Hickory Nut Falls, North Carolina

I thought I would have written about Hickory Nut Falls right after visiting, but I guess I haven’t, and now I get to write about the falls. North Carolina has a LOT of waterfalls especially in the western portion in the Appalachians. As you go further east, there are fewer and fewer waterfalls as the land doesn’t change in elevation as much.

Hickory Nut Falls in March 2017

Hickory Nut Falls isn’t necessarily at the edge of the waterfalls, but it is one of those that seems a bit afar from the waterfall hotspots (though after looking at Google Maps, there are other falls in the area). So I made sure to head to Hickory Nut Falls before turning to the west to see the other falls. Why visit Hickory Nut Falls? You’d likely be visiting if you’re checking out Chimney Rock State Park. Chimney Rock is a 315′ granite monolith that “stands out”. Interestingly, there is a waterfall here too, and it’s rather tall.

It is reported that Hickory Nut Falls is a 351′ drop. It’s not a 351′ plunge waterfall, but instead a horsetail falls that gradually falls. There is a hike to get to the falls and it isn’t difficult. I remember getting to the falls and realizing because the drop is so large, I don’t know if you can really get a sense of how big the drop is. I don’t know if you can see all of the falls, either. There wasn’t much water flowing when I visited…enough so that I could tell there was a waterfall, though after a good rainfall might be the best time to visit.


  1. Chimney Rock State Park is found off of US ALT-74, which is an oddly numbered road, as US-64 switches to ALT-74 and then switches back to US-64. The falls and park are near Lake Lure.
  2. If you’re headed west, you will turn left from US-ALT-74 onto Chimney Rock Park Road and you’ll cross the Broad River.
  3. You’ll then continue uphill toward the parking area for Chimney Rock. Once you park, you can head up to Chimney Rock. You can then also head along the Hickory Nut Falls Trail.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 351′
Length of Hike: 1.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Hickory Nut Falls?


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