Spring is right around the corner, so that means it's time to put together your bucket list for those warm weather days. There are so many waterfalls and hikes in North Carolina, it can be difficult to hit all of them in one season, but hitting the best ones is key. Most hikes in North Carolina lead you to waterfalls that you can walk behind, that are 100 feet tall and that have crystal clear pools at the bottom. Not to mention, most of them are free to visit as well. 

Looking Glass Falls 

Price: Free

Address: US-276, Brevard, NC 

Why You Need To Go: You won't have to hike too far to get to the bottom of this waterfall. It's a 60-foot cascade and you can swim in the pool it falls in.

Rainbow Falls 

Price: Free

Address: 976 Grassy Ridge Rd., Sapphire, NC

Why You Need To Go: This waterfall is a massive 150-feet tall and to get there you have to walk through what will feel like a tropical rainforest. When the sun hits the falls just right, there is a rainbow that forms right in the middle of it. 


Linville Falls 

Price: Free

Address: Blue Ridge Parkway, Mile Marker 316 Linville Falls, NC

Why You Need To Go: This spot is a location that both visitors and locals both love. The actual waterfall has three different tiers that equal to 150 feet in height. 


Elk River Falls 

Price: Free

Address: 1 Golda Davis Lane Elk Park, NC 

Why You Need To Go: It'll only take you about five minutes to get to the bottom of this waterfall. The actual waterfall is 50 feet tall and there's a huge pool of water you can hop in at the bottom. 


Upper Whitewater Falls 

Price: $3 per car 

Address: Whitewater Falls, Cashiers, NC

Why You Need To Go: This is the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. The hike is only about 0.6 miles round trip, so you'll barely break a sweat.


Schoolhouse Falls, Little Green Mountain, Greenland Creek Falls Trails Loop

Price: Free

Address: Directions

Why You Need To Go: This is a longer hike coming in at 5.6 miles and it's called the "Yosemite of the East." You'll eventually come up to the 20-foot waterfall that you can actually walk behind. 


Catawba Falls

Price: Free

Address: 3074 Catawba River Rd., Old Fort, NC

Why You Need To Go: You'll walk through a scenic forest to get to a 100-foot waterfall that you can stand under. The blue pool of water will be calling your name and you'll want to jump in on a hot day.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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