Luxury Waynesville Accommodations Near the Great Smoky Mountains and Asheville, NC
Looking Glass Falls is one of the most popular falls in Western North Carolina. The name “Looking Glass” comes from Looking Glass Rock, where water freezes on its sides in the winter and then glistens in the sunlight like a mirror or looking glass. Looking Glass Creek, which flows past the rock, is also named for the impressive natural structure. Its easy accessibility makes Looking Glass Falls a popular spot for travelers along U.S. 276 near Brevard. The falls are 60 feet tall. You can enjoy a view of the waterfall from the parking area, or you can take the stairs down to the base of the falls and even go for a dip!
From Waynesville, take U.S. 276 South (Heritage Scenic Byway) toward Brevard. Looking Glass Falls is 9.2 miles past the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Graveyard Fields on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is one of the most popular hiking areas in the our area. The Yellowstone Prong of the Pigeon River flows through this high, flat mountain valley, with three stunning waterfalls along its way. It’s at MP 418 on the Parkway. You can’t miss it – the parking lot is good size, but will be overflowing on a nice weekend. The area got it’s name years ago from the tree stumps and surrounding trees that looked like grave stones in a graveyard setting. Second Falls is easy to get to. From the parking area, head down the stairs on the north end of the lot and take the paved path a short ways down to Yellowstone Prong. The waterfall isn’t too far downstream and you can follow the rocks to the top of the falls. Or, take the bridge across and follow the path down to the base area of the falls. There’s a viewing platform for the falls or you can get a closer look from the boulders at the base of the falls.
Sliding Rock is a naturally occurring 60-foot waterslide with a seven-foot deep pool that has been developed by the US Forest Service into a recreation area. Sliding Rock is extremely popular on hot summer weekends. You can either slide yourself or watch others do it from one of the observation areas. There is a small fee to enter the recreation area. The recreation area is open year-round, but the bathrooms and changing rooms are only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty during that time as well. Directions: Take U.S. Highway 276 South from Waynesville toward Brevard. Sliding Rock is about six miles past the Blue Ridge Parkway.
A three-mile roundtrip hike takes you to three beautiful waterfalls. From the parking area, take a short walk to the right to Hooker Falls. There is a observation area above the falls, and you can continue on the trail to reach the base of the falls. From Hooker Falls, turn around and go past the parking area (and across the road bridge to the other side of the river) and follow the trail upstream to the more impressive Triple Falls and High Falls. About 1/2 mile from the parking area, you will arrive at an overlook for Triple Falls. Just past the overlook, a trail forks off to the left and head down to land on a large rock area below the top two falls and atop the third. A great place to have a picnic or get some sun. From Triple Falls, continue on the High Falls Trail, the largest waterfall. Once again, take a trail to the left to land at the foot of the falls. Be careful, there are some slick rocks near the base.
These falls are about 50 miles from Brookside Mountain Mist Inn & Cottages, but it’s worth the trip. The drive down U.S. 276 (Heritage Scenic Byway) is beautiful, but is very curvy and many ups and downs. So allow at least two hours to drive. Along the way, you will see many places you may want to stop, including Looking Glass Falls. Get directions and read more: Dupont State Forest.
See more North Carolina mountain waterfalls nearby. After a day of seeing the beautiful waterfalls, return to our luxury bed and breakfast inn near Asheville in the quiet town of Waynesville.