Glenn Falls & Trail Highlands, NC

Categories: Hiking & Backpacking, Waterfalls, Hikes to waterfalls, Dog Friendly Hiking Trails


  •  New construction summer '11; pictures to come!
  •  Short hike of 0.75 miles to the falls (one-way)
  •  Strenuous return hike all uphill 
  •  Three separate "tiers" or "drops" with connecting cascades of 15 Ft., 60 Ft and 70 Ft. 
  •  Be careful around the falls, the exposed rock and creek are easily accessed via the trail
  •  Headwaters of the "East Fork" of "Overflow Creek" which runs into Rabun County, GA.
  •  Hike the entire trail down into "Blue Valley" just above "Blue Valley Campground" where the lower trailhead comes out on FR #79C
  •  Strenuous hike of 0.7 mile from the lower trailhead to the falls (one-way)

The Local Scoop

Glenn Falls are conveniently located just outside of the wonderful small town of Highlands, NC. This makes for a fun stop for the entire family. The falls are split up into 3 separate "tiers" or "drops" as the cold water of the East Fork (Overflow Creek) rolls over the granite rock face. Take the trail just past the Info kiosk to the left for approx. 0.75 miles passing the upper cascades as you work you way down the wooded trail to an eventual "fork." Take the right fork to the top of the main falls. Go back the way you came and take the left fork to get to the bottom of the Main falls. The main falls are around 70 Ft. in height and can be fairly misty after a rain. Just like any other waterfalls, be careful around them! You can access the top of the main falls for an excellent view of Blue Valley below. Stay away from the ledges though, people have fallen here and were seriously injured. Mist from the falls and creek can and will make the rock face slippery. If you take your children with you, please keep them in sight. We recommend this trail and falls to the entire family with exception to older folks whom may have difficulty on the way back. If you are older but feel in good shape then this trail would be OK, just take your time. The trek back is entirely up hill and strenuous.  We would suggest staying off of any side trails that have been created by those who feel the need to create short-cuts.  These are a bad idea for multiple reasons.  They can be dangerously steep and they cause damaging erosion to the trail.  
Tip:  Once you have made it to the main falls, do not continue down the trail.  There isn't much to see past the main falls and you are only adding to the amount of incline you will have to navigate for your return hike.  Also, if it has rained recently or is raining during your visit, please be aware of the logs were used to make all of the steps along this trail.  The rain/moisture can make them extremely slick and the chances of slipping are very high if not paying attention.

The Local Directions

From the intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 and N.C. Hwy-106 in Highlands, NC take Hwy-106 Southwest towards Dillard, GA for 1.8 miles until you see a sign on your Left for "Glenn Falls". Take that left and continue down GRAVEL road for another 1.0 miles to the parking area for the falls trail. From here, take the Glenn Falls Trail for 0.75 miles to the main falls and cascades on your way.

Lower Glenn Falls Trailhead:

From the intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 and N.C. Hwy-28 in Highlands, NC take Hwy-28 South towards Walhalla, SC for 6.3 miles. Here you'll see a sign for "National Forest, Blue Valley" with a tent icon on it, turn Right here. Continue down Blue Valley Rd. (S.R. 1618) for 0.5 miles where it will turn to gravel and F.R. #79 begins, keep going, you're on the correct road. From here, travel another 3.3 miles until you see a Info kiosk at the intersection of another gravel road, this is F.R. #79 "C". Take "C" for 0.6 miles (passing numerous campsites of Blue Valley Campground) to the dead end at the trailhead for Lower Glenn Falls Trail.


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Difficulty Levels

  • Hike8 (upper trailhead) 10 (lower trailhead)What's this?
  • Waterfalls8What's this?
Glen Falls Trailhead:  35.033339,-83.23586
Lower Trailhead (Blue Valley):  35.02557, -83.23930
Hike Distance
0.75 miles (one-way)
Easy via NC Hwy-106 & gravel "Glen Falls Road"
Nearest City
Macon County
Distance From
Upper Trailhead:  Highlands, 2.8 miles
Lower Trailhead:  Highlands, 10.7 miles 
35.030900, -83.238500