Explore the largest cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. This hike is great for both family and dogs, so bring the group.

This is an approximately 4 mile roundtrip hike. It will usually take anywhere from 1-2 hours to get up, depending on your experience and who you have with you, and about an hour down. As you come off of route 56, you will come up to the trailhead where there is a large parking area with restrooms. There is a $3.00 parking fee per vehicle that is on the honor system. You put your money into the container and take a pass to hang inside your car.

As the trail starts, it is paved for the first quarter mile or so as it comes to the first waterfall at the lower falls. It is a great place to go and see a waterfall without having to do much rough hiking. From here on out the trail is dirt meandering back and forth through the woods. It can get steep with some jagged rocks at some points and there can be places where the ice hasn't melted depending on the season you go in.

CAUTION: There are signs everywhere that tell you to stay on the trail and to not wander off near the falls because the rocks are very slippery. There have been plenty of deaths that result from it, usually one every couple years or so. I know that most people will wander off the trail, I do so myself, you pretty much have if you want any decent photos. I'm not advising it, but if you do be extra careful and know your limits.

Around 3/4 of a mile in you come the largest falls of the lower section that are over 200 feet! Then at a mile in, you reach the middle section of the falls, until about 1.5 miles where you get to the base of the upper falls. Then about the 2 mile mark, you reach the summit where you will cross a bridge and see a stone wall. There you have an awesome view of the Tye River Gorge. From there you can go back down the trail or continue on. There is Crabtree Falls Trail which has good campsites that continues beyond the waterfalls that goes for about 1.5 miles farther to reach Crabtree Meadows if you want to go farther.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Good hiking shoes/boots
  • Hammock
  • Tent (if camping)
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RT Distance 4 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great hike any time of the year!

My husband and I did this hike right after a snow and it was still just as beautiful! The trail was a little more slippery as you can probably tell, but it was a great hike and parts of the falls were frozen so you really got some great water movement and photos.

Come after rain

Came in mid September, didn't rain much before so there wasn't a lot on water to see in the falls, but it was still as great hike! Elevation was gradual and the view at the top was amazing! Will definitely come back after it rains in the Fall!

Come After The Rain!

Came during a dry time and unfortunately the waterfall wasn't much to look at. Would love to come back in the Fall after some rain fall!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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