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Catawba Falls Trail is a 2.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Old Fort, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 2.1 mi Elevation gain 305 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Muddy

Rocky

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (1)

Easy, short hike to pretty waterfalls. Low effort, high yield. Large parking lot right at the trailhead. SAFETY WARNING: There have been deaths and many injuries caused by hikers falling from the falls. Please do not climb on slick rocks and in close vicinity of the falls (upper and lower) - a photo opportunity is not worth a life.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1472)
Photos (585)
Recordings (827)
Completed (3046)
Dom Aleandri
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great view of the falls at the end of this easy, well maintained trail. loads of nice swim spots and trees for the hammock

Emma Bolton
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HikingGreat!

Easy and quick hike. Perfect place to go swimming and bring your dog.

Cameron Williams
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Hiking

Great quick hike while leaving Asheville. Beautiful falls.

Mike Pasco
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Hiking

Nice trail, easy for the first mile and then rocky up to the falls. Somewhat busy on a Monday morning at 11am.

View Mike's Recording
Alex Holzworth
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Hiking

It was definitely crowded and not much space to hammock but the falls were great

View Alex's Recording
Joann Menzer
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Beautiful walk, beautiful falls. Sat and spent some time enjoying the beauty. Pooch left the hike as well.

Patrick Saleeby
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Hiking

Great short, moderate trail that culminates with a beautiful waterfall, as described. We went mid-day and it was way too crowded—especially at the waterfall—so not the best COVID-19 hike if you’re hoping to escape other people. Sidney enjoyed the river though.

View Patrick's Recording
Amy Broughton
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Hiking

Get there early! We arrived around 7:30 and there was no one else on the trail, but by 9:00 as we were leaving, people were streaming in. The trail is wide and well-maintained. It is a steady uphill incline all the way with a few minor stream crossings. At the very top, right before you reach the falls, it gets very rocky and you will have to climb over a few big rocks.

Thomas Burnett
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Hiking
View Thomas's Recording
C. L. McCauley
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Hiking

Great trail, mostly flat, only a few hills. Very wide trail, falls are really beautiful. Gets muddy during rain but still doable.

Jeremy Lassila
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Hiking

lovely. gets more popular every year though. not somewhere to go to be alone. outstanding lower waterfall. upper falls seem to be blocked off now

View Jeremy's Recording
Joel Watson
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Hiking

This one should be easy for experienced hikers and those in good shape. I’m 50 and out of shape, so for me it was moderately challenging. For me the challenging parts were crossing over a creek and then some uphill climbing with large rocks in order to get close to the waterfall. 1.5 miles in and out. VERY worth it. Go early, like 8, as it’s crowded by 11 (or was in early August 2020).

View Joel's Recording
Alyssa Michelle
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HikingBugs

did this hike today with my boyfriend. when you start the hike, a little way in on the right you'll see water. I highly suggest crossing the water and going through the muddy grassy area which is a detour from a gargantuous hive of the angriest hornet/bee/wasps that I have ever encountered. unfortunately we didn't pass anyone on our way to the danger zone so we walked directly through a swarm of these really ticked off and really mean killer hornets. (would have been cool if Michael ray would have warned us) and when I say we were running for our lives, I mean those little things were chasing us and attacking us. they were relentless. we were stung numerous times, and that shi* hurt. a family was going through right in front of us and right after us and I'll probably hear those children's screams haunting me in my nightmares. if you survive the brutal rampage of these angry flying beasts, the waterfall is actually really beautiful. 9/10 recommend

Michael Ray
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HikingGreat!

This was an absolutely wonderful and easy hike for the family. I have two young girls (9 and 5) and they easily made it to the falls. They enjoyed playing in the water and kept talking about all the fun they had. The trail is mostly dry and very wide, which helps since this is a heavily trafficked trail in the afternoon.

John Nelson
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Hiking

Took my 9 year old daughter. She loved it. Easy wide and safe trail. Plenty to explore. Great for dogs as well.

Kristy Vogt Miller
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HikingGreat!

This is a great hike, not too easy and not too difficult. Part of the trail was blocked off so we couldn’t go to the very top, but we had hours of downpours last night so I’m assuming that last bit of upper trail system was simply too dangerous to climb today.

Austin Carter
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Hiking
View Austin's Recording
Benika Thompson
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HikingRocky

Got start a little before 7 a.m. on Sunday. Breathtaking views, some steep climbing points, a few streams to cross, just beautiful! Kids enjoyed it.

Gary Alexander Illas
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Hiking

idiots all over this hike not wearing masks Sooo selfish and stupid

View Gary Alexander's Recording
Ed Meeker
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Hiking

For a well traveled trail, it was very rocky. More than I expected. But if you can manage getting over the rocks, the falls were very nice view.

View Ed's Recording
Sean Guldi
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Hiking

Fun trail for family. A bit steep at parts, a little muddy. Distance is not too bad but definitely tough with a 35 lb. child in a pack . Waterfalls are beautiful and water felt great after the hike up.

View Sean's Recording
Dawn Clement
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HikingGreat!
View Dawn 's Recording
Anne Dimmock
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Hiking

Trail is well-maintained with a nice waterfall at the top. Fairly busy even when we went in the early evening.

View Anne's Recording
Sara S
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HikingMuddyRocky
Gwen M.
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Great hike. trail was in good condition. It was just very congested. lots of people

Brandywine Hart
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Hiking

Very easy. Make sure to arrive early as it gets crowded very quickly. Great area for swimming if you have little ones. Total time took about 2 hours. However this included time it took for pictures and for others to pass.

Brendan O'Dowd
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Hiking

Extremely populated trail. Never seen so many people on a trail, which really takes away from the nature aspect. Short and easy to complete with kids. Dogs allowed but with the amount of people must be kept on leash. Some nice spots along the way to play in the stream.

charles bostian
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Easy trail to beautiful first set of falls. If you continue past the warning sign there is a second water fall. However it requires some rock climbing and I do not recommend children or dogs try it. less than quarter mile up the Catawaba to 50 55 foot falls.

christa sturgeon
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HikingGreat!Scramble
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