If you’ve been to our peaks and valleys before, you know this to be true: there’s something new to discover every time you visit. Outdoor adventure is pretty much our middle name, and there aren’t many better ways to explore nature than hunting down some of our most scenic waterfalls. Keep reading to learn how to find five you shouldn’t miss.
This Maggie Valley favorite is the perfect way to kick off a waterfall tour. Located just off Soco Road, this double waterfall is reachable (and photogenic) all 12 months of the year! Plus, you’ll be near to all of Maggie Valley’s best attractions, like Wheels Through Time Museum, Elevated Mountain Distillery, and Joey’s Pancake House.
Near the Looking Glass Rock overlook, keep your eyes open to catch a peek at Skinny Dip Falls. The cascading waterfalls here are mesmerizing and inviting—if the weather’s fine, you’re welcome to make a splash here, but be careful: there’s no lifeguard on duty.
Sure, it has a spooky name, but a hike along Graveyard Fields is anything but scary. The decades-old name actually comes from the field’s resemblance to a graveyard after logging and wildfires ravaged the area, leaving behind nothing but ghostly tree stumps. Now, the scenery here includes acres of blackberry and blueberry bushes and vast fields of grasses following along a meandering stream. This hiking trail will bring you to not one, but two multi-tiered waterfalls. The Lower Falls can be reached in less than a quarter of a mile from the trailhead, and the Upper Falls are a longer hike—just one more extra mile—to a taller waterfall.
Also known as the Waterfall on Green Creek, these modest falls are surrounded by lush greenery and rhododendrons. This secluded slice of the Smokies is on the other end of an easy hike along the stream near Highway 215. It’s a perfect place to relax to the sounds of nature. Take along a picnic and see for yourself!
Another fairly easy hike from Highway 215 leads to probably the most unique waterfall on this list: Wildcat Falls. The falls run under an old concrete bridge, stretching to a height of nearly 60 feet. It’s kid-friendly, easy to find, and a truly one-of-a-kind—the concrete bridge that was once a logging trail makes for one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable picnics in Haywood County. For a closer look at the falls, take the steep trail on the other side of the bridge. Since it’s on a tributary of the Pigeon River, it’s best to visit after it rains.
These waterfalls are well worth the trip to see, but they aren’t the only picturesque falls you’ll find here. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy nature in Haywood County. It all depends on what you’re up for!