Explore the most popular waterfall trails near Highlands with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

AMAZING trail! My husband and I did this and loved it. It was tiny bit challenging but not bad at all. The terrain was diverse and the falls were amazing. I loved every moment.

hiking
16 days ago

Straight down! Slippery gravel in places. Beautiful payoff!! Watch out for snakes as you step across the rocks at the bottom... saw one curled up in the air right in our path... difficult to see unless you were looking directly at it.

Probably my favorite short hike near Highlands. We went today, Labor Day, thinking that it might be crowded but it was completely empty and never once saw another hiker. The waterfall is a perfect ending to this relatively easy hike. I highly recommend it.

hiking
19 days ago

Glen Falls is one of the most popular hikes near Highlands. For that reason, I’d say to avoid it if you are one that looks to avoid crowds. The falls are beautiful, but the sheer amount of people and dogs takes away from the enjoyment. If you go past the railing at the bottom and continue down the ‘trail’ it will put you out at the very bottom of the falls, which is a nice treat.

hiking
22 days ago

fantastic hike to a gorgeous waterfall...the hike in is a breeze because you go down hill most of the trail so coming out is a workout

23 days ago

Went here right after Christmas of 2017. Falls was half way frozen with massive icicles! Short “hike” but one of the best waterfalls around the area. Kids 7 & 4 absolutely loved this one.

on Secret Falls Trail

hiking
25 days ago

I absolutely loved this trail. Now, first off let me say there were lots of trees down but...It was a beautiful trail with lots of rare flowers. The waterfall was spectacular and there was not a single person the whole hike ( which I loved). Easy to Moderate is what I would rate this one. I do wish they would remove all the downed trees but a beautiful hike nonetheless.

hiking
28 days ago

What a gorgeous waterfall where you can walk behind it and get cooled off. Easy stair walkway and easy access from paved parking lot. Such a great area, very green and lush surroundings. This would be a beautiful place to get married too!

hiking
28 days ago

What an amazing waterfall, very powerful and fun as you’re making your way down the trail, very rocky trail and quite treacherous. Natural beauty and one of my favorite waterfalls ever.

Beautiful! Definitely worth the stop.

This trail offers a steep hike through a nice forest to a series of beautiful waterfalls. However, there is very limited space available for viewing these falls, and the crowds detract from any possibility of a wilderness experience. The falls are very popular and located just outside of the Highlands city limits. If you hike this trail and want a chance to enjoy the falls, get there very early.

hiking
1 month ago

Recent monsoons have made the flow twice the normal flow!

hiking
1 month ago

Down hill is easy. Uphill is hard. A series of falls with limited viewing.

Good shady trail. Good amount of flowing water at various points along the trail. The falls are great and a nice cool break before finishing up the hike.

peaceful and very well maintained trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 5 days before today and after 3 days of intense rain. Easy hike to enjoy the pool at the base of the falls.

Heavily shaded. Took about 1.5 hrs counterclockwise.
Stopped to read trail markers and enjoy ranger falls.

hiking
1 month ago

I have no clue how on earth this “trail” is easy. Extremely subtle entrance, as in, hop the rail or you’ll miss it. Not for the faint of heart, but 100% worth risking your life along the slippery slopes for that jaw dropping view!

on Dry Falls Trail

walking
1 month ago

If you are in the area, this is a must stop! There are steps down to the falls but it is so worth it. My 8 year old loved it and said it was his favorite of all the falls we have visited. Being able to walk behind it, is definitely fun. The recent rains made it very full and beautiful. I’m sure it’s that way even without the rain and would highly recommend this stop.

Relatively short hike, rocky near the water, but well worth it

walking
1 month ago

Hardly any walk, well defined, and beautiful scenery!

hiking
1 month ago

Dry Falls is located along SR-64 / Highland Road just NW of Highlands, NC. I was VERY impressed by this trail. there was ample paved parking, facilities, a cement trail with guardrails down to and behind the falls, an amazingly pretty waterfall, and no admission. From car to falls is about 10 minutes and the views along the trail of the falls are breathtaking. I went just after a rain so the falls had more flow but I suspect that this waterfall is beautiful year 'round.

hiking
1 month ago

Cullasaja Falls is on the Cullasaja River that flows alongside SR-64 / Highland Road. It is on the south side of the road and is not marked so you won't see it unless you're looking for it. There is room for only 2 cars along the road at the viewpoint. As the day was rainy and the step hillside was wet I decided not to try climbing down the hill but am posting a few pictures taken from the roadside. (In my opinion your time is better and more safely spent at Dry Falls just up the road.)

Good, quick loop. The falls are worth the trip and the diversity of trees along the way made for a pretty enjoyable time. We went right at the loop junction, and we were glad that we did. Either way, this is a good loop.

100% worth the stop on the side of the road

Beautiful forest walk for the first 1.7 miles. The final 1.1 miles wind through a wildflower packed field. We parked in the flat mountain lot which made this hike a 2.8 mile loop. Saw a few others on the trail on a Saturday.

2 months ago

Total of 91 steps each way. Beautiful gorge and falls. fun to walk behind

2 months ago

91 steps down, 91 steps up. Beautiful gorge and falls. Fun to walk behind.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a very challenging and very short distance hike/climb. Well worth it, but don’t climb over the rail if you have doubts about doing some minor scrambling along loose rock and balancing and traversing large boulders on a steep incline. Take your time and the view at the bottom is great. View from that bottom that 99% of tourists won’t ever see.

This is a great trail with so much to see and so many places to explore. Our family of five with two teenagers and a standard poodle had a great time but we managed to get off the trail by half a mile by taking a fork in that appeared to be the correct direction but wasn’t. Still a beautiful, fun hike.

Load More