You will find a handful of waterfalls nestled among Blue Ridge Parkway, but many trails lead to just one or two. However, this picturesque river area hidden off the beaten path has a ton of falls that cascade into sparkling, freshwater pools. Hiking in North Carolina is about to change once you explore this spot bursting with both adventure and serenity. 

Wilson Creek is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, which preserves specific rivers with exceptional natural, cultural and recreational values. The Wilson Creek area is full of countless trails, cliffs, and waterfalls.

The falls in this area are some of the most sought-after attractions. Among the cluster of destinations surrounding the awe-inspiring river, you will find Little Lost Cove Creek Falls, Thorps Creek Falls, North Harper Creek Falls, and Upper Creek Falls, to name a few.

Visitors are free to take a plunge into the clear, refreshing water that pools at the base of the flowing rapids. As warm weather begins to fill the air and you've worked up a sweat, a cleansing swim can be so rewarding. 

Aside from the waterfalls, there are several branches of exciting adventure that stem from the 23-mile river.

The hiking trails range from easy to difficult, so there is something to suit every skill level.

You can definitely make your rounds through some of these breath-taking destinations. You may want to plan a trip back because just one visit near Grandfather Mountain may not allow enough time to explore the expansive beauty in its entirety. 

If you're looking for more of an adrenaline rush, look no further. The creek is known for its super powerful rapids ideal for the extreme kayakers and rafters out there.

There are also calmer areas for a more relaxing kayak experience as well.

If you're truly reaching for your inner outdoorsy spirit, the Wilson Creek area is a great hub for camping, biking, horseback riding, backpacking, tubing and fly fishing. 

It's recommended that you stop by or call the visitor center in Collettsville to explore the different paths and attractions and create a customized itinerary fit for you and your hiking bud(s).

Wilson Creek Area

Price: Free

Address: 7805 Brown Mountain Beach Rd., Collettsville, NC

Why You Need To Go: Explore the hidden gems of NC in one massive river area that's full of both serene and wild adventures, waterfalls and pools.


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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