grassy creek falls north carolina

Hike Down, Down, Down To The Double Tiered Grassy Creek Falls In Little Switzerland, North Carolina

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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 in Little Switzerland. It can get busyish (as much as the very limited parking allows) so make sure you go early.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Before you go. . .

Grassy Creek Falls is on private property and you need to respect that or they can and will restrict access to the falls. There is a sign at the top of the hill that says no parking beyond this point and there isn’t. Park up there and walk down. There is no way around that.

You’ll pass people’s houses on the way down before the trail splits off from the road. If you have any garbage, pack it out. As of October 2020 they still allowed access, if you go and find out there isn’t access allowed anymore, leave a comment below and I’ll update this.

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Where is the Grassy Creek Falls trailhead?

Not to be confused with the Grassy Creek Falls in DuPont State Forest, this one is actually in Little Switzerland on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

There is very limited parking at the top of the hill, just off the parkway. When we left there were maybe four cars there and not much more room. There is no parking further down the hill!

The Grassy Creek Falls trailhead was not an easy one to find. First the maps took us through some lodge parking area in Little Switzerland which wasn’t right at all, but we knew it was close. Eventually we figured out how to actually get there and this map will help.

How long is the Grassy Creek Falls trail?

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.

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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.

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What to bring on the Grassy Creek Falls hike

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 Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must no matter where you are.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

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.

Good hiking shoes – If you’re hiking when it’s warmer, Chacos will be good.  If it’s fall, muddy, or a little cooler out, you’ll want closed toe shoes.

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Is the Grassy Creek Falls Trail worth it?

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 in Little Switzerland? What did you think of it? Did you think the hike was hard? Do you want to see it?

3 thoughts on “Hike Down, Down, Down To The Double Tiered Grassy Creek Falls In Little Switzerland, North Carolina

  1. 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.

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