The Appalachian Trail is a treasure trove of scenic vistas and famous landmarks. But just north of the famed Roan Highlands, a stunning spectacle of a waterfall lies just beyond the white blazes. 

Starting at the Appalachian Trail (AT) trailhead at US 19E, follow the AT north for 3.1 miles until you reach the intersection of the trail with Buck Mountain Rd. This section of the AT has an elevation gain of almost 1000 ft, and large sections of trail with significant meadows offering magnificent vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. 

The next 0.3 of a mile drops into a creek bed and then rises back up to cross Campbell Hollow Road and continue on north into an old pine nursery. 

From there, the trail winds mostly downhill through forest for the next 1.8 miles until you reach a wooden sign for Jones Falls, with a short, 0.1 mile trail marked with blue blazes that takes you straight to the waterfall, for a total one-way distance of 5.3 miles. From the sign for Jones Falls, you should be able to audibly hear the waterfall itself.

Jones Falls itself is quite a sight, with its height nearing 100 feet. Late summer/autumn tends to be the slowest output of the falls, where as early spring sees them at peak flow.

Prepare to take at least 4-5 hours to complete this hike, as it is a significant length and elevation change to take on. Also, parking at the US 19E trailhead is limited, and the parking is right along the road, which as the day progresses, gets significantly busier. 

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Daypack
  • Water Bottles (2-3 liters)
  • Camera
  • Lunch/Snacks
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RT Distance 10.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 2500 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Hiked It!

Nice waterfall. Go late afternoon and don't go when it's cold. Dangerous because of ice!! Next time I'll take the longer way in. I like to suffer a little before the reward!

about 2 years ago

From Elk River Falls

You can also get to Jones Falls by parking at Elk River Falls (in Elk Park, NC), taking the trail from the parking lot that takes you to the bottom of Elk River Falls, and continuing along the road/trail close to the river. After walking through a meadow the trail hugs the river and then splits off up a steep hill. Follow this to the AT and backtrack to the Jones Falls trail that splits off the AT. It is only like 1.5 miles one way, not bad at all!


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