South Charlotte

Boone's easy or extreme hikes

Trash Can Falls and Snake Pit Swimming Hole

Hours: Hike to the falls in Boone at your own discretion; daytime treks are recommended.

Activities: The trail to Trash Can Falls is short and makes for an easy hike to the water. Visitors can spend the day hiking through the small, rocky ravine or cooling off in the pools of water surrounded by boulders. There is also a shaded area at the top of the falls where campers like to string hammocks for an afternoon nap. This location is perfect for families with small kids because of the ease of accessibility.

Extreme hikers can also stop by Snake Pit. Just down the road from Trash Can Falls, Snake Pit provides large, flat rocks that are perfect for sunbathing. However, the hike down to the river is difficult. Visitors will have to navigate the almost vertical hillside using a grape vine as a makeshift rope to lower themselves down, using small rocks as foot holds. Once at the bottom, the view is worth the difficult hike. After soaking in the sun on the boulders sitting in the river, hikers can jump off of rocks into the large swimming hole. Hikers should be aware the spot live up to its name and snakes are common. After exploring waterfalls, hikers can travel through Boone for dinner and shopping in the historic downtown.

Cost: Free.

Target Audience: All ages can enjoy the falls, but adults should be mindful when hiking with small children. Snake Pit makes for a dangerous hike and should be approached with caution.

Direction s to Trash Can Falls: U.S.321 N. Turn left onto Rivers Street. Turn right onto Water Street. Turn left onto King Street. Take Highway 421 north from Boone and turn left on Highway 321 at the Skate World Roller Skating Rink. Drive through Sugar Grove and cross the Watauga River Bridge. After crossing the bridge, there will be a parking area on the right. Across the street there will be a worn, small trail leading into the woods. The falls will be located several hundred yards down the trail.

Directions to Snake Pit Swimming Hole: Continue north on U.S. 321 to the long guardrail on the right. Guests can park at either end of the rail, but the trail begins on the right where the guardrail begins. Follow the steep trail a short distance to the swimming hole.

Travel time from Charlotte: About two and a half hours.