Whether you’re looking for a scenic relaxing get-away or an ass kicking hike and adventure, Western North Carolina’s Catawba Falls are the perfect spot to set up camp and take a break from the mundane. Set up camp with just the essentials for a perfect weekend!

Catawba Falls is one of Western North Carolina’s exceptional Blue Ridge waterfalls – one which is along the steep escarpment where the higher mountain lands drop off to the Piedmont areas below.

It’s located on an isolated tract of Pisgah National Forest property near Old Fort, NC, at the southern end of the Grandfather Ranger District, just south of I-40. A new parking area and trail culminates years of effort to provide public access to this special area, which required a variety of legislation to accomplish. Today, Catawba Falls is open to visitors and a highly recommended destination.

Catawba Falls itself is divided into two or three main sections (depending on who you ask), along a stretch of the Catawba River which drops around 600 feet in about a half mile. The main upper part is about 50 feet high and is a free-fall, while the lower (or middle) section is over 100 feet high across multiple falls and cascades. It’s more of a rushing creek than a river at this point, and thus shares an attribute with most higher mountain falls: it looks best after wet weather. Still, there is enough area on the plateau above to gather water that it’s worth visiting any time, even in periods of lower water. It never dries up completely.

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(featured image courtesy of survivaltacticalsystems.com)