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While this is my second to last post on our time in Boone, this was actually the first thing we did there: hike to Hebron Falls on the Boone Fork Trail in Julian Price Memorial Park! This is about 20 minutes from Boone down the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We had no idea how far the waterfall was or which way to go at the fork, but we picked right (it’s right) and set off. The weather was perfect that afternoon/evening, the only annoying thing was all the mud, which, really, wasn’t that awful.
The trail starts out pretty open but most of it ends up being almost a magnolia/wooded tunnel. It’s not as fairytale feeling as the Glade Creek Trail or Ledges Trail, but it was fairly dark even though it was mid-afternoon.
The hike felt like it was taking forever because we had to stop or slow down to maneuver over/around mud in so many places. It wasn’t like, sloppy wet mud but more thick goopy mud.
If you’re not concerned about your shoes, you could just go through it, but I was wearing socks and sandals and didn’t want to get them all gross, so around I went.
Eventually we came to a bridge and headed on over and up a steep enough hill. We could hear the falls but didn’t seem to be getting closer to them.
We followed this trail for a bit and ran into another couple and asked them where the falls were. Not where we were. Turns out at that bridge, there is actually another trail to the left of it and that’s the trail to the falls.
So back down we went. Back over the bridge, we looked to the right now (it’s on the left if you’re facing the bridge) and what do you know. There was another trail.
If you know it’s there, it’s easy enough to notice, but if you don’t it’s incredibly easy to miss. There is a small trail and two little trail markers on a tree. Head on down there and you’ll be at Hebron Falls before you know it.
Once you get closer to the falls there will be a small trail on the right that will take you down the somewhat steep hill on the side of the trail to the creek and base of the falls.
We just hung out down here for a while, enjoying the falls. You can see the falls cascading over the boulders and there are even some trees growing right in the middle.
We headed back out the way we came instead of doing the whole Boone Fork Trail loop. We weren’t even antisipating as much hiking as we did, much less with the side quest over the bridge. It went much faster on the way out though since we already knew the ways around the mud.
This was easily my favorite waterfall we saw in North Carolina because it was different than your typical waterfall. Instead of cascading straight over a cliff, it’s cascading over boulders at like, a 45 degree angle. It’s just so unique, I love it.
Where is Hebron Falls?
The Hebron Falls trailhead is at the Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 20 minutes from Boone. When you pull into the parking lot, you’ll see a little bridge on the left, that’s the trail.
It’s actually on the Boone Fork Trail, so if you see signs for that, that’s the one. There will be a fork, go to the right to get to the falls.
How long is the hike to Hebron Falls?
It’s about 3.2 miles round-trip to the falls (out-and-back) but can also be made into a 5.2ish mile loop. We just did the 3.2 out and back, which I liked a lot. Elevation gain is fairly minimal at around 209 feet.
Towards the beginning there is a for, go to the right here! Eventually you’ll come to a bridge and as appealing as it is, DO NOT CROSS IT if you want to see Hebron Falls. You can cross it, but you’ll be headed somewhere else (not that we totally did this or anything (we did)).
Just before the bridge, if you look to your left, you’ may notice a small trail with an even smaller trail marker on a tree. That’s how you get to Hebron Falls.
How long do you need for the Hebron Falls hike?
I would say 2-3 hours depending on how much you stop, possible muddy trail conditions, and if you accidentally go down any wrong trails. Does anyone else think trails around here are not marked the best? Please let me know if you agree! (or even if you don’t!)
Is the Hebron Falls hike hard?
No. Elevation gain isn’t bad. Distance isn’t terrible. The worst part was the mud and the descent to the base of the falls. The trail was super muddy when we went in October but it was easy enough to just go around it.
The short jaunt from the trail down to the falls base was fairly steep but it’s pretty well formed, not bushwachking, and pretty short. Going back up that I was out of breath but it was 1000% worth it.
What to bring on the Hebron Falls hike
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.
Is the hike to Hebron Falls worth it?
Yes! This was definitely one of my favorite waterfalls in North Carolina and I would highly recommend the trek out to see it. Just pay attention to the trails and signs!
Tips for hiking to Hebron Falls:
- The trail can be pretty muddy so wear shoes you don’t mind possibly getting dirty.
- If it is muddy and you have to navigate around it, the hike will take longer than if it’s dry.
- I don’t think there is a bad time (of day or year) to do this but fall was gorgeous with all of the color on the trees.
- The trailhead is closer to the road than the back of the park, so park closer to the road if you can.
- In the fall, this park gets insanely busy so I would go early in the morning or mid-late afternoon. Keep in mind most of the trail will be darker because the foliage is so dense. I though mid-late afternoon was perfect as far as crowds, lighting, and temperature are concerned.
Have you hiked to Hebron Falls? What did you think of it? What is your favorite waterfall near Boone?