Elk River Falls Trail

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Pisgah National Forest

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.

Distance: 0.3 miles Elevation Gain: 42 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Closed as of order on 5/14/2020. This is posted at trailhead. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd742802.pdf

hiking
7 days ago

Real short walk to the falls! Lots of people at the bottom swimming tho. Kinda Hard to social distance down there. Heads up. The rest of the trail was easy to keep apart.

hiking
1 month ago

My kids love playing at this waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely worth it!! pictures can't show the magnitude and sound. be careful, there are no barriers & it would be VERY easy to fall over the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Very short hike from the parking area but the falls are exceptional and I think the best in the area. You can see them from the top or from below.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Very easy hike, and absolutely worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

Short but beautiful!

hiking
4 months ago

Very easy hike with incredible views. Well worth it.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Lots of roots and very rocky! Hike down to the lagoon area and there is a perfect place to get a group photo on a rock! Very fun and beautiful hike!

hiking
6 months ago

We visit the falls every time we visit this area. What a gem, it never disappoints! Highly recommended, short easy trail. Con- it can get pretty busy here in the summer. It is still worth the effort though!

hiking
6 months ago

Easy hike to a gorgeous falls!

hiking
6 months ago

A short walk to a beautiful waterfall! Wow!

hiking
7 months ago

Always one of my favorite short waterfall hikes in west NC. It’s in peak foliage this time of year and the views of the waterfall and trees are spectacular.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful waterfall.

hiking
7 months ago

My two 15 year old kiddos and I had a blast on this trail. Such a beautiful way to enjoy God's beautiful creation!

very peopley.

hiking
8 months ago

Great falls! Short trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Short and easy trail! Busy during peak season! Beautiful waterfall!

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

walking
8 months ago

Favorite waterfall. Hands down. Fun place to go for a picnic on a hot day.

recorded Elk River Falls Trail

hiking
8 months ago

Easy trail to the falls. Worth the view.

hiking
9 months ago

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina, accessible via a short though rocky 0.15 miles (one way) trail. Though the swimming hole below the waterfall looks appealing, several people have died here due to strong currents.

hiking
9 months ago

very easy trail beautiful waterfall

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

lots of roots. several steep parts. not recommended if you use blood thinners. waterfall is beautiful.

hiking
9 months ago

A great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. The trail is easy and well maintained. The falls are beautiful but slightly crowded.

hiking
10 months ago

Great little hike to see an impressive waterfall that’s good for all kinds of hikers. May be a little difficult for very small ones to get to the very bottom without being carried. It was pretty well maintained and very pretty!

hiking
10 months ago

To hike the trail past the Elk River waterfall, go past the forest service gate and turn right and follow the well-established forest service road for 3/4 of a mile until it reaches the river. Once there, continue on to your left (don't cross the river) and you'll find a narrow trail that follows the river. Take this for about 1/4 mile (the trail is pretty washed out so be ready for some ducking, climbing, and narrow maneuvering) until you come to a small campsite and then look for where the trail crosses a small stream (which is actually Jones Branch) and then begins to climb. Follow this and you'll very quickly come to the Appalachian Trail (you'll know it's the AT when you see the white slashes on the trees). Turn left and hike approximately 1 mile to the sign pointing the way to Jones Falls. Take this spur for 1/10 of a mile to Jones Falls. Beautiful shady hike, lots of cool plants and mushrooms, and even saw a cute black rat snake hanging out on the trail! Only drawback is that the trail is a bit washed out right now, but that’s just because of our crazy rainy weather lately.

hiking
11 months ago

Great place to swim and hike. Easy access and looks as if it is good for fishing.

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