Skinny Dip Falls

Pisgah National Forest

Skinny Dip Falls is a magical place that you must see, hear, and experience. Very popular in the Summer.
(Video: 4 minutes 15 seconds)
+more (video transcript)
Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, exactly at milepost 417, is the refreshingly wonderful and almost magical - Skinny Dip Falls.  Nestled at the bottom of a ridge along the Yellowstone Prong, Skinny Dip Falls is a beautiful waterfall  with numerous cascades and swimming holes that are filled with crystal clear mountain water that glows an emerald green hue due to the moss and algae present on the rocks.  It is a short 1/2 mile out and back trail to the falls.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469 mile national parkway that mostly traverses the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia.  It is a treasure trove of scenic views, countless activities, hiking trails, heritage sites, and numerous other sites of interest.  The North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway was designated an All American Road in September of 1996.

The trailhead to Skinny Dip falls is just to the left of milepost marker 417 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   There aren't any signs on the road indicating the trailhead so look for the Looking Glass Rock overlook which is directly across the street from the trailhead and milepost 417 marker.   There is very limited parking available at the overlook and during the summer months it will quickly fill up as this is a very popular spot.   The trailhead is about 45 minutes from Brevard North Carolina, 1 hour from Asheville North Carolina, or 1 hour 45 minutes from Greenville South Carolina.

After parking and carefully crossing the parkway, start on the obvious trail just left of the milepost marker.  The trail stays somewhat flat initially and after you pass an interesting tree, you will intersect and join the Mountains to Sea Trail which continues straight and is marked by white blazes.  From this point the trail continues mostly downhill and is very rocky in spots.  It is easy to follow, well maintained, and the only creek crossing you encounter before reaching the falls is bridged.   When you reach the small bench, fence, and stairs; you have reached Skinny Dip Falls.

Skinny Dip Falls is a wonderfully loud and active area with more cascades and swimming holes than you can count.  If you are visiting during the warmer months, there will be a lot of people present but the area is somewhat large and continues  upstream for a bit providing plenty of areas to either sit and enjoy the falls or actually take a dip and cool off.  Note that despite its name, nobody is going to be actually skinny dipping come prepared with the proper swimming attire.

This is one of those spots that you could hang out at all day and thoroughly enjoy it.  Make sure you stay safe exploring the area as wet rocks can be very slippery.  Also be sure you save enough energy for the hike back , although it's not very far, the return trip is mostly uphill.

Skinny dip falls is one of our favorite destinations and we think it may become one of yours as well.
Bridge and Pool at Skinny Dip Falls
Swimming Hole at Skinny Dip Falls
Address & GPS
Milepost 417
Blue Ridge Parkway
35.322000N, -82.828149W
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Weather Details & Forecast
71% Humidity
Moderate rain
Moderate rain
76% Humidity
Patchy rain possible
Patchy rain possible
58% Humidity
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
50% Humidity
Nearby Attractions
Second Falls (1.1 mi.)
Log Hollow Falls (1.1 mi.)
Discovery Falls (1.1 mi.)
Cove Creek Falls (2 mi.)
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