It was our fifth or sixth visit to Catawba Falls in Old Fort, North Carolina and the hike this time didn’t disappoint. Taken into consideration the recent popularity on the North Carolina Trails, we were able to find a parking spot easily and without having to wait a minute. The parking lot was pretty full but people were coming in and out at a steady flow and even on a warm Friday afternoon it didn’t seem too packed.
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The short and pretty easy 1.2 mile trek took us about an hour with multiple stops for rock climbing by our littles and crossings of the stream back and forth for as many times as they were allowed to before our patience would vanish. If you are wondering about bringing kids on this hike don’t think twice. It’s an easy trail with pretty slim incline, the path is wide and allows plenty of separation from the other hikers on the trail and as long as you are keeping a close eye on them you should be fine. Only few spots where you’ll be close to the edge might get you worried but if you walk closer to the other side all will be good.
Several old structures standing by the side of the trail could be explored as long as you are close and aware and don’t go close to the edge. The bridges you’ll be crossing are sturdy and safe and a great fun for little feet.
There are multiple opportunities to break off the trail and sidetrack to a spot by the stream where kids can splash and you can enjoy the sound of the rushing water, singing birds, read a book, finish your coffee or enjoy a picnic. We did and found some great cascades before reaching the main Falls.
The last part before Catawba Falls is the most strenuous requiring some rock climbing and tree roots navigating but the view before you is worth every step. The massive falls is straight out of a fairytale like with the water flowing between the moss dressed rocks before dropping into a shallow pool at the bottom, perfect for splashing on a hot summer day. Our littles look forward this part every time we visit here.
The trail is great for four legged friends and they would highly appreciate cooling off in the clean spring waters however make sure to keep them a leash at all times as you should in all North Carolina Parks. Make sure to stop by Hillman Beer in Old Fort after for a bite to eat and a drink of your choice. They have something for everyone and you would not be disappointed.
Below you’ll find a picture overview of the trail. We hope we see you on the beaten path soon and if you do say Hello!