Catawba Falls

Asheville, North Carolina 28805

Catawba Falls

Catawba Falls Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The trail to Catawba Falls has been open to the public since 2010, and it grows more popular by the day! The gradual 1.5-mile track travels upstream along the headwaters of the Catawba River. The path takes you past several ruins before approaching an old dam. Past the dam, the hike becomes more rugged. Large roots, streams, and boulders complicate the trail, but after a little bit of fancy footwork, you will be rewarded upon reaching the base of the dramatic Catawba Falls.

Leave the sizable trailhead parking area on a gravel track that soon gives way to natural-surface trail. After 0.3 mile the trail crosses over the Catawba River again. There are several large rocks placed in the water that, in normal conditions, will allow you to cross with dry feet. However, be wary of slick rocks and be prepared to ford the river after recent precipitation."

More Catawba Falls Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
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"This is a deservedly popular hike. Catawba Falls is easily one of the most fetching cataracts in the greater Asheville region—and that is saying a lot! The trek, on an isolated tract of the Pisgah National Forest, enters a rugged gorge veined with tributaries feeding the uppermost reaches of the Catawba River. The hike crosses these waterways a few times while passing the remains of an early hydroelectric operation. Waterfall admirers have been coming to Catawba Falls—often with great difficulty until recently—since the 1800s. Back in the old days, there were primitive roads to tackle and when they got there no hiking trail to Catawba Falls, making visiting the cascade a challenge. It took scrambling directly up the stream to see the venerable cataract. In the late 1800s, early North Carolina photographer Rufus Morgan took pictures of Catawba Falls, and the fame of Catawba Falls began." Read more
Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge: A Hiking Guide to the Cascades of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Menasha Ridge Press)
Nicole Blouin, Steve Bordonaro, & Marilou Wier Bordonaro
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"Access to Catawba Falls has been an issue for a long time, but now it has been resolved, and this time for good. Owned by the Pisgah National Forest since 1989, the falls could not be legally accessed because it was encircled by private property. Then the Foothills Conservancy acquired a critical tract connecting to the falls and transferred it over to the Pisgah National Forest. Now we can hike to the falls in complete confidence." Read more

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Trail Information

Nearby City
359 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
1.5 hours
1,574 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,933 feet
Top Elevation
Local Contacts
National Geographic #779 Linville Gorge, Mount Mitchell, USGS Moffitt Hill
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018