At the Sourwood Inn, we love to help our guests plan a perfect getaway! While sometimes our suggestions vary by season, we always love recommending picking up a picnic lunch from the Well Bred Bakery in Weaverville and going on a waterfall hunt. Waterfalls are everywhere in our area. Some can be seen from the road; others are a hike. But no matter which one you decide to hunt during your stay at the Sourwood, you will be creating a memory of a lifetime. And we think you’ll agree after your day of adventure that Waterfall and Picnics go together for your Asheville Adventure.
Sometimes, a perfect picnic can be orchestrated with just a few stops. Before you leave the inn, check out the Sourwood Wine List. We’ll be happy to provide a bottle opener and plastic glasses. During the summer, you’ll see plenty of farm stands and farmers’ markets where you can pick up fresh fruit. If it’s the shoulder season, we love recommending Whole Foods or Ingles Market, where you can pick up fruit, sandwiches, chip, and everything else to make your afternoon adventure special. If a gourmet sandwich is in your mind, visit Well Bred Bakery in Weaverville. You can place your order online here and your picnic will be waiting for you.
Why Asheville is such a popular destination
Asheville has become a top-rated destination, and for a good reason! Our area boasts a beautiful and quaint city full of wonderful farm-to-table eateries along with brewpubs and wineries. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs right through our area, and nature abounds both within and outside of the metropolitan area. We love our small Asheville Airport, which includes car rentals and easy access in and out. And for all the nature enthusiasts coming to bike, hike, and explore our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, many are filled with waterfalls.
Waterfall Hunt Choices
Once you have your picnic safely packed in your backpack or basket, it’s time to choose which waterfall you would like to explore. There are literally hundreds of waterfall hikes near Asheville– so many that you could spend weeks taking day trips and never see them all.
What’s shown below are some of our personal picks for the best waterfalls near Asheville, NC, from Dupont and Pisgah National Forest to small towns close by.
1. Bridal Veil Fall- Brevard (55 miles from the inn)
This spectacular waterfall is one of the most well-known and is fed by the Little River. It begins with a small four-foot drop before sliding down a large 120 feet granite rock face, plunging into many pools. Aside from warranting a visit for its sheer beauty, Bridal Veil, along with several other falls in Dupont State Recreational Forest has the claim to fame of being featured in the film The Last of the Mohicans.
2. Looking Glass Falls- Pisgah Forest (45 miles from the inn)
Looking Glass Falls is one of the easiest falls to experience as it cascades very close to the road. This 75-foot waterfall is located along the very scenic U.S. Highway 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Admire it from the roadside observation deck or take the stairs down for a closer look. There are plenty of places to wade and splash and find a private picnic table along the way.
3. Skinny Dip Falls- Canton (41 miles from the inn)
Looking for waterfalls where you can go for a nice refreshing swim? The trailhead to this falls is accessible via the Blue Ridge Parkway right across from the Looking Glass Rock Overlook (Milepost 417). The trailhead to Skinny Dip is easy, just watch out for the rocks and roots along the way.
4. Soco Falls, Maggie Valley (49 miles from the inn)
We love Maggie Valley, and this falls is located on the Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Soco Falls is a gorgeous double waterfall where two plummeting falls face each other as they tumble down into the same rocky pool. There is a short walk down to a viewing platform. While not very long, the hike does require steady footing while using guide ropes that are provided.
5. Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, & High Falls,
Brevard ( 45 miles from the inn)
All three falls are included in the well-maintained trailheads within DuPont State Forest. If you want to hike all three falls while visiting, start with Hooker Falls, loop back up to Triple Falls, which is about 1-mile away, and then hike to High Falls, another half-mile. It’s a three-mile plus round trip hike to see these three waterfalls. (You may also continue to Bridal Veil Falls from the covered bridge, but this falls will add another 4.4 miles to your hike.)
6. Catawba Falls, Old Fort (35 miles from the inn)
In our mind, this is one of the prettiest waterfall hikes in our area. Here you will find a tall and stunning waterfall along with a sweet trailhead. It is included within the beautiful Pisgah National Forest. This is a popular spot so if your schedule allows visit during the week.
7. Moore Cove Falls, Brevard (45 miles from the inn)
Moore Cove Falls is one of our favorites! This 50 ft falls includes a .7 mile hike to reach the falls from the road. This one is special in that you can walk behind the falls. Sometimes, you may be able to catch a rainbow in the mist.
8. Crab Tree Falls, Little Switzerland (52 miles from the inn)
As one of the most popular waterfalls near Asheville, Crabtree Falls offers a moderately easy 2-mile out and back or slightly harder 2.5-mile loop. The falls cascade over a 60-foot rock cliff. You can stand on a wooden bridge to get head-on pictures and a wonderful view.
9. Second/Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields, Canton (43 miles from the inn)
Lower Falls is especially beautiful in the fall and is named after all the tree stumps that look like graves. Lower Falls, also known as Second Falls, is only about 1/3 of a mile from the parking area, which makes for an easy hike. You can swim around this area, too.
10. Daniel Ridge Falls, Pisgah Forest, (48 miles from the inn)
Daniel Ridge Falls, in the Pisgah National Forest, is a gorgeous 150-foot waterfall. It is also a great winter waterfall hike. Daniel Ridge offers two beautiful trails filled with smaller waterfalls and mesmerizing babbling brooks. You can hike the 4-mile loop, or you can take the shorter and easier one-mile out and back directly to Daniel Ridge Falls — also known as Tom’s Spring Branch Falls.
11. Walker and Douglas Falls, Pisgah Forest (32 miles from the inn)
This is one of those waterfalls that you can either cheat on by driving close to or hike from Craggy Gardens.
You can pick up the trail from the Visitor Center or even the Craggy Gardens Picnic area. However, this is a 7 to 10-mile, extremely challenging hike. Your other option, which is our first choice, is to drive up the winding gravel road of Forest Service Road 74. From here, it’s a moderate and extremely slippery-when-wet half-mile hike downhill to the falls from the official trailhead. With gate closures over recent years, expect to walk up 1.1-miles up the road from Laurel Gap Parking. You can walk under the gorgeous 70-foot falls and walk around them. You may also continue the hike to Craggy Gardens or Greybeard Overlook.
Come Stay with us for your waterfall hunt and picnic
Looking for a fun and romantic outdoor adventure? Book your getaway today and enjoy a perfect picnic while going on a waterfall hunt!