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Don’t go chasing waterfalls…

…well, here in North Carolina we beg to differ!

Waterfalls are some of nature’s most beautiful phenomenons. No two falls are alike, and in these North Carolina mountains we’ve certainly got our fair share of breathtaking falls. You don’t have to travel far from the Horton to find a beautiful waterfall. Waterfall hunting is great year round, too. There’s something to be said for the unique beauty of the river in every season. When it’s lush and green outside, when red and gold leaves twist and twirl, landing gently on the water, and in the crisp and clear light of winter, with maybe an icicle or two. There’s just so much beauty year round in these NC mountains. Read on to learn more about waterfalls, and to learn about a few of our favorite falls in the high country.

No two waterfalls are alike.

Have you ever thought about the differences between waterfalls? No two are exactly alike, but a popular (although not scientific) way to categorize them is by “type.” From block waterfalls, cascades, cataracts, chutes, fans, frozen falls, horsetails, multi-steps, plunges, and punchbowls…there are so many different types of falls. Head over to National Geographic to read descriptions of each type and to learn more about how waterfalls are formed.

Don’t stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to…

…instead explore waterfalls near the Horton!

Laurel Creek Falls aka Trash Can Falls: just 17 minutes from the hotel. The locals call it Trash Can Falls, but its official name is Laurel Creek Falls. With a fifteen foot drop and a glittering blue-green pool at the base, this is a favorite swimming hole for many locals and college students. Not in the mood to hike? Don’t worry, you can basically park across the street from this waterfall and it’s just a quick and easy walk through the woods.

Hebron Falls: just 17 minutes from the hotel. Hebron borders and connects with the Boone Fork Trail, so you can make a day out of it if you’d like. We recommend packing a lunch, and if you’re the adventurous type, we suggest starting at the bottom of the falls (off of Old Turnpike Road) and climbing up the wide, sprawling boulders until you make it to the top. Worth it! And completely doable.

Glen Burney Falls: is only 22 minutes from the hotel. Not only can you see Glen Burney Falls, but you can also see Glen Marie Falls all within a 3 mile hike! This trail is located near main street in Blowing Rock. Make time to explore downtown Blowing Rock if you plan to visit these falls. There are plenty of great places to grab lunch post hike.

Otter Falls: is located in the town of Seven Devils and is just 22 minutes from the hotel. The trail to the falls has only been around since 2015, so it’s still relatively new. It’s a relatively short hike to the falls, just 1.2 miles round trip. There are several hiking loops that you can choose from, and there’s also a great observation deck near the falls, too.

Don’t mind a scenic drive? Check out these waterfalls.

Elk River Falls: an hour away from the Horton, but well worth the trip if you’re in the mood for a scenic drive and a massive, deep pool of water for swimming. As tempting as it may be, we do not recommend jumping from the top of this waterfall. It’s very dangerous!

Linville Falls: roughly 45 minutes away, and absolutely iconic! If you’ve never been out to the gorge you’re really missing out. Expect a lot of tourists on the weekends. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, we recommend heading to the falls on a weekday. We also recommend hiking south down into the gorge, towards Babel’s Tower.

Twisting Falls aka Compression: another local favorite, this waterfall is located 43 minutes from the Horton, right on the TN/NC line. It’s a difficult trail, with a short yet challenging descent to the falls. Featuring a 35 foot falls and two 20 foot falls, this spot is absolutely beautiful. Wear your hiking boots! Trust me.

Enjoy exploring!

Have a favorite waterfall that we didn’t write about? Share it with us! Drop a comment on our Facebook page, or send us an email. We’d love to hear about your favorites. In the meantime, sign up for our email list to stay up to date on all things Horton. Just go to our home page and scroll to the bottom to sign up.


Written by Megan Biddix – Blogging, Marketing, & Public Relations

Sources: Thanks to TLC for writing the song, Waterfalls, that helped me create these perfectly punny subheadings. And thanks to Nat Geo for teaching me all about the unscientific way to categorize waterfalls… go read that article that I linked back to! It’s really interesting.

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