Elk River Falls Trail

MODERATE 52 reviews
#14 of 114 trails in

Elk River Falls Trail is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Elk Park, NC that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and fly fishing and is accessible from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

1.7 miles 229 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

waterfall

muddy

over grown

rocky

From intersection of NC194 and US19E near Elk Park, drive 0.7 miles west on 19E and turn right down a hill, then immediately turn left on SR1303 - Old Mill Rd. This turn is easy to miss. Proceed another 0.3 mile and turn right on Elk River Rd. Continue on Elk River Rd for 4 miles into the Pisgah Forest where the road ends at the parking area. Parking is limited and you may have a hard time finding a place mid day on a summer week end.

6 days ago

very short trail. beautiful scenery

hiking
16 days ago

Take Elk River Road for approximately four miles from Elk Park (paved until just before the end). It is a very short walk to the falls. There are no barriers, which allow for some beautiful up close views. Just be sure you don't make any bad decisions, as others have done here in the past. Take the path/stairs down below the falls for more wonderful views, and an easy 'scramble' out onto the rocks by the large pool. It can get crowded depending on when you visit.

2 months ago

Trail too short. Not so awesomely awesome:(.

3 months ago

is there place camp out there

hiking
3 months ago

Views were awesome along with the sound of the falls. agree with others, certainly not 1.7 miles, more like .1 to .2 down to bottom of falls, which is easy to do.

hiking
4 months ago

It is a short hike. We had 90 yo grandmother and a 4 year old. All made it fine, but there are some steep parts that require some assistance if you are on tail ends. This waterfall is notorious and it is easy to see why. There are no barriers, no fences, and nothing to stop you from your own poor choices. They had a flower arraignment from the funeral of the young lady who died a week ago jumping from top. That being said, it is a great place to swim and wade and enjoy a spectacular waterfall. We got there at around 11 and by the time we left around 2 the lot was full and people were pouring in. I would go again and bring a couple inner-tubes or floats.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice but wayyyy to many people

hiking
4 months ago

Agree with others, not a hike. Map my Run put total distance to falls at 0.2 miles. Two tenths of a mile. But, great falls, great refreshing water. Good rock jumping. Sobering wreath at top of falls commemorating a young man who died July 23. Other jumps fine (see below for great description).

walking
4 months ago

Definitely not a 1.7 mile hike and an extremely easy to find. I took my two toddlers on a Friday evening. Very quiet during the weekdays but I can imagine it probably gets a little crazy on the Summer weekends.

rock climbing
4 months ago

For anyone thinking about doing a jump, know that jumps just like these have resulted in paralysis and death at Elk River Falls. Around 15 people have died there, after jumping, in the past 20 years. That figure is in local newspaper archives if you wish to look it up yourself. The danger seems to be in shallow rocks, an incredibly strong undercurrent, trash, and lots of fishing line that traps people under.

hiking
5 months ago

The trail is very very short, extremely crowded but does have easy access to the falls and water. Was extremely crowded on a weekday even with swimmers , kids, and the drinkers (beware). I would def not label this a hike but a good swimming hole but not private by no means. Not my style ......

nature trips
5 months ago

Short hike (walk) to the falls. Very crowded when we were there in July 2015. People love to jump off the cliff into the water below.

hiking
5 months ago

Really not a hike but just a short steep path from the parking lot to a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. Great place to picnic, swim and just enjoy the scenery.

6 months ago

This is by no means a 1.7 mile hike, you basically park and you're there. Tried following some of the other trails along the river but they were overgrown or led nowhere. The falls are beautiful though

hiking
6 months ago

Very short to bottom of falls. I timed our return trip from the bottom to the car at a whopping 5 minutes. Steep but has some nice stairs at one point. Beautiful falls, definitely worth checking out if you happen to be around Elk Park. We followed some trails that traveled along the river below the falls but didn't come out anywhere and the trails were very overgrown, muddy, and steep. Not sure why it lists a 1.7 mile trip.

walking
6 months ago

We loved this trail! Really short and easy to swim near the fall. Awesome swimming hole.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a nice easy short hike I was able to take with my family. Beautiful views. Great place for a picnic lunch.

7 months ago

great falls. Short walk to swimming or fishing.

hiking
9 months ago

A great waterfall to visit and it's not a 1.7 mile hike. You pretty much park and you're there at it. It's a very family friendly trail to take, pretty much a good spot to hang out at during the summer. I highly recommend this for families with small children because it's not very demanding and has amazing scenery.

Takes longer to drive to it than it does to hike and view it but it's worth it.

hiking
1 year ago

love this Falls, has a lot of water. easy access. easy parking. if you're looking for a long or strenous hike, this is not it. this is a short walk to a beautiful Falls. took a 2 and 4 year old w/ no problems. about a 2-3 miles down the smaller road off the main drag through Elk Park (10-15 minutes)