Elk River Falls Trail

MODERATE 71 reviews
#14 of 120 trails in

Elk River Falls Trail is a 0.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Elk Park, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

0.3 miles 52 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

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.

10 hours ago

Loved the trail! Kid friendly. No hike needed to reach this beauty!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful. Must go.

hiking
1 month ago

Short easy hike.

2 months ago

Short walk from parking lot. Lovely waterfall, but can be crowded on summer days.

2 months ago

Easy hike to an awesome waterfall

hiking
3 months ago

Nice waterfall. Many people and eroded environment. Best to go there in fall and winter if you want some solitude. Jones falls also can be visited from here: go on the closed forest road and connect to the AT, where the falls are marked

3 months ago

very short trail. beautiful scenery

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months ago

scenic driving
5 months ago

The mountain and ski communities around Banner Elk are wonderful, and I love driving and exploring this gorgeous area. It is a short walk to Elk River Falls...one of the prettiest waterfalls in the area.

hiking
5 months ago

6 months ago

Trail too short. Not so awesomely awesome:(.

backpacking
6 months ago

Short walk to falls which are nice, but very few sings to get there and that's all that's there is, nothing else, waste of time.

7 months ago

is there place camp out there

hiking
7 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
7 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
7 months ago

Nice but wayyyy to many people

hiking
7 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
8 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
8 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.