Height: Over 250 feet
Trail Type: Dirt and stairs
Hike Distance: 0.8 miles
Cascade Falls (also known as “The Cascades”) is located in E.B. Jeffress Park near Milepost 272 along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The park makes a nice leg stretcher and provides picnic tables and a bathroom (which is a precious commodity on the Parkway). The trail doubles as a nature trail, and there are several markers along the way identifying the different types of trees and flowers that grow along the way.
Cascade Falls itself would be so much nicer if you could see the whole thing. The problem is that A) it’s a pretty big waterfall and B) the landscape just doesn’t allow it. Sure, the park service could make trail improvements to the area and build stairs down to the base of the falls, but it might make the trail so much more difficult that few people would make the effort to see it. Instead, you get two up close views of the upper section of the falls.
E.B. Jeffress Park is located on Milepost 272 between Boone and NC highway 16.
The trail starts out level before descending down the mountain. You’ll eventually come to a fork, but this is a loop trail so you can go either way to get to the falls. Every time I’ve been, the trail gets a little muddy when you get to the stairs to go to each viewing area for the falls.
The first overlook brings you to the top of the falls as it peeks out from some rhododendron bushes. There’s enough of an opening for you to see a good bit of the entire falls as it flows away from you, which is a view you may not find anywhere else. The second overlook places you just below a short free fall, but some overgrowth hides the view of the rest of the falls.