If you are looking for a super accessible and beautiful hike close to Boone, Otter Falls is a great option! The trails are easily accessible, gorgeous and family friendly. If you are coming from Boone, you will take Highway 105 South, towards Banner Elk. At about the ten mile point, you will make a right turn onto Seven Devils Road (there is a gas station on the corner) and take this road for about two miles before turning left on to Skyland Drive. After a little over half a mile, you will see the sign for Otter Falls on your left.
It is a great destination if you are hoping to get outside but have time constraints or just are not up for a serious hike. At the trail head, you will see a map that outlines the four trails within the Otter Falls Trails system. There are two loops and two dead end trails. The route to see the spectacular falls is 0.6 miles, so if you complete the loop you are looking at 1.2 miles. It is downhill the entire way down to the falls, but you pass various benches and overlooks that allow for a breather if this is tough on the knees!
Once you have made it down to the bottom, you will see an observation deck that provides a great view of the falls, and stairs down from the deck that will take you to the Valley Creek. You will pass native plants including, rhododendron, wild flowers, huge black locust trees, nettles, and mossy boulders throughout. The Otter Falls Trails are part of a ten acre tract that was funded by the Conservation Fund, North Carolina’s Parks and Recreations Trust Fund, the town of Seven Devils, and over 100 individuals and entities. Pretty cool! The trails are considered moderately strenuous due to the steepness, but they are all graded and smooth. Dogs are welcome on leashes. Make sure to pack out whatever you bring it and practice Leave No Trace habits!
Trail head address is 870 Skyland Drive, Seven Devils, NC 28604. You can prepare for your hike even more with these resources from the Seven Devils website. If you’re looking for even more places to hike in the High Country of North Carolina, let us be your guide! We have comprehensive articles to help you prepare for hikes at Lower Pond Creek, Crab Orchard Falls, and other locations that offer some of the best views in the South East.