The Tar Heel State is full of hidden passages and secret steps that you can explore this fall. You can discover Mingo Falls at the top of a winding forest staircase in Cherokee, North Carolina, and it's absolutely breathtaking. This North Carolina waterfall hike leads to a spectacular sight that you should totally add to your hiking bucket list. 

You can find Mingo Falls on the Eastern Cherokee Reservation, only an hour and 20 minutes outside of Asheville.

Pigeon Creek Trail is a small path with a scenic stairway that leads to the falls. 

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At just 0.4 miles, this short jaunt is the perfect excursion if you love waterfalls but want it to be a quick trip. The trail is currently closed, but you can still park and walk up the mysterious steps.

You'll climb about 160 steps to the 120-foot waterfall. The steep journey pays off once you lay eyes on the incredible cascading waters.

Drink in the natural scenery as you make your ascent.  You'll be immersed in the trees as you make your way up. These meandering stairs will make you feel like you're on an epic quest.

Once you reach the top, you'll be just steps away from the bridge below Mingo Falls. This beautiful bridge lets you witness the tumbling waters up close. Prepare to be misted like you're visiting Niagara Falls. 

You'll feel tiny in comparison to this massive natural feature. This time of year, you can enjoy the crisp air and colorful crunchy leaves all around you.

Best of all, this stunning adventure doesn't cost a thing!

Lace up your hiking boots and get going on this super fun autumn outing. You'll ring in fall in North Carolina with a gorgeous waterfall, and there's no better way to start the season. 

Mingo Falls 

Price: Free

Address: Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Cherokee, NC 

Why You Need To Go: You can discover a secret stairway to waterfall heaven in North Carolina. 

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.