One of the main reasons for heading to Asheville was Blue Ridge Parkway. Now I did do some research! Between Google and Instagram, I was ready. I wanted the scenic drive, see all of the waterfalls, and go hiking. Because this was a solo trip, I was concerned about going hiking alone even though the trails are marked, and since safety is number one for any of my travels; so, I booked a tour via Viator.
I loved everything about the tour. My guide Mustafa with Prestige Tour and Transportation was phenomenal. He was attentive and informative. With a late morning pick up, we started our exploration of the surrounding area of Asheville. Our first stop was the National Pisgah Forest.
Pisgah National Forest – Looking Glass Waterfall
With over 500,000 acres, the Pisgah National Forest features some of the most beautiful and rugged mountain scenery and the best recreational opportunities in eastern North America. The Pisgah National Forest covers much of the north and central western mountains of North Carolina – with whitewater rivers, waterfalls, and hundreds of miles of trails.
Our first stop was the Looking Glass Falls. It is one of the most popular and beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina. It’s perhaps the easiest to view. One of the few accessible roadside waterfalls, making it perfect for folks with mobility and walking challenges.
The name “Looking Glass” comes from Looking Glass Rock, where water freezes on its sides in the winter and then glistens in the sunlight like a mirror or looking glass. Looking Glass Creek, which flows past the rock, is also named for the impressive natural structure.
Its easy accessibility makes Looking Glass Falls a popular spot for travelers along U.S. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest. Enjoy lovely views from the parking area along the road. Or take a short walk for a closer look. The waterfall is 60 feet tall.
Steps lead down to the falls for a close-up view. You can venture onto the rocks in the stream below the falls and even do some wading and swim underneath the falling water when water flow is lower. For photographs, the sun comes up over the waterfall in the morning. So, afternoon lighting or a cloudy day is best.
Would you believe all of this is for free? Yep, there is no entrance fee to the park. The visit can be done via a tour or on your own. If your travel takes you to Asheville, add this stop to your itinerary and if you need assistance, contact me.