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**This trail is no longer open to the public. It is under new private ownership and currently closed. Please respect that.**
Why you can no longer hike to Grassy Creek Falls
Grassy Creek Falls is on private property and the previous owners allowed hikers to enjoy them for decades. In recent years, however, things have gotten a little out of hand and they wanted to curb the visitor numbers.
It was sold earlier this year (2022) and the new owners, along with other neighbors along Grassy Creek Road, are no longer allowing access, which I entirely understand.
On busy holidays, there have been as many as 50 vehicles there (which is insane since you weren’t supposed to park on the road at all, just the very top where there was only room for a few cars) and mailboxes have been knocked over as people try to turn around.
People leave trash behind, make too much noise, and have even been rude/hostile and drunk making the people that live here want to sop allowing public access which I don’t blame them for at all.
Public access is no longer allowed on this trail and there will be signs posted there saying this as well. Please respect this! The owners were generous enough to allow people to hike here for years but some of those people ruined it for everyone.
It’s unfortunate but this is what happens when people disrespect places. It’s not the first, and certainly not the last, time this will happen. So, instead of trespassing here, choose one of the alternative hikes below!
Grassy Creek Falls Alternatives
There aren’t tons of hikes right in the immediate area, but within an hour or so of driving, you will find plenty to choose from including:
- Crabtree Falls (this one is wonderful!)
- Roaring Fork Falls (I also loved this one)
- Deerlick Gap Overlook
- Armstrong Creek Trail
- The Orchard at Altapass
- Toms Creek Falls Trail
Our hiking experience from October 2020
Ahh, waterfalls. I hope you like them because there are a lot of them coming your way here and first up is Grassy Creek Falls in Little Switzerland! Is this the best waterfall in North Carolina? No. Is it the most impressive? No. But it was still and enjoyable waterfall to see.
Grassy Creek Falls is a 25 foot high double tiered waterfall on private property along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It can get busyish (as much as the very limited parking allows) so make sure you go early.
We went earlyish, for us at least, and had it almost to ourselves. But I’m too far ahead. First we had to figure out where to even park. First we drove through some hotel/cabin parking area but knew that wasn’t right so we headed back out to the parkway and managed to get enough service for some Google Maps.
This brought us down right next to the parkway to a no parking past this point sign so we drove past it to see what was there. No more parking, in fact, so back up the hill we went. Then back down and down and down on foot. And when I say down and down and down, I mean it.
I’m no hiking pro, you won’t find me peak bagging Colorado 14ers anytime soon so this may not actually be that bad of a hike, but man, the hike out is rough. Again, I’m ahead of myself. After going down the rest of the road, we turned off onto the official trail to go down even more.
Eventually you’ll see a gate blocking the “road” trail and a smaller trail heading down through the woods. Follow that down a little and then down some more before you hear the falls.
There are a couple small trails right down to the falls, but they’re pretty steep and a little slippery and muddy, so be careful on them. Once you’re down at the falls, be careful on the wet rock because that is super slippery, but enjoy the falls!
They’re hard to see from the top of the trail with so many trees so if you want a good look you’ll have to go down. You can either head back up and up and up from here or you can hike down some more.
The trail keeps going with some smaller offshoots down the hill but I’m not sure where they go or for how long. If you want to do more exploring, you can, just remember to be respectful because it is private property.
We walked down the hill a little more before facing the grueling trek all the way up and up and up. Like I said, this really shouldn’t be that hard but I was huffing and puffing the whole way up. And as much work as it was going all the way down and down and down, I’m glad we did it or I would have wondered about it and done it another time, eventually.
While it isn’t the best waterfall I’ve ever seen, it still deserves a spot on your North Carolina bucket list and is a good hike if you’re looking for waterfalls near Boone or to break up a long drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Before you go. . .
**As of July 2022, access is no longer allowed, please respect that!**
Where is the Grassy Creek Falls trailhead?
