Other than eating barbecue, I was most excited to go hiking during our time in North Carolina. There are thousands of miles of trails to choose from, but with limited time we went with one just outside of Asheville. Catawba Falls was an easy 25 minute drive from our hotel with promised waterfall sightings, so we headed out first thing on a Saturday morning.
Located near the town of Old Fort in the Pigsah National Forest, the trail head offers free parking and restroom facilities. The hike is a quick and easy out and back, clocking in at around 2.7 miles. This is a great hike for people of all ages. Dogs are allowed too! Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, as the trail is rocky and wet in some places.
We got an early start on a Saturday morning and found the trail to be pretty empty and peaceful.
You start out crossing the Catawba River and pass by ruins of old settlements from the 1900s and several smaller falls as they pass over the rocky river beds. There’s a subtle incline, enough to get your blood flowing, but nothing overly taxing. We told ourselves we might have burned off at least one of the hush puppies we ate at Okies Dokies.
While I would have enjoyed a more strenuous hike with mountain views, the sound of the running streams and the greenery was a nice consolation.
We were in a hurry to beat our hotel’s checkout, so we moved quickly to the top of the trail. For those with more time, there are several turnouts for further exploration. Most waterfalls I’ve visited in the U.S. have been a bit disappointing, especially compared to our hike in Brotas, Brazil. Fortunately, this one definitely lived up to the hype.
There were a few other hikers admiring the falls when we arrived. Of course we all took turns taking photos for each other. Southern hospitality is a real thing.
Even though it was a super quick, hike, we definitely got our nature fix for the day. It was a quick jaunt back to the car for our next adventure: a glorious breakfast at Biscuit Head. Stay tuned for our review of the Asheville staple next week!