Douglas Falls

A short hike at the top of Big Ivy to a narrow and near-vertical, 70-foot waterfall.

Hiking Easy

Distance
1.8 km
Ascent
54 m
Descent
54 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.3 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Douglas Falls Map

Description

Douglas Falls is a stunning 70-foot waterfall at the very top of Big Ivy Road, made even better thanks to the numerous roadside waterfalls you'll encounter on your drive up. Camping and bouldering/rock climbing are abundant along the unpaved drive there, and "while the water flow is usually on the low side, it's a beautiful setting and an easy hike" about 45-minutes from Asheville. The spring and summer wildflowers, especially the rhododendron and mountain laurel seen throughout the area, are fantastic.

Douglas Falls can be accessed from the top of Big Ivy Road (seen here), or from the Blue Ridge Parkway near Craggy Gardens Visitor Center. From the BRP, the trail is a steep and lengthy downhill to the falls, as compared to the easy short ~1-mile round-trip seen here from the bottom.

The road to the top is about 9-miles long and unpaved, though a 2WD vehicle with moderate clearance can make it without issue. Neither water nor restrooms are available, and the trailhead is nothing more than a turnaround where the road ends.

For any mountain bikers out there, Big Ivy is home to two screaming awesome downhills, Walker Creek and Staire Creek. Big Ivy Road is also an excellent ride on a gravel bike, or alternative to the trails after rain or snow. It's also closed to vehicles through winter, making it a nice car-free ride to the top.

Difficulty

Easy

Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area