Best Waterfall Hikes for Kids near Asheville, NC

For families seeking an unforgettable outdoor experience with their little ones, Asheville, North Carolina offers an abundance of picturesque waterfall hikes that are perfect for kids. From easy trails to captivating cascades, let’s dive into the best waterfall hikes near Asheville that promise adventure, beauty, and family fun.

 

Always practice waterfall safety! Do not climb on rocks near waterfalls and use extreme caution when walking along riverbanks. These rocks are slippery from mist and algae. The top of any waterfall is dangerous—never play in the stream above a waterfall.

Moore Cove Falls

easy waterfall hike for kids near asheville, nc

Length: 1.2 miles (out/back)

Difficulty: Easy

 

Moore Cove Falls is a gem tucked away in Pisgah National Forest, offering a magical adventure for families with kids. This 1.2 mile round-trip hike is relatively easy and suitable for children of all ages. The trail winds through a lush forest adorned with rhododendron, ferns, and mountain boulders perfect for climbing,  You may never actually make it to the waterfall since your young explorers will be so busy connecting with nature along the trail!

 

As you approach the waterfall, the anticipation builds, leading to the grand reveal of Moore Cove Falls—a stunning 50-foot cascade that plunges gracefully onto the shallow rocky ground. This is one of the few waterfalls in North Carolina where you can walk behind the cascading water in an open, cave-like setting. Due to its interactive capability and close proximity to Asheville (approx. 34 miles), Moore Cove Falls is an ideal spot for kids to splash around and cool off on a warm day. With its gentle terrain and simplistic beauty, Moore Cove Falls is a must-visit destination for families looking to introduce their children to the wonders of hiking and waterfalls.

Looking Glass Falls

best waterfalls asheville north carolina

Length: 0.3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

 

If you make the short drive up US 276 from Moore Cove Falls, you’ll find yourself at Looking Glass Falls in just 3 minutes. Looking Glass Falls is arguably one of the most child-friendly waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest. It has long been a beloved natural attraction that offers families a memorable introduction to North Carolina waterfalls. Sitting roadside, you and your children only have to hike down a set of stairs to reach the base. Visitors simply parallel park near this popular tourist attraction and take a short stroll down to the viewing area. Its accessibility makes Looking Glass Falls perfect for families with young children or those with mobility limitations, allowing everyone to enjoy the beauty of the waterfall without exertion.

 

As you approach Looking Glass Falls, this 60 foot natural beauty is unforgettable, while the field of river rocks sitting at the base offers the perfect spot for a picnic. Families can spend the entire afternoon snapping photos from the designated viewing area or venturing closer to feel the mist on their faces and witness the waterfall up close. For a true interactive experience, take a dip in the waters below the plunging cascade! Even in the midst of summer, you’ll find the water stays a chilly 50-60 degrees!

 

With its accessibility and impressive beauty, Looking Glass Falls will always be a popular destination for families seeking a memorable outdoor experience near Asheville.

Triple Falls & High Falls

triple falls dupont state forest north carolina

Length: 2.7 miles

Difficulty: Easy

 

Located in DuPont State Recreational Forest, Triple Falls and High Falls are a mesmerizing waterfall duo. Located on the same family-friendly trail, your kids can explore two of the most impressive waterfalls near Asheville in one afternoon!

 

The hike to Triple Falls and High Falls is approximately 2.7 miles round-trip, featuring a well-maintained trail with moderate inclines suitable for older children and adventurous toddlers in carriers. Along the way, families will travel through a scenic forest decorated with rhododendron and mountain laurel. Upon reaching Triple Falls, families are greeted by three distinct tiers of cascades, leaving no doubt how this North Carolina waterfall gained its name! After capturing a high-level view, children will easily burn off extra energy descending (and then ascending) the wooden stairs that lead to the base of the middle cascade. Keep in mind that due to the dangers, swimming is strictly prohibited here.

 

However, if your children have the itch to swim, head up the trail to High Falls, where they can take a dip in the waters beneath the massive, 120 foot waterfall. Swimming at the base of the falls is one way to elevate your experience, but for those who prefer to admire its beauty from a distance, there is a clearing along the trail where you can gaze at High Falls in all of its entirety.

 

With its manageable trail and stunning scenery, Triple Falls and High Falls promise an unforgettable adventure for families seeking outdoor fun near Asheville.

Graveyard Fields

Must See North Carolina waterfall near Asheville North Carolina

Length: 0.3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

 

Graveyard Fields is a popular waterfall hike located along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 418.8. It is one of the best waterfall hikes for families due to its accessibility and natural beauty. The hike to Lower Falls, one of Graveyard Fields’ main attractions, is only 0.3 miles from the parking area, but if you’d like to add on the loop hike, you can expect to walk approximately 1.3 miles total. Either path you choose, you’ll find a relatively flat trail that is perfect for families with young children. Along the way, hikers are treated to sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and vibrant wildflowers that blanket the landscape in the spring and summer months.

 

As you approach Second Falls (sometimes called Lower Falls), the trail descends into a valley of boulders, where families will discover one of the most beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina. Kids will love splashing in the cool mountain waters beneath the falls and exploring the rocky terrain, making memories that will last a lifetime. With its accessible trail and stunning scenery, Graveyard Fields is a top choice for families seeking an immersive outdoor experience in the Asheville area.

 

For a detailed review of Graveyard Fields and both its waterfalls, check out this post: Graveyard Fields Hike.

Toms Creek Falls

easy waterfall hike for kids near asheville nc toms creek falls

Length: 0.7 miles

Difficulty: Easy

 

Tucked away in the lush forests of Pisgah National Forest, approximately 48 miles outside of Asheville, Toms Creek Falls is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by adventurous families. The hike to Toms Creek Falls is a short and easy 0.7 journey, making it ideal for families with young children or those seeking a quick outdoor excursion. The trail meanders through a scenic forest filled with hardwood trees and a babbling stream, providing a tranquil setting for exploration.

 

As you approach Toms Creek Falls, the sound of cascading water grows louder, signaling the nearness of this natural wonder. Upon reaching the falls, families are greeted by a stunning 80 foot cascade that tumbles gracefully into shallow waters below. Although this child-friendly waterfall lacks an official swimming hole, kids will still enjoy splashing in the waters at its base, gazing admiringly from the observation platform. This is also one of the best hikes to uncover shimmering mica on the ground, along with the remnants of an old mica mine!

 

With its short trail, natural mineral treasures, and impressive waterfall, Toms Creek Falls is a must-visit destination for families seeking child-friendly waterfalls near Asheville.

 

For more waterfalls near Asheville, be sure to read Best Waterfalls Near Asheville.

Final Thoughts

Asheville and its surrounding areas are a treasure trove of natural wonders, offering families endless opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventure. From gentle trails to captivating waterfalls, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this scenic paradise. Whether you’re embarking on a leisurely stroll to Moore Cove Falls or seeking the thrill of Triple Falls, these top waterfall hikes near Asheville promise unforgettable experiences for kids and adults alike.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top