Mingo Falls is one of the most beloved destinations in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Open every day and free to the public, Mingo Falls is popular with people from every area of the United States. Planning a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation? Looking to take a day trip from Atlanta, Asheville, Knoxville, Greenville, Charlotte, or another nearby metropolitan area? Make sure you put Mingo Falls on your itinerary. This waterfall is not only a local favorite but has been given high ratings by visitors from around the world on TripAdvisor.com and Yelp.com. Located off of Big Cove Road just five miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mingo Falls is easily accessible from downtown Cherokee and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Mingo Falls is approximately 120 feet tall and one of the tallest waterfalls in southern Appalachia. The waterfall majestically cascades down nearly 200 feet of rock face and boulders. The trail to see the falls is short, but intense. The hike is a ¼ mile and includes 161 steep steps to a picturesque wooden viewing bridge that crosses Mingo Creek directly in front of the falls. Cherokee residents enjoy the falls as much as out-of-town visitors. Many locals recommend going in the morning to avoid the crowds and for the best chance to see Mingo Falls in the morning fog. The steps can be slippery if it has recently rained so take your time, and don’t rush the hike. Of course, if it has recently rained you can expect the falls to be even larger and more exciting than usual. Seniors, children, and people with disabilities should be very careful when climbing the stairs and should be accompanied by friends or family.