A 50-foot waterfall that spouts water from all sides of a jagged sheer cliff, accessible by a steep and tricky yet short path from the Blue Ridge Parkway: that's the matching description for English Falls. Located in Northwest North Carolina not far from the quaint town of Spruce Pine, English Falls possesses charm of a level that few other of the state's waterfalls seem to reach. The setting of the waterfall is magical, due to the lush greenery that peppers the cliffs and boulders at and around the falls. A small drawback of English Falls is that it is on a small unnamed stream, so the flow can be low during parts of the year. Nevertheless, visiting English Falls at the right time will yield one of the most unusual and photogenic waterfalls that you'll ever see. This hike occurred on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017, and a revisit occurred on Wednesday, June 17th, 2020. My plan was to hike out and back to English Falls via the access path from the Blue Ridge Parkway. In 2017, this hike was the tenth and final of ten hikes that I did during a seven-day trip to the mountains of northwest North Carolina.
Update 6/23/20: I have finally revisited English Falls almost three years later. The trail has changed in several ways. English Falls has seen an explosion in visitation over the last few years so the trail is now very trampled down and eroded. As a result, the hike has actually become more difficult. The slope is very slick with few footholds or handholds. Agility and experience with ropes are a must to complete this scramble safely. The trip report has been revised with the most recent directions plus information about Upper English Falls.
UPDATE JULY 2023: ROADSIDE PARKING IS NOW PROHIBITED ALL ALONG THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY NEAR ENGLISH FALLS. ILLEGALLY-PARKED VEHICLES WILL BE TICKETED. The nearest authorized parking area is over a mile away. The status of the scramble path itself is unclear. Most of the path lies on National Park Service land. It is widely rumored to be closed but no official word has been obtained from the NPS.
Mark Oleg Ozboyd
Dear readers: I have invested a tremendous amount of time and effort in this website and the Georgia Waterfalls Database the past five years. All of the work that has gone in keeping these websites updated with my latest trip reports has almost been like a full-time job. This has not allowed me to pick up a paid job to save up money for college, and therefore, I I've had to take out loans. If you find the information on this website interesting, helpful, or time-saving, you can say "thanks" and help me out by clicking the button above and making a contribution. I will be very grateful for any amount of support you give, as all of it will apply toward my college tuition. Thank you!
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