Distance from Asheville: 50 minutes
Trailhead Address: Hickory Nut Falls Trail, North Carolina 28746
Length: 1.5 Miles Out and Back
Hickory Nut Falls Trail Guide
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are the perfect day trip when visiting Asheville. Hickory Nut Falls Trail located on Chimney Rock grounds, is an easy waterfall hike near Asheville that ends with an amazing view of a 404 foot towering cascade. Combine this trail with a visit to Chimney Rock, and stop at the Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery (or another Asheville brewery) after for a truly perfect day.
In order to go on the Hickory Nut Falls Trail, you must pay for entrance into Chimney Rock State Park. Admission is $17 for adults and $8 for kids. We recommend spending at least a half day in the park, and enjoying the incredible views from Chimney Rock before making the descent and hiking to the falls.
The hike is an out and back hike, and is 1.5 miles round trip. It ambles through forest initially, but opens up to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the town below. The trail is wide, and felt safe with little children. There were a few rocky areas but they were easily navigated.
Once you reach the falls there is a beautiful overlook area and a picnic table to rest and snack. Our tip is to go in the afternoon when most of the crowds are gone. We went closer to 5 PM and got to enjoy the waterfall on our own.
The Chimney Rock area was one of our favorite places to visit near Asheville, and Hickory Nut Falls makes for a special Asheville waterfall hike that is easy and memorable for families.
Tom’s Creek Falls
Distance from Asheville: 45 minutes
Trailhead Address: 1250 Huskins Branch Rd, Marion, NC 28752 (Not on Google Maps, just plug in the address!)
Length: 0.7 Miles Out and Back
Tom’s Creek Falls Trail is one of the nicest waterfall hikes near Asheville we have explored. We got this tip from an instagram follower, and we were so glad we went! This trail is easy, beautiful, and off of the beaten path which makes it special. You might think you are lost, as there isn’t much else around, but once you get there the rewards are worth it.
Tom’s Creek Falls Trail Guide
The Tom’s Creek Falls Trail is less than a mile out and back, but the surrounding creek provides for multiple areas for kids to explore. Our kids enjoyed climbing fallen logs that extended over the bubbling stream. The trail is flat until the very end where some switchbacks bring you up to the beautiful falls.
Definitely pack a picnic for this hike. There are beautiful spots on the rocks above the cascade to enjoy lunch and gaze at the falling water. We took off our shoes and dipped our toes in. The kids really enjoyed exploring the stepping stones in the pool below the waterfall.
This was one of our favorite Asheville waterfalls, as while small, we felt like we had found something that not many others discovered.
Please Note, we typically highlight Catawba Falls as a great Asheville hike, but it is closed for restoration until Spring of 2023!
The Asheville area has an incredible number of waterfalls with easy waterfall hikes that can be enjoyed by families. We hope you enjoy exploring our favorite waterfall. hikes near Asheville. We encourage you to get out, explore and “Just Go” to Asheville, and experience what this beautiful area has to offer.
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