Steels Creek Waterfall is a 1.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Newland, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 1.6 miles Elevation Gain: 321 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly


nature trips

bird watching









off trail

Hike along Steels Creek Trail (#237) from Forest Road 228 to Waterfall on Steels Creek and back.

14 days ago

The trail starts at the end of the 4 mile long narrow FR 228. FR 228 crosses a creek on the way in and is impassable in high water. Once at the trailhead, the trail starts by going through a rhododendron tunnel, soon reaching a small cascade, where you have to cross the creek. The best place to cross is just upstream from the cascade, but the crossing is tricky in normal flow times and likely impossible in high water. Right after the crossing, you'll come to a T intersection with the MST. Making a right would get you to Steels Creek Falls. The waterfall is magnificent and very unique, with water exquisitely carving those potholes. A side spur from the MST take you to the best view of the falls - a sloping rock in the middle of the falls (and rope attached to the tree). Make sure you're comfortable with supporting your weight and pulling yourself up along the rope if you choose to venture out on this rock. This is not a place for kids or dogs. That said, a beautiful waterfall, well worth a visit.

10 months ago

I have had my eye on this hike for a while but was worried about the rock to view the waterfall on. The road to the trailhead is very good but narrow in places. You park at the very end of forest road 228, from there the tail leaves through a rhododendron tunnel. The trail is underwater in places so you may as well begin this hike in water shoes (good, water hiking water shoes). When you get to a little cascade/slide falls you must cross the river. on the other side, the trail picks up and you go through a unofficial campsite. Stay on the trail until you see the TRAIL sign and turn right. This is the Mountains to sea trail and you will follow it upstream. The trail will dip down into the river and you will need to boulder hop along side. The MTS trail is blazed white so just look for that. Once the trail ascends out of the river you will follow it steeply up. It will finally begin to be not such a steep incline and you will stay on trail until you hear the unmistakable sound of a large waterfall. Start looking for and unofficial muddy steep spur down. Once you locate it - THIS IS THE DANGEROUS HARD PART- carefully pick your way down to the rock that juts over the fall. There was a rope there when I went and it seemed pretty safe although I would not want to test it out by dangling from it over the falls! There was water running over this rock and it was extremely slippery. The rock slopes downward towards the falls. I crabwalked/scooted on my butt holding on to the rope to go out as far as I was comfortable. My shoes had no traction on this rock. I took my pictures and admired this beauty and then very carefully scooted back the way I came. This place is extremely beautiful. I will be back to explore the other waterfalls soon. The four stars is due to the risk to view this waterfall. As others have said, you are taking a chance on this rock. Go slow and assess your safety each part of the way. One last thing - this isn't a hike for dogs. Please don't take your fur baby out on that rock. If you slip, you will die. If your pup slips, he/she will die.

Thu Jul 13 2017

Pretty little stream but a tough hike in. Multiple stream crossings and a lot of scrambling. Had to turn around a ways up because I felt it was to tough on Angel and her recently repaired CCL.

5 days ago

6 months ago

8 months ago

Tue Jun 26 2018

Sat Aug 05 2017

Wed Jun 14 2017

Mon May 29 2017

Fri Jul 25 2014