Grassy Creek Falls

Grassy Creek Falls

This waterfall is in two tiers: the top is higher than the bottom. The top tier is a rounded, mossy slide which plunges over a short free-fall onto the moss-covered rocks below. The stream then continues down over a series of small slides and cascades, including a photogenic drop over a squared-off ledge below the main falls. Northern hardwood trees arch high over the little valley the stream flows through.


  • Height: 30 ft
  • Elevation: 3080 ft
  • Stream: Grassy Creek
  • Landowner: Private
  • GPS: 35.856232, -82.085388

Hike Information

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 1.6mi
  • Tread Condition: Some Obstacles
  • Climbing: Climbs Moderately (380 ft)
  • Type: Out-and-back


Driving Directions

Little Switzerland is a community located along the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 335. From the junction of NC Hwy. 226 and the Parkway south of Spruce Pine, NC, it's 3 miles south via the Parkway to Little Switzerland. If the Parkway is closed, you can take NC Hwy. 226A, which basically parallels the Parkway, for a slightly curvier 3.1 miles.

If you're on the Parkway, take the short ramp toward the Switzerland Inn, then make a right on High Ridge Road, make a right on Chestnut Grove Rd. (SR 1100) to go back under the Parkway, and make another right on Grassy Creek Falls Road.

If you're on NC 226A, turn onto Chestnut Grove Rd. (SR 1100), go under the Parkway, and make a right on Grassy Creek Falls Road.

Parking is along the side of Grassy Creek Falls Road before the sign. Please do not drive beyond the sign; there is nowhere to park and nowhere to turn around.

Trail Description

Walk down the road behind the sign past the grassy meadow; this is a slight downhill slope. The road curves right past a house and crosses the upper reaches of Grassy Creek. State maintenance ends here and a couple of driveways go left and right; you are allowed to proceed straight ahead on the private road on foot, which is a bit narrower.

The private road to Grassy Creek Falls in fall color.
The private road to Grassy Creek Falls in fall color.

The gravel road levels out then starts back downhill. After a right-hand curve, there is a blue gate and a small sign indicating the way to the falls to the right. (Straight ahead is a private drive).

Sign for the falls at the turn from road to trail.
Sign for the falls at the turn from road to trail.

This old road is more of a trail and winds its way down into a quiet cove; it's an overgrown meadow. This is the historic road up to Little Switzerland.

The final trail to the falls in autumn.
The final trail to the falls in autumn.

You'll cross a tributary stream and then pass the top of Grassy Creek Falls on the right. Two side paths lead steeply down to the falls; the first consists of loose rocks but the second is steeper. Neither are particularly bad, but might be tough for small children.

Cascades below the main part of Grassy Creek Falls.

Use extreme caution on the rocks below the falls - there is plenty of flat space to hang out, but it can be slippery, and there are more falls downstream!