An absolutely epic waterfall but very difficult to reach. Only experienced hikers should access English Falls.
Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Linville Falls, is the extremely beautiful but very difficult to reach – English Falls. While the trail to the falls is short, only about 1/2 a mile, it is loosely developed, exceptionally steep, and very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. This is not a hike for everyone. A few sections have fixed ropes that you will need and use as you descend to the falls. English Falls is an epic waterfall but should only be visited by the experienced hiker.
The trailhead for English Falls is located at about milepost 322 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is on the North side of the railing and curve that is just past the milepost marker. There is a very small area to park that can fit just a couple vehicles. It isn’t marked but is just past the curve. Make sure you pull way off the parkway when parking. The trailhead is about 75 minutes from Asheville or Hickory North Carolina. There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead.
As stated earlier, the trail is very loosely developed, it isn’t an official trail. It starts back at the guardrail just across the street from the milepost marker. Look for a steep trail leading down into the forest. The trail will then turn north and traverse the hill although you will still be descending; just not as steeply. The trail may be difficult to follow initially but will become easier to spot once you are traversing the ridge.
The trail will continue to the creek but you will need to look for a steep trail that breaks to the right before you reach the creek. The trail is easy to spot but only if you’re looking for it. If you go too far and reach the creek, turn back and look for the trail.
From this point the trail becomes much steeper and will require the use of several fixed ropes that are usually present. Follow the trail down until you reach the first rope. From here it will be a series to steep sections with various ropes to use for assistance. The final ropes are at a short cliff you’ll need to descend. It isn’t too high but does require the rope to safely descend.
From here you should hear English Falls pounding in the background as the trail heads directly toward the base of the falls. There is one final steep section with another rope and then you end up literally at the base of the falls. If the flow is good, you may get a little wet from the spray at the final section.
The area at the base of the falls is still somewhat steep although it does level out a bit with some flat areas and large boulders that can be used to view the falls. The creek, however, is still expediting its route down the mountain and needs to be cautiously respected. Be mindful of wet and slippery rocks along the creek.
English Falls is a stunning waterfall that is so beautiful. Its remoteness means that you will likely have the falls all to yourself when you visit. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment.
This is an out and back hike so you will need to hike up the same path back to the parkway. Be safe and take your time as you ascend the steep sections of the trail.