Height: 18 feet
Trail Type: Dirt
Hike Distance: 1.25 miles round trip
Buckeye Creek Falls is one you visit just because you’re trying to mark every possible waterfall you can off your list – or if you’re vacationing in Beech Mountain and need something to do. The falls, unless there’s a flash flood, are pretty pitiful, which is what tends to happen when you’re beyond the 3,000-foot elevation mark.
From the intersection of NC 184 and NC 194 in downtown Banner Elk, follow NC 184 north to Beech Mountain. From the split, drive 5.7 miles and turn right onto Pinnacle Ridge Road (you’ll be following the signs for Buckeye Recreation Center). Follow this road for 2.5 miles and the parking area will be on the left. Since it’s a recreation center, it provides other activities, so parking on weekends will fill up fast.
The official trail splits off from a paved walking path and is listed at a mile. However, since you’ll be coming from the parking lot, I added a little more distance. The trail twists and turns down the ridge before coming to a bridge overlooking the creek and the falls.
Beyond that, the trail is a little more straightforward and steeply ascends the ridge. When you come to what looks like a locked gate, just know that the trail continues beside the fence.