Distance: 1.4 mile out-and-back. Elevation gain: 1000 ft. Scenic waterfalls. Wonderful photography opportunities. Parking available. Dog friendly. Fun for the whole family. Easy day hike.

The trailhead for this hike is at the same parking area for the Flat Top Trail. From the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, travel north up the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 3 miles, where you will come to small parking area. It is quite tiny, and probably holds around 10 vehicles, but there was only one other car there when I went. It's probably like that most of the time except maybe the weekends. From the parking lot, walk across the road to where the trail starts. The whole trail is about 1.4 miles roundtrip, so it's fairly short and fun for the whole family.

Once you start on the trail, it is a steady downhill for most of the .7 miles in, so it is uphill coming back. The trail is well maintained and can get a little rocky at some points, but has stone steps and rest benches along the way. Once you reach the falls there is some washout on the lower falls, so caution is advised.

The upper falls is the pinnacle. It's not the biggest waterfall, but it is definitely spectacular to see. The water flow down the falls will depend on the season. It's a peaceful place to relax or do some exploring to find the best photo angles. Then it's .7 miles back out the parking area.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Good hiking shoes/boots
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Hammock
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Good, quick hike

I did this hike when I was very out of shape and I fully expected to struggle, but it was honestly short enough that I was tempted to go back around and hike the loop again (didn't haha). I hiked it in May and the waterfall looked pretty strong, but it has been very rainy this spring. Would definitely recommend this hike for sometime when you don't have a lot of time or are not in your best shape.

Short & Easy

The hike was short and simple. Crossed only 1 creek. However, prepare mentally for the return to car. Hike is mostly uphill coming back.

easy morning hike

I loved hiking this!! It’s a really easy hike to fit in on a slow morning because it’s super short but there’s lots of places to just chill along the trail. Especially pretty in the fall after it rains but peaceful all the time


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