Height: 45 feet
Trail Type: Dirt
Hike Distance: 2.1 miles round trip
Glen Burney Falls is the only major waterfall in Blowing Rock that’s easily accessible – and even then it’s not that easy. The Glen Burney Trail loses approximately 600 feet of elevation from the parking area to the base of the falls. New Years Creek, which feeds the falls, pretty much starts at the trailhead and is controlled by a dam, so the flow of the creek is likely never very high. If you do catch the falls on a good day, you are treated to several small streams sliding and cascading down moss covered rocks. It makes for some interesting photography.
From the intersection of US highway 221 and Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock, drive south down Main Street and take the next right onto Park Avenue. Turn left onto Wallingford Road, and then the next right onto Laurel Lane. The parking area will be just before the bridge on the left.
The hike starts out level before coming to a series of switchbacks. Along the way, the trail passes the ruins of an old sewage treatment facility. The trail crosses the creek and passes an impressive cascade after about a half mile. Unfortunately you won’t have a good view of it if all the leaves are on the trees. A short way down from the cascade is a sign for an overlook of Glen Burney Falls, but it’s a terrible view.
Keep going down the trail to a fork. A sign will point you back to the right for Glen Burney and to the left for Glen Marie Falls. Take the fork to the right and walk another 0.1 miles or so. You’ll come out right at the base and, depending on how wet you want to get, be able to stand right up against the bottom of the falls.