Looking Glass Falls

Top Waterfall Hikes Around Brevard NC and Pilot Cove!

Top Waterfall Hikes Around Pilot Cove and Brevard NC

In the Land of Waterfalls around Brevard North Carolina, great waterfall hikes are never far away! If you crave finding those beautiful waterfalls and hearing the wonderful sounds of nature, this guide will lead you to the right place.

Waterfall Hikes Found in Pisgah National Forest

The Pisgah National Forest is known for great hikes and great waterfalls. You may even hear the waterfalls as you’re driving up 276 towards Blue Ridge Parkway. Plenty of pull offs are provides to allow you to park and take a short hike to see these amazing waterfalls.

Moore Cove

  • Rating – Easy
  • Round Trip Length – 1.5 miles
  • Trail Characteristics – Wood Bridges, Mild Inclines, Wide path

The Moore Cove Trail or #318 is a great place to enjoy a waterfall hike. It was reconstructed recently to include an overlook for those not looking to climb on any rocks. You can still get behind the falls too!

It’s an gentle hike with a few inclines in a few places, but for the most part, it’s pretty easy. You will want to park off 276 for this hike just past the Looking Glass Falls overlook.

Daniel Ridge

  • Rating – Easy
  • Round Trip Length – 1 mile or 4-mile loop to the top of the waterfall
  • Trail Characteristics – Fire Road, Short

Known as a gem of Pisgah National Forest, Daniel Ridge offers a one mile round trip hike to the waterfall. If you’re not careful, you may miss this one.

You will want to go past the Cove Creek camping parking lot on the gravel road until the road ends. You will find the trail head marked as #137, which is a fire road. After you cross the bridge, you will pass by the first loop trail marker for Daniel Ridge to the left. You want to stay to the right. You will find the waterfall not much past the second trail marker.

Looking Glass Falls

  • Rating – Easy
  • Round Trip Length – Very Short
  • Trail Characteristics – Paved sidewalks, Stairs, River Rock Climbing

Known as one of the best waterfalls in all of Western North Carolina, Looking Glass Falls is a great spot for a hike and for incredible pictures. The large vertical drop can be spotted from the road and there are several great viewing areas. You can view the waterfalls from the road, from the stairs and from many bases of the falls.

Looking Glass Falls is found about nine miles into the Pisgah National Forest on 276. It’s pretty easy to spot the pull of spot on the river side of the road.

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls, located in the Pisgah National Forest, in North Carolina

Cove Creek

  • Rating – Moderate
  • Round Trip Length – 2-mile loop (can be extended to 4.2-mile loop)
  • Trail Characteristics – Narrow Foot Bridge, Fire Road, Crossing over Rocks

A remote waterfall with plenty of beauty to enjoy, this hike offers a wonderful experience. You will find the Cove Creek trail when you head north on 276 through Pisgah National Forest. It’s a bit over 8 miles into the forest and just past the Davidson River campground and ranger station. You will want to park near the Cove Creek Group Camping area.

The fire road of the trail is about 0.75 miles long and you will pass a couple of group camping sites. You will find the waterfall after about a one-mile hike after passing over a narrow foot bridge and the Caney Bottom Trail marker. It’s found just past the one-mile mark and it’s well worth the hike.

Skinny Dip Falls

  • Rating – Moderate
  • Round Trip Length – 1 mile
  • Trail Characteristics – Dense Trees, Roots, Rocks

The Skinny Dip Falls is found just off Blue Ridge Parkway and doesn’t involve too much of a hike to get there. This is actually a popular place for people to take a dip at the base of the fall. The hike requires doing through some dense trees, but the path will open up and give you a view of the area. It’s not a hard trail to walk, excuse for a small area with roots and rocks.

You will want to take 276 to Blue Ridge Parkway and go left. Then, you can park at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook. Once you cross the parkway, the trail head is found to the right of the overlook.

A few other waterfall hikes to enjoy in the Pisgah National Forest include:

  • Dill Falls – Moderate with about two full miles to get to the waterfall
  • Courthouse Falls – Moderate with long drop offs on the side of the trail
  • Cedar Rock Falls – Moderate with tricky roots near the waterfall
  • Sliding Rock – Easy and Fun, you can slide down the rocks and get great pictures in the winter

None of the mentioned waterfall hikes found within Pisgah National Forest are overly difficult. Each hike offers a different type of waterfall with plenty of beauty to enjoy. Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg – there are hundreds of other falls and cascades in Pisgah National Forest!

