Glen Burney Falls is a gem of a trail that is sure to give you an intense workout but will also wow you with the beauty. Just over three miles there and back this strenuous mostly downhill trail flows through dense forestry, streams, wet rocks and blueberry bushes. The many tree roots make it challenging as well as the narrow path at times but nothing an experienced hiker can’t handle.
Located in the town of Bowing Rock the trailhead to Glen Burney Falls begins right across Annie Cannon Gardens. The path fallows the river with occasional views of it through the trees. Many small cascades can be seen along the way but the main attraction here are the three waterfalls, the last being the largest and most impressive.
The trail changes through the seasons. Summer is the best time to visit here as the trail is mostly shaded and perfect on hot sunny days. There are multiple opportunities to splash in the water and cool off but as always be cautious since the rocks here are very slippery and don’t ever go to close to the edge of the falls since we’ve heard multiple incidents have happened with people going to far. Good footwear is highly recommended for this trail and staying on the trail is required.
The trail was closed a few years back in the winter since the narrow path had been pushed in as a result of erosion and fallen trees were covering the path at some spots. Since then a lot of work has been done and the trail is pretty safe now, however be extremely careful if visiting here during the snow slippery winter months or if hiking the trail after hard rain in the days leading to your visit.
The trail is magnificent during the fall months with the changing leaves surrounding the path but that’s also the time when this hike is packed with visitors so if you choose to drop in in the course of September to November make sure you hit the trail early in the morning and give yourself at least 2 hours to complete the whole track.
We love bringing a picnic with us and enjoying it at the top of the falls before heading to the bottom of the tall falls and finding a great sitting spot and feast on a desert while watching the water rolling over the rocks. Keep kids close by you and your belongings closer. We are known now to have chased multiple water bottles down the falls and as I’m writing now I’m starting to think that might actually be a game our kids are playing with us tossing their bottles in the waters and watching us in delight scrambling to chase them down the hill.
What goes up must come down, but definitely worth every step by the rushing waters and through the beautiful woods. This trek is everything you want out of a mountain hike dense forest, gorgeous waterfalls, rocky scrambles and lovely wildflowers.
We hope you add this trail to your next adventure and make sure to check out our other articles on things you can do in and around the quaint town of Blowing Rock.