Elk River Falls Trail

MODERATE 165 reviews
#14 of 198 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.

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.

very easy trail beautiful waterfall

hiking
rocky
scramble
14 days ago

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

hiking
19 days ago

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

hiking
27 days 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

My wife and I went with friends who grew up in the area... wouldn't call it a hike. Drive down to dead end road and park. You're pretty much standing at the top of the falls! Short walk, rough trail (lots of roots) to base of Falls. Very impressive falls & beautiful drive. Lots of sun and humid due to the falls. Couple of families just hanging out... enjoying the day, people had been swimming. Dog friendly.

hiking
2 months ago

Not a bad hike, barely felt like anything. Just annoyed by the people swimming.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful Falls. Easy to access.

2 months ago

Nice easy walk to a really pretty waterfall. There is a bit of litter, but other than that it was nice. Nothing too exhilarating though, really just a walk and not a hike.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Wonderful! Short walk to a beautiful waterfall. Went swimming a little farther down from it, due to the waterfall making unsafe currents at it’s base. Definitely recommend!

3 months ago

Good little hike to a beautiful waterfall!! Worth all the roots !

hiking
4 months ago

Worth the side trip if you are going to Grassy Ridge/ Roan Mountain State Park. Easy short hike to see an impressive water fall.

hiking
4 months ago

A short hike to a beautiful waterfall. This is a excellent spot to cool off on a hot summer day.

hiking
4 months ago

Obviously not really a hike but what a great spot this would be in the summer! Beautiful falls with a great swimming hole. Be safe! Enjoy!

hiking
6 months ago

Fun summer spot for swimming and if you hike down the old road be following the river it takes you to the AT but also some good fishing holes and meadows along the river for picnicking. Great date spot.

hiking
6 months ago

A very short hike to a beautiful Falls, but obey the signs and don't try to swim him very dangerous!

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

Kinda sketchy drive to the waterfall but totally worth it. This is an easy and short trail. Was completely empty when we visited. The view is espectacular and you might be tempted to jump off the water fall. Please do not do that read the signs there have been fatal accidents at this location. Enjoy the view enjoy the sounds that should be enough !!

7 months ago

Very busy place but beautiful waterfall.

hiking
8 months ago

An easy half mile to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing!!! The drive there is beautiful, but the parking area is small. The hike is so short tho people are coming and leaving quickly. Short and amazing! A little crowded due to people swimming.

hiking
9 months ago

this is an awesome trail. very easy to get to. short walk. there is plenty of rocks to climb to get good pics. our kids loved it.

hiking
10 months ago

Short walk to the falls. Very easy, and beautiful scenery.

hiking
11 months ago

Awesome short hike, beautiful drive in. 0.3 miles round trip!

hiking
11 months ago

easy short hike with a real pow at ebd nice swimming area just dont fet to close to falls area swimming a lot of people have drowned here swimming and jumping. they have put steps at the trail going down the hill now so it is real easy now. Nice spots for kids to play in water also with sand there. even saw a beaver swimming there one time

11 months ago

The trail was short and easy, the waterfall itself was beautiful, but the area was very crowded.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Very beautiful and fun place to swim, but also very crowded with lots of families. Short and easy hike, I would not rate it as moderate.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

We were there all of 15 minutes. Within that time period we witnessed 2 complete dumbasses jump from the falls. One of which was covered in Swastika and white supremacy tattoos (he grazed the cliff on the way down).It was crowded with a pretty colorful array of people. We pretty much ran out of there. Skip this

Monday, July 02, 2018

Very dangerous! Please be careful. Multiple drowning deaths have occurred, including two in 2018 alone. Even swimming at the base is dangerous. See article: http://wataugaonline.com/avery-sheriff-drowning-occurs-at-elk-river-falls-over-the-weekend/

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