Explore Easy NC - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Easy NC Map

This was my first visit to Catawba Falls. I tend to stick to less traveled trails but I had a friend with that had been to the upper falls and he assured me it would be less populated. Being a Monday morning there were already not as many people there.

I would say that it is a walk to the lower falls and a scramble to the upper. I remembered to turn on the recorder today which shows the route up. There were a few options and it makes a loop going up. we went to the right at the fork which was a more difficult trail but we (I) wanted to do the easier route coming down. Because it had rained recently the trail was a little slippery so I mostly slid down on my butt. I thought that was a better option than falling down the mountain.

The upper falls were beautiful and worth the climb if you like that sort of thing. (I do). We did have to lift the dog up and down in a few places. I will definitely do this hike again. All in all it was less than 4 miles so not really a workout but it was fun.

Somewhat strenuous but relatively short hike, doesn’t take very long if you’re keeping a quick pace. Pretty going up and down, nice views up top. It does smell like cow manure but that’s expected with all the grazing cows. Only took 30 minutes to drive from the Biltmore Village area.

If you get a chance to hike this trail don’t pass it up.

Lovely little hike with beautiful views at the top surrounded by grazing cows.

4 days ago

Enjoyable walk with good scenery.

Nice trail. start at picnic area and go for it! The train is a bit rocky in some areas, but good trail. About a 7-10 degree incline at begin, but easy trail. Remember people, you're hiking a mountain, grab a walking stick, pit on appropriate shoes and go have some fun.

Loved! Beautiful waterfall!

It was a great hike. Steeper than expected but worth. Had lunch with cows and a beautiful view!

11 days ago

Pretty falls, easy walk, crowded. Was able to share the view with about 30 new best friends.

12 days ago

Steep and challenging, but the view from the top is worth it. I was able to get some of the best Milky Way photos of my life from the top at night.

Great trail and an very worthwhile hike. Went up via the trail and came down in the fire road. Got a good workout!

16 days ago

Easy well travelled trail, round trip 1.4 miles, to a beautiful waterfall. To get there take the 8.8 miles gravel road called Big Ivy. Many mini waterfalls along the Big Ivy Rd too for enjoyment.

Awesome hike. I went counterclockwise to the summit and the views were absolutely beautiful. There were a number of stream crossing which were not difficult and many had “bridges”. I definitely plan on doing this hike again later this fall to see the leaves change.

17 days ago

Gorgeous falls, wish we would have had our swim suits to swim at the base of the falls. Rocky at some points but still easy to hike.

Short and fairly steep hike with great end views for a relatively easy hike. I’m 38.5 weeks pregnant and able to hike. Looking forward to going back in June or July to see the rhododendrons in full bloom. Make sure to wear hiking shoes with a good grip due to some slippery wet rocks.

17 days ago

After walking past the fly fishermen, you’ll cross a wooden bridge 200 yards from the parking lot and then start walking past a half dozen pretty campsites along the river over the next half mile before the ascent begins. If you take the first right turn marked John Rock, you’ll ascend the easier counterclockwise route. If you prefer doing the harder altitudinal changes before reaching the rock face, then continue straight a while longer on the way up, and the turn at the second John Rock sign to make the steeper clockwise climb across the summit and ridge line (and past a few nice campsites up there) before reaching the Rock.

The view of the valley and other hills from the rock face is beautiful, and if you walk down to the right, you can sit comfortably on a broad rock shelf facing Looking Glass Rock across the valley.

I suspect that John (after whom the rock is named) was a yellow jacket because five or ten times many of his family members aggressively attacked several hikers to advertise their displeasure at the trespasses. Be careful!

Very steep on the way up.
Went to browning knob as well and to the plane crash. The kids liked to see the plane. The mud and slick rocks would make it a little rough at times for kids or older hikers.

Great views

One of my favorite spots to watch the sunset!

Beautiful but heavily trafficked

Hiked the 2.1 mile trail to a beautiful view of the mountains. Nice moderate trails, wide path and well traveled. Lovely cows at the end to photograph too. Used the gravel road on the way down which was a nice option too.

A short but gorgeous hike. Most if it is uphill and very slippery so shoes with good grip are a necessity. The fall at the very top has a great swimming hole with gorgeous clean mountain water. 10/10

Great hike with beautiful views up top. Take a picnic, it's well worth it.

1 month ago

This is a quick, steep hike up to the top that will get your heart pumping. Pretty heavily trafficked trail but when we went we got to see why they're called the Smoky Mountains because the mists filled the valleys below all the way to the top. Still beautiful though.

1 month ago

Wife and I enjoyed the hike. Saw a few people stop at the false summit. So be mindful of it as you will have to cross water. So wear boots, or water shoes!!

Dogs had fun hiking although there were a few not so friendly pups on the trail. Happy we decided to do this easy trail.

Should not be advertised as having a waterfall. You can only get to the waterfall by hiking an additional 3.6 miles to Douglas Falls. Overall disappointing hike. If you go after a rain the clouds will hide any sort of view from the trail.

1 month ago

What a lovely place, a leisurely walk round trip about 2 miles, an easy trail with access to the river, bridges and at the end an incredible tall waterfall.

nice, short trail. beautiful view at the top.

1 month ago

This was a challenging but rewarding hike! The Commissary Trail itself is indeed easy, but the loop depicted in the map takes you on several other trails, including the Camp Alice Trail which I would rate as hard. In the end though, a really great hike with lots of diverse scenery. I had been to the Mount Mitchell summit before by driving up, so it was a fun accomplishment to really work for it.

Easy, lush, short hike to the falls which is actually more stunning than I had anticipated. Lots of pretty water spots along the way. Beautiful blue butterflies right now. Saw lots of kiddos on this hike too. Very short drive off the I-40. Definitely worth it!

Load More