North Carolina in Maggie Valley
Maggie Valley has not been graced with having any waterfalls but there are plenty very close by.
Soco Falls: Just off highway 19 on the way to Cherokee is Soco Falls. It is located on the left approximately 2 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a small pull off on the left that is marked. From the parking area follow the trail down to the platform for observing the falls. The walk is short (less than 1/4 mile) but steep with steps.
Mingo Falls: The Spectacular Mingo Falls located in Cherokee, NC are over 120 feet high and is rated one of the most impressive falls in Western North Carolina. The climb is steep with approximately 170 steps that take you about 2/10ths of a mile up, then a short easy trail provides access to the falls. The hike to these falls is rated moderate, but for people with heart or breathing problems it would be strenuous.
From US 74, take exit 74, continue on US 441 north, for 5.2 miles. Turn right onto US 19 and continue 0.5 miles. Turn left at next traffic light in the direction of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (staying on US 441 N). Continue for 2.25 miles and turn right onto Big Cove Road. Continue for 5.25 miles. Turn right, straight ahead is a parking lot and trail.
Looking Glass Falls: Perhaps the best known waterfall in the area is Looking Glass Falls. It’s right next to the road on Hwy 276 north, kid friendly and wheelchair accessible to the upper view. If you are in the area and only have time for 1 quickie waterfall, this would be the one to go to. It’s about 60′ high and swimming is allowed in the pool at the base. I’m not sure how deep it is, but I’ve seen kids swimming and wading. The water is always cold and it’s swim at your own risk. Remember that wet rocks area very slippery!
Directions: From the intersection of Hwys 64, 280 and 276 north near Brevard, drive north on Hwy 276 north for 5.6 miles and pull off in the paved lane on the right. If you are coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, get off on the Hwy 276 exit and drive south for 9.2 miles. Looking Glass Falls will be on your left. You will have passed Sliding Rock and the parking for Moore Cove Falls.
Waterfalls of Graveyard Fields:
Second Falls: Drive to Milepost 418.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and park your car in the large, paved parking area. Take the paved trail from the north end of the overlook. You will arrive at Yellowstone Prong after 0.2 miles. Cross the creek and make a right. Continue until you see a sign indicating that you have reached Lower Falls. The trail then forks to the right and descends to the base. Trail Length 0.3 miles, Moderate.
Yellowstone Falls: Follow the directions to Second Falls, but instead of turning right at the Lower Falls sign, make a left instead and continue on for another 0.25 miles. (Heads Up! This fall can also be seen from your car while driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, almost one mile south of the Graveyard Fields overlook.) Trail 1.1 miles total. Trail difficulty ranges from moderate to difficult. Please note that the last 0.6 miles of the trail, the part that descends to the base of Yellowstone Falls, is very difficult and potentially dangerous for inexperienced hikers.
Upper Falls: Follow the directions to Second Falls. After crossing Yellowstone Prong, take a left onto the Graveyard Fields Loop Trail. This 1.6 mile trail will lead you to the falls. Trail is moderate to easy.
Trail Length: Falls can be viewed from the roadside.
Trail Difficulty: No Sweat! Handicapped Accessible.