Hiking Laurel Creek Falls

We had the opportunity to visit Laurel Creek Falls two weekends ago. We were having a terribly busy weekend, but a weekend is just not a weekend unless we spend a portion of it, even just a tiny portion of it, outdoors. Laurel Creek Falls is close just outside of Boone, so we decided to scratch it off of our ‘To Do’ list and add it to our ‘Done It’ list.

I gathered from another blog as to its whereabouts, so we set off in that direction. The blog directed us to park in a certain area and cross the road to get to the path. There was no path. Since there are no signs saying “yes, you are indeed in the right place,” not only did we drive by one, twice, three times, but on turnaround number four, we parked in the muddy spot beside the road and started walking up and down the highway looking for a trail. We found the trail. It had been overgrown and definitely not visible from the road, but it was a trail nonetheless.

At .15 of a mile, I wouldn’t consider this a hike, but rather a nice scenic outing, or a great place to swim if you are brave enough to plunge into the icy water. We were not.

LC Falls 1

LC Falls 2

LC Falls 3

(A peek behind the waterfall.)

LC Falls 4

After seeing all there was to see, we hopped back in the car and headed west in search of Watagua Falls, which is just a little further down the road. I’m not sure if we were at the right place, but we pulled over into a parking area that looked like it had some wear and tear and took a look around. There is a trail in there, almost as non-visible as the last one.

Watagua Falls 1

When you look down (and I mean down) the trail, which is practically vertical and there are ropes hanging for assistance, your only reaction can be this . . . . .

Watagua Falls 2

Oh screw it. Let’s go. And we are glad we did.

Watagua Falls 3

Watagua Falls 4

Watagua Falls 5

Here is a view of the trail from the bottom. It is hard to capture a vertical such as this one, but you get the idea.

Watagua Falls 6

And here is me swinging on a rope.

Watagua Falls 7

How To Get There:
Laurel Creek Falls is located west of Boone off of Hwy 321, about 5.4 miles west of the junction of Hwy 421 and Hwy 321. As you head west, look for a pull-off parking area on your right just past Laurel Creek Road. Park here and then cross Hwy 321 to find the trail. Watauga Falls is located just 0.2 miles further west on Hwy 321, if we were indeed at the right place.

(This post was originally published on our sticks or stones blog, which is no longer in publication.)


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