Waterfall Hikes Found in DuPont Forest

DuPont Forest is another great choice for those seeking the beauty of waterfalls in the Western North Carolina area. It’s a well-kept forest with defined trails, easy parking and plenty of waterfalls. Here are a few of the best waterfall hikes to enjoy in DuPont Forest.

High Falls

  • Rating – Moderate
  • Round Trip Length – 1.2 miles
  • Trail Characteristics – Highly traveled, slippery trail at bottom

The High Falls is the second of the Little River Falls, and is the tallest. The water falls from about 150-feet over granite making for a beautiful option for a  waterfall hike. You can view the falls from the picnic shelter at Buck Forest Hunt Club Lodge or from the trail at the bottom of the falls.

The trail is found off Buck Forest Road from the parking area. You will turn left onto Triple Falls Trail and take an immediate right to find the High Falls Trail.

Triple Falls

  • Rating – Easy
  • Round Trip Length – 1 mile or half-mile from High Falls and Hooker Falls
  • Trail Characteristics – Moderately Steep Slopes, Steps

The third of the Little River Falls, Triple Falls is a cascading waterfall starting about 120 feet up, and drops down through rocks and trees. This notable falls was featured in the Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games! The waterfall is about a seven minute walk from the parking at Hooker Falls.

Hooker Falls

  • Rating – Easy
  • Round Trip Length – 0.5 miles
  • Trail Characteristics – Very Short, Parallel to the River

The fourth of the Little River Falls, Hooker Falls only has about an eleven foot drop. It cascades into the lake and was a part of the original DuPont State Forest. It’s also known as a popular place for swimming and provides access year-round.

A few other waterfall hikes to enjoy in DuPont Forest include:

  • Bridal Veil Falls – Featured in the Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games, this waterfall is pretty easy to access due to the two newly-opened routes.
  • Wintergreen Falls – A very accessible, lesser known waterfall in the DuPont Forest.
  • Grassy Creek Falls – About a 1.4-mile one-way hike to the falls with a covered bridge and a wonderful area for viewing.

The DuPont State Recreational Forest waterfall hikes are very unique. Some are very tall, while others provide a smaller waterfall with cascading levels.

Other Great Waterfall Hikes Near Brevard, NC

While the Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest offer some excellent waterfall hikes, there are other areas near Brevard with wonderful waterfalls. Here’s a look at some of the other waterfall hikes you can enjoy.

Rainbow Falls

  • Rating – Moderate
  • Trail Characteristics – Downhill on the way, Uphill on the way back, Wooden platform viewing area
  • Round Trip Length – 3 Miles

Enjoy this 150-foot tall waterfall from a hiking rail found in Gorges State Park. Rainbow Falls is known as one of the most amazing choices in the Blue Ridge Mountains. You will need to hike about 1.5 miles to get to the viewing area, after driving two miles once you enter Gorges State Park. It’s even possible to extend your hike another half-mile (round trip) to see the Stairway Falls.

Whitewater Falls

  • Rating – Easy
  • Trail Characteristics – Short paved trail to the observation platform area
  • Round Trip Length – ¼ Mile

This beautiful waterfall holds the designation of being the tallest waterfall East of the Rocky Mountains, falling an impressive 811 feet! A short pathway from the parking area takes you to the observation platform overlooking the waterfalls. For a better view of the falls and the perfect photo, follow the wooden stairs down to the lower observation platform.

A few other fun and beautiful waterfall hikes to enjoy around Brevard, NC include:

  • French Broad Falls & Mill Shoals – Twin falls with views of Cathedral Falls in the distance off NC Highway 215
  • Schoolhouse Falls – 2.5-mile round trip hike in Panthertown Valley of the Nantahala National Forest. Other waterfalls in the Panthertown Valley include Frolictown Falls, Wilderness Falls, and Greenland Creek Falls.

Many other great waterfall hikes are found throughout the Brevard, NC area. These are some of the best offering amazing beauty, wonderful picture opportunities and something you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Looking for the best place to stay for your waterfall adventure? Pilot Cove offers the perfect basecamp for your excursions. Relax in luxury cabins offering the feel of a treehouse directly bordering Pisgah National Forest! More information is available on our lodging page.


Moore Cove Falls is a short drive from Pilot Cove