Waterfalls Road is one of those classic back roads that modern day straight multi-lane highways were made to essentially erase. There’s nothing wrong with it other than the fact that it’s curvy and two-laned (for most of the way) so it takes a few minutes longer to climb the mountain than the corresponding part of Highway 321 that it parallels. But it’s a beautiful drive, especially today when I was going through around 6pm and the light was filtering through the brand new leaves.
It’s kind of a shame that hardly anyone knows about these falls anymore, because of the highway. Before Highway 321 was installed, Waterfalls Road was part of the old route down the mountain. My grandmother, a native of the Blackberry area, remembers going past them to and from school and work.
The best part of Waterfalls Road? It’s not called that for nothin’! Midway down the road as you’re headed south, there is a tall slender waterfall on the left, called Silvervale Falls.
There is a tiny pulloff on the side of the road- a spot barely big enough for me to get my Subaru in, so I’m glad no one was coming along. It was nice to be able to just stand in front of the falls and listen to the woods and water sounds without a lot of road noise interfering. Unfortunately some stupid kids have sprayed graffiti on the rocks to the right of the falls.
So here’s how you get there.
Take Highway 321 south of Blowing Rock about 8 miles, approximately 10-15 minute’s drive from downtown Blowing Rock. Just after you pass The Trading Post on your left (this little shop has signs with bear silhouettes on it and a bunch of concrete things out front) there is a crossroads. Richlands Road goes to the left, and our Waterfalls Road goes to the right. Turn right and immediately bear left onto Waterfalls Road, and follow the road on down the hill. Like I said above, it’s two laned and curvy, so don’t go thinking you can cut 55 through here like on the highway. About 1.7 miles down, the waterfalls are on your left. Enjoy! Keep on going down Waterfalls Road- eventually it will turn to gravel for the last approximately .25 mile, then will end at an intersection with Kirby Mountain Road. Turn left here and Kirby Mtn. Road will take you right back to Hwy 321, where you can turn left to go to Blowing Rock or right to go to Lenoir.
All text and photos copyright 2011 Cassandra Hartley, Blue Ridge NC Guide. No portion of this article is to be copied, saved, or otherwise distributed without express written consent. Sharing is encouraged using the designated social media sharing buttons at the bottom of this article. Photos for this post provided by our sister site Photos by Cassandra Lea. Author received no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this article.