Douglas Falls Trail

HARD 59 reviews
#8 of 47 trails in

Douglas Falls Trail is a 10 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Barnardsville, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

10.0 miles
2066 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers

1 day ago

Do not take inexperienced hikers. I went with an inexperienced hiker and from the Craggy Visitors center to falls and then back to the visitor center took 6.5 hours. It’s a fun trail, rough terrain, twisted my ankle multiple times. At a certain point on the trail one of the many falls intersecting the trail consumes the trail. At this section I would advise to take your socks and shoes off and cross. This section seemed dangerous, there used to be a metal wire rope but it broke, and is hanging in the falls. This is the excitement the trail brings. Something to think about too is the view of the sunset from the craggy visitor center is spectacular. So plan the hike perfectly that you can see the falls and the sunset. But make sure to give yourself extra time if you want to do both. The hike is not easy.

23 days ago

Tough but fun and worth the view at the end.

3 months ago

I hiked to Douglas Falls in the snow and it was really a great experience! The water was really moving, too, thanks to some melt and run-off. There was no one else at the falls, which is rare.

6 months ago

Most memorable trail I’ve done. Extremely difficult, but rewarding! Pack a lunch and eat it when you finally make it to the falls.

6 months ago

Hiked this trail from Craggy Gardens to the falls and back out. Great time on an awesome trail! The falls is well worth the trip, and the trip itself was as enjoyable as any I've hiked. Very narrow, natural trial with many stream crossings. It's not for the couch potato but any moderate to experienced hiker should have no problems. Irma left some trees across the trail as you get close to the falls. Pay attention to relocate the trail after bypassing those obstacles.

8 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike and agree with the difficulty rating. We accessed from the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center and out and back was between 9 & 10 miles. Elevation was challenging in both directions and the waterfall was worth the trip. Trail was pretty narrow at some points. We went on a weekday and had the entire trail to ourselves.

9 months ago

Great hike, it wasn't a super warm day and that helped. I love to hike but I don't consider myself an experienced hiker. It was difficult in some places but really worth the effort. Enjoy the beauty and the views if you decide to try this trail.

10 months ago

We were initially planning on the Mount Mitchell summit trail for the day but were hindered by a rock/mud slide on Blue Ridge PKWY just past Craggy Gardens. We stopped at Craggy Gardens, walked out to the Craggy Gardens, and then continued down to Douglas Falls. The trail wasn't really a down-and-in and up-and-out trail. Each way had a considerable amount of elevation gain and loss. Beautiful stream crossings and the falls were a flowing that day. The elevation gain was something to account for as well. Very foggy and brisk on the ridge and warm and sticky at the bottom. The rest of the day included us driving back to the campsite, eating a light meal, and passing out.

11 months ago

If you go to the waterfall and back it is 6.6 miles not 10. The map shows an extended trip. Even this 6.6 is not easy due to the rocks on the narrow trail. Even without the very nice waterfalls the forest itself worth a trip. Exceptionally nice old mixed forest with gnarled trees.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Absolutely wonderful! Beautiful waterfall. Great place to get in touch with nature.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Excellent short family hike. The reviews indicate a hard trail however it was on the easy side of moderate. Beware the long 8 mile drive on a Fire Service road that gets old fast. Would have loved to catch it flowing more.

Modified update. Apparently I did not hike down off the BRP.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

This was a good, challenging hike. Unfortunately it is pretty overgrown and there are very few trail markers.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The hike was great overall, was not marked very well (yellow blazes) especially at the forks which there are three where the MST come into the trail amongst others.Also there are three little river crossings and a very steep decent when coming up to the falls that wasn't mentioned either. I do agree this hike is not for beginners and the way down was 100x easier then the way up, talk about workout!!!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Trail is challenging. Finished in 3:10. Pace yourself and watch your footing in both directions.

Monday, August 03, 2015

What a great trail! We started at the Craggy Gardens picnic grounds and backpacked to Douglas Falls. I was surprised by the lack of established camping spots along the trail, and the couple that we did see were not near water sources. The trail was, for the most part, in good shape, though parts are getting overgrown; lots of stinging nettles. The trail is not well marked except for a handful of yellow blazes. It was key having a map with us. The falls were beautiful and well worth the hike down to it. We camped there at the falls and made the long hike back up the follow morning. Not the easiest thing with a pack on getting back! LOTS of uphill. I would do it again, but I echo what other reviewers have said already - this trail is for experienced hikers who are fit. It wasn't easy.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

This is a great trail. I would not recommend it for inexperienced hikers though. Very technical. There is not many established camp sites along the route and the ones that are there are a good ways away from water source. You really need to pay attention to your map and the trail together because there are several trails that come together but it is not blazed very well. I loved it. What a workout on the return trek.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Nice climb up

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

This trail ain't no joke. It's beautiful and fairly easy on the way down to the falls, but the walk back out is very steep. It is very well maintained and you will have a good time just be ready to feel the burn.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A lot of wet rocks and water. Great hike if you are not in a hurry. Saw very few people and the falls were very secluded. Worth the view at the end.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We have hiked this a few times and the trail is rugged and steep in places. Most of the trail winds thru a forest and opens to Douglass Falls at the bottom of the trail. the hike out is difficult being slippery and steep.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hiked this trail at the end of September from the ranger station at Craggy point. The hike down is not too bad and the falls are worth the trip very nice. Bring lunch and a camera. The way up though is a grind especially the last third of it. You must be careful not to lose the trail as it is not well marked and footing is difficult so you will be looking down for good footing. We lost the trail once and ended up on game trails but found the true trail quickly. One other word of cation is to watch out for yellow jackets and the underground hives. My dog stumbled on one and was stung close to a dozen times as well as people in my party. The nettles can be bad as well and I would agree with some of the other reviewers as to bring apple cider vinegar to relive the stings. All and all this is and advanced trail that should not be done late in the day or for the inexperienced hiker. Bring water and feel the burn. Also there seems to be a little confusion about the length of the trail, I've read from six to nine miles but it is most likely around the seven that it is rated at here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I started at Craggy Gardens in a foggy morning, took my jolly time and reached the falls in about 2.5 hours. The fog was quiet dense, but cleared out the further downhill I went. The trail is overall very secluded and peaceful, and there were several small streams to cross to make things interesting. The trip back up to craggy was more strenuous, but if you keep at it, it will take about two hours.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

We hike into Douglas Falls from the Barnardsville side. You drive out Dillingham Road until the end (if the gates are open, I don't know when the gates open and close?), then there is a short hike, maybe 1 mile, to the falls.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Leaving Craggy gardens, it's a moderate hike down to the falls, although you will encounter a few small streams that need to be negotiated. Coming back uphill, it tends to be a little more difficult. Save some energy for the end, as there are several large boulders to be dealt with the last 1/2 mile or so. Very peaceful hike, with a nice destination at the falls. Takes about 7 hours.

Friday, August 13, 2010

This is a nice trail. You can walk behind the waterfall.

Monday, July 05, 2010

This is a good short day hike we started at craggy gardens, 3 miles to the falls the trail is not that well maintained in places with some over growth and slick in some places with some tight rocky places not recommended if your not sure on your feet. We did not hike the full trail it goes on another half mile or so. You can start at either end of the trail to get to the falls.

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