Bearwallow Falls is a 1.4 mile out and back trail located near Lake Toxaway, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 1.4 miles Elevation Gain: 413 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wildlife

Gorges State Park is one of North Carolina's newest state parks, and the property was recently purchased by the state from Duke Energy Corporation. The transaction created a 2,900-acre gameland managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and a 7,100-acre state park with plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and one of the greatest concentrations of rare and unique species in the eastern United States. The hike to Bearwallow Falls is easy and terminates at a large viewing platform that overlooks Bearwallow Creek.

4 days ago

follow signs that say BearWallow picnic (red trail) the to bearwallow shelter (red/white trail) then to bear wallow trail (blue). I almost took the observation trail back around. I started behind the main office which I got almost a mile. tge trail is downhill to the falls but uphill on the way back. there are benches strategically maked for that reason. this trail has observation deck overlooking the powerlines going into the valley. mostly shaded...the first 1/3 is full sun.

hiking
8 months ago

Good trail down. Approximately 1 mile to the overlook of the falls. The falls are pretty far away so don't think you are putting your feet in the water or gonna cool off. Nice little warm up.

hiking
8 months ago

For an easy hike, simply stop when you arrive at the viewing platform. We have done this hike a few times in April before new foliage obscures any view from platform. As any often used trails, if it is wet it is slippery due to many roots on the trail.

recorded Bearwallow Falls

hiking
bugs
over grown
9 months ago

Relatively short trail to falls. There is a lookout deck. You can’t get close to falls at all from this hike. The trail was slightly overgrown, a lot of roots. It is downhill to the falls, back uphill. Although it is rated as “easy”, anyone with balance or ankle problems should bring walking sticks.

hiking
10 months ago

The platform view of the upper falls is ok, but if you feel like an adventure, the scramble down the right side of the platform will take you to the lower portion of the falls which is pretty awesome. Exercise caution! Video of Upper & Lower Falls: https://youtu.be/D1M9wEp3xO8

hiking
10 months ago

Took a 2.5 and 5 year old, they did great. Good hike for younger kids, very short. Pretty waterfall at the end.

hiking
11 months ago

To get close to the base of the falls you have to follow the steep unmarked “trail” to the right of the viewing platform. Very steep and very overgrown in some places but is well worth the view from the bottom. Otherwise, it is still a beautiful walk in the woods on a very well marked trail to a nice viewing platform.

Tue May 28 2019

not a hard hike at all. nice overlook. you can't get near the falls.

Thu Nov 08 2018

Marginal at best.......not the greatest or the most beautiful falls but easy for all family members to accomplish. The trail is marked well.

hiking
Sun Oct 21 2018

The reason I only gave this hike 3 stars is because I enjoy being close to the waterfalls instead of seeing them far away.. It’s not a long hike but it is downhill the whole way and then you have to hike back up. I wouldn’t do this one again.

hiking
Wed Jun 27 2018

Out-and-back past Bearwallow Valley Overlook to Bearwallow Falls viewing platform. Overlook offers a nice south-facing vista featuring Lakes Jocasee and Keowee, but as others have said power lines do mar the view. I also agree with previous reviews that Bearwallow Falls is not as scenic as the park's other waterfalls, but it is still a worthy destination. Also, starting at the Bearwallow Picnic Area shortens the hike to the falls to only 0.4 switchbacking miles. Overall, not the park's best trail, but still a nice hike.

hiking
Thu Oct 26 2017

My hike from the visitor center included both Bearwallow Overlook and Bearwallow Falls. Despite lower expectations, I was still disappointed after hiking to Rainbow and Turtleback Falls earlier in the day. While the view from the overlook is pretty, it is hindered by the lines overhead. And the distant view of the falls, after the short hike down to the viewing platform, was not that inspiring. With so many beautiful waterfalls in the area, this trail left a little more to be desired.

Sun Oct 15 2017

I reviewed this with the Horsepasture Trail. We did the mile hike from visitor center. There's a parking area and picnic shelter even closer. Easy and short, just didn't get great view of the lower part of falls, which would have made it prettier I'm sure. Ok for a little short excursion.

hiking
Mon Jul 10 2017

Very easy walk down to the overlook for Bearwallow Falls. We remarked that the signage throughout Gorges State Park leaves something to be desired, but otherwise the park is attractive.

hiking
Thu May 31 2012

This is a review of the Bearwallow Falls overlook trail, which probably is somewhat different from the lower Bearwallow Falls trail, and is currently being updated inside Gorges State Park. The new visitor center opens in August. This overlook trail is about a third of a mile one way and leads to a platform overlooking Bearwallow Falls. The view is not that impressive and the hike takes all of 15 minutes, is a walk down and a climb up; there are nice benches along the way for those out of shape. Overall, this should be connected to the Lower Falls trail and I think that is what Gorges has in mind, as they are still developing it. The other trail to Rainbow and Turtleback Falls is much better and more rewarding, although a four mile RT. As for my recommendation, the view is nice, there is a nice platform with benches at the overlook, but don't waste your time if you are up for more challenging and rewarding hikes.

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3 months ago

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5 months ago

recorded Bearwallow Falls

hiking
7 months ago

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