Elk River Falls Trail

MODERATE 103 reviews
#15 of 143 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
42 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly




nature trips







over grown


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.

nature trips
3 days ago

Beautiful waterfall!

1 month ago

cant wait to come back this summer!

1 month ago

So lovely. Childhood favorite.

Great falls to visit year round. Easy to get to in the snow.

3 months ago

Short, easy hike and impressive waterfall

6 months ago

Short walk. Beautiful!

6 months ago

Mixed emotions. The waterfall is beautiful, the hike is short, fun and intriguing. Lots of roots and one of the biggest boulders I've ever seen! However, this waterfall has claimed 15 lives so far. I can understand swimming here but people...please DON'T attempt to jump over this waterfall! The county has done a very good job with posting warning signs. I just dont get why people aren't more cautious. I'll post several pics to give an idea of trail, etc. Definitely want to go back!

8 months ago

Easy to get to the falls. Great for all ages. Very crowded but nice. Kids, teens and such use this as a local swimming hole. Take your water shoes, swimsuit and enjoy the falls. Enjoy a swim and people watching. We brought our dog, we won't next time, he was a nervous wreck. Lots of larger dogs there. It's beautiful but don't expect a quiet nature day! We will definitely go back more prepared to swim and wade in the water!

8 months ago

Short and sweet! I got there early and no one was there but after 2-3 hours of hiking a lot of people were on the way to see the falls as I left.

If you keep going and hike along the Jones Falls Trail, it is amazing! Highly recommend you keep going along the river but if you just want something short, it is a pretty waterfall to see.

Didn't have phone service as soon as I went down the hill (about 3 miles before the falls) so be sure to leave the directions open in maps!

8 months ago

Beautiful spot but busy and a little trashy

8 months ago

Very short easy trail with a big pay off at the end!!!

8 months ago

Great place to swim and cool off . Had a blast!

8 months ago

Love this place! So relaxing and beautiful!

8 months ago

Very short easy trail down past waterfalls to a large pool with a sandy "beach" and rocks for kids to climb on. The climb down down to the sand is about 8-10ft and may be difficult for older or out-of-shape folks. Lots of litter at the trail head and at the falls (ugh some people suck), which detracted somewhat from the otherwise scenic beauty of the place.

8 months ago

Beautiful sight. Easy hike.

9 months ago

Easy hike. Great swimming hole. Awesome place to picnic.

9 months ago

Generally short walk with some slippery rocks. Worth the hike down to take the view in.

10 months ago

awesome and kid friendly. we had a blast creek crawling!!

11 months ago

A nice fairly easy access Waterfall in a awesome nature location. Lots of nice local sedimentary geology.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Great but very short. If you try to hike past the falls the trail is overgrown and not well marked

Saturday, March 25, 2017

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Beautiful. Must go.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Short easy hike.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

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

Monday, December 26, 2016

Easy hike to an awesome waterfall

Sunday, December 04, 2016

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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

very short trail. beautiful scenery

Thursday, November 17, 2016

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.

scenic driving
Sunday, October 23, 2016

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.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Trail too short. Not so awesomely awesome:(.

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