View – view of a waterfall on the Catawba River.
Hike Profile – this popular hike is out and back on a trail that follows the Catawba River to a lower falls. There is also an upper falls and that trail is now open after renovation. We have not climbed up to the upper falls on the newly opened trail yet but we will be updating this page once we do. The trail includes multiple stream crossings but two new steel and wood bridges have been added to the more difficult crossings. The other crossings are short using stepping stones in shallow water. Almost all of the trail is now wide, open and relatively smooth until you approach the lower falls after crossing the last bridge. At this point, the trail becomes a rock scramble to reach the base of the lower falls.
Trail Surface – the trail is easy going on mostly flat dirt with some rocks and tends to be muddy in many places. There are a few large rocks that need to be crossed close to the falls.
Environment – the trail passes through open woods with an abundance of wildflowers during the spring season.
Navigation – the trail follows the river trailhead to the lower falls. Closer to the falls there is the option of crossing over the river for a better view of the falls.
Directions to Trailhead – going east from Black Mountain, take I-40 to Exit 73, one of the exits to Old Fort, and immediately turn right on Catawba River Road before coming to the end of the exit ramp. This road runs parallel to I-40 going west and then turns southwest. Stay on Catawba River Road for about 3 miles until it ends at the Catawba Falls parking area.