I’m sure the location is still out there, but I will no longer be sharing it here as it is under new ownership and they do not want people hiking there. This post is purely for education and entertainment at this point.
**Please do not try and do this hike! It is closed and going there will be trespassing. Please respect that the Grassy Creek Falls trail is no longer accessible.**
How long is the Grassy Creek Falls trail?
When open, this is about 3 miles round-trip with 600 feet of elevation gain. I would plan two hours or so for this, as always, depending on how much you stop and how fast you walk.
We did this the same day as Crabtree Falls, a little further down the Blue Ridge Parkway, and as usual didn’t leave super early so we had plenty of time during the day to do both.
Is the Grassy Creek Falls trail hard?
Yes and no. Generally, it’s an easy trail. It’s basically just a wide road that isn’t used for driving. It’s not super rocky, some parts are, but the majority isn’t.
The hardest part is just how steep it is. On they way to thee falls you’re steadily going down which means you’re just going up and up and up on your way out which was very tiring. If you’re in good shape it might not be hard but I would definitely say it’s at least moderate for the steepness.
The only other people we saw were aging, as I like to say (find out why in this post), so I like to think if they can do it, it’s not that bad.
What to bring on the Grassy Creek Falls hike
Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side. They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.
Water bottle – It’ll be hot and you’ll need to stay hydrated. Even if it’s not hot you need to stay hydrated. A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.
Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen. I like the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch a lot AND it’s reef safe! If you’re sensitive to fragrance though, it’s not a good choice. I also like the same one but specifically for your face.
Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, or a visor. A baseball hat should be fine but I like my giant sun hat, too.
Sunglasses – This is a must no matter where you are.
Light Jacket – Because you just never know. Weather can change quickly depending on where you are, time of day, and season. I usually use my rain jacket for this.
Headlamp – I tend to carry my headlamp around all the time when we’re hiking, just in case.
Is the Grassy Creek Falls Trail worth it?
**Once again, this trail is no longer open to the public. It is under new private ownership and currently inaccessible. Please respect that!**
Yes! This was a nice quiet hike (if a little difficult) and we only saw a few other people there but after we saw them at the top of the falls we didn’t see them again so we pretty much had it to ourselves.
Once you get to the falls, the trail keeps going so you could hike even more. I’m not sure where it goes or for how long but I would imagine it’s even less busy further down.
Have you been to Grassy Creek Falls? What did you think of it? Did you think the hike was hard?
6 thoughts on “Hike Down, Down, Down To The Double Tiered Grassy Creek Falls In North Carolina”
Hey, thanks for the article. My wife and I went there 10 days ago around noon and we loved it. it rained on our way from Charlotte but it stopped by the time we reached. Yes, maps took us to little Switzerland parking and everything was closed (or haven’t opened yet). Luckily, we found someone in of the stores and he showed us the right way. Yes, the trail was steep but the beautiful weather made it enjoyable. We hiked past the waterfalls for almost a mile, the trail kept going, don’t know where, so we returned. Saw just a couple and a family during the hike but had the waterfalls to ourselves when we reached. And yes, the rocks were very slippery, my wife slipped but was fine. Wanted to do crabtree falls too but it started raining again, so some other day. Overall, thanks for posting about this hidden gem. We love such trails with full of trees and less crowded.
A really beautiful and inspiring place!
It was a beautiful place, I agree!
Hi there! This property is no longer open to public as it is privately owned under new ownership
Oh, thank you so much for letting me know! I’ll update this to show that.
Falls have always been on private property and the longtime family allowed hikers, but they sold the acreage in early 2022 and the new owner kindly requests there be no more day hikers. In fact, the property owners along Grassy Creek Falls Road are putting up signage informing visitors that the falls are closed and there is no parking at the end of the road. As one close to the falls, they’ve endured years of trash, vehicles driving across their property, noise, etc. There are many other excellent waterfall hikes in our mountains where hikers are welcomed.