Height: 50 feet
Trail Type: Gravel and dirt
Hike Distance: 1.3 miles round trip
Roaring Fork Falls might be one of the most charming waterfalls in the state. It’s tucked into a small area and the walk is about as easy as it gets without it being a finely maintained paved path. The falls tumble and zigzag over numerous moss-covered rocks. If there was a negative to the falls, it’s that taking pictures of it don’t do the falls justice. I don’t know how, but every angle doesn’t really convey the height and character of the falls, but it’s still a great spot to see in person and a great little detour if you’re traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway.
From the intersection of US 221 and US 70 in Marion, head west on US 70 for 1.8 miles and turn right onto NC highway 80. Take this winding road up the mountain and beyond the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 14.5 miles and bear left onto South Toe River Road. Take the left after the bridge and drive to the end to the small parking area on the left.
The trail follows an old forest road for almost the entire way. It’s not too steep and plenty wide. Just before the trail crosses Roaring Fork, you’ll see an old, rickety, wooden bridge with a blue blaze to the right. Take that and the falls are a short distance up the trail.