Catawba Falls National Forest Sign
Catawba Falls Nation Forest, NC


Catawba Falls in Black Mountain, NC

The Catawba Falls are in the Black Mountains of North Carolina just outside of Asheville, NC. This is a great family hike providing incredible sights and easy to difficult hiking. We packed a lunch and left about noon for a couple hour hike.

First half of the hike is an easy walking path
First half of the hike is an easy walking path

Water Water Everywhere
Lots of small streams cascading down the mountain.


The Catawba Falls are a combination of multiple falls and fans as the water descends down the mountain. The first half of the hike follows a well groomed path and provides easy hiking for a young family or those that have some trouble moving but still like to hike.  Lots to see as the water winds its way back and forth across the trail. Large bridges provide good views of the stream and easy passage across the water at multiple spots.

Lower Falls

Lower Catawba Falls
We could have sat here for hours.


The lower falls has lots of rocks available for climbing and a pool of water to dip your feet into on a warm day. Many people bring their dogs any they play in the water also. Some unpack their lunching and enjoy a picnic.

Upper Falls

Upper Catawba Falls
A much larger waterfall, much louder and impressive.


To the right of the lower falls the second path starts. It begins with signs in multiple languages warning of danger of sliding rocks and don’t do anything stupid because people have died.  If you are carful, and your kids and yourself are paying attention, you should be fine. Also always check the ropes.  I don’t know who set the ropes or if they are managed by the state, forest service or some locals.  One of the rope was attached to a root that was starting to fail, so just pay attention. The ropes made the climb much safer and enjoyable.

Upper Trail is much more difficult
Upper Trail is much more difficult

Upper Catawba from a distance
Upper Catawba from a distance


As you are climbing the path will fork, left is easier and quicker. It also follows along falls and has many spots to get some great pictures. The path to the right is more difficult and is a lot of fun.  All paths lead to the top of the falls so you will eventually get there and if you use both trials, I would go right on the way up and stay right on the way down.  It creates a nice loop.

We created a little video of Catawba Falls and our hike.  Enjoy!

An Rv American Dream Travel Update