family of four standing at the bottom of Soco Falls in Maggie Valley North Carolina

Soco Falls – A Well Yet Worthwhile Wonder

While Soco Falls in Maggie Valley, North Carolina isn’t much of a hidden gem, it’s still awaiting your discovery. It’s a spectacular sight that captures the very essence of a cascading waterfall, is both very accessible and family-friendly, and will captivate both young explorers and seasoned hikers alike. And, while this is likely one of the shortest hikes we’ve ever done, we still think it’s well worth a visit.

If you have any questions/comments about all of this, feel free to leave us a message below!

Trail Information – Fast Facts

Before you lace up your boots and hit this very short trail, here’s everything you need to know about your journey to Soco Falls:

  • Trail Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 0.1 mi (0.2 km) (round trip – a bit more if you go down to the base of the falls instead of only remaining on the viewing platform)
  • Elevation Gain: 150 feet (45 m)
  • Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours

The magic of Soco Falls is easily accessible, but it promises an exhilarating experience that brings together exploration, adventure, and a large dose of natural beauty.

Trail Head and Route

Embarking on your journey to Soco Falls starts with navigating to the trailhead. It’s conveniently located off Highway 19 in Maggie Valley, with a small parking area right on the side of the road that is marked by a sign.

parking area at the top of soco falls
Tuck in close to the road barrier.

Once parked, you will see a brief but steep trail.

the steep slippery trail down to soco falls
The trail is quite steep and slippery, so be careful.

This trail will lead you to a wooden viewing deck, which offers a fantastic first glimpse of the falls.

soco waterfall viewing deck
The view from the viewing deck is great, so if you don’t want to go further, no worries!

From here, an adventurous, steep trail continues down towards the base of the falls. Remember, this part can be a bit tricky, especially for young kids or those not used to hiking.

boys and mother hiking down steep rock trail down to soco falls
Only go down past the viewing deck if you’re confident it’s suitable for your ability level.

But with caution and the right footwear, it’s a rewarding descent that offers a closer look at the awe-inspiring Soco Falls.

family playing at bottom of soco falls in maggie valley North Carolina
The mist down here was UNREAL!

Once you’re at the bottom of the falls, if you’ve packed some snacks/picnic items, you can hang out down here for a while and enjoy the misty cool spray of the cascading water!

Route Map

If you’ve read any of our other posts, such as the one on the family-friendly Richard Balsam Nature Loop Trail you already know how much we love GuruMaps for offline navigation. However, at risk of being redundant, we highly recommend you download this app.

If you do download GuruMaps, you can then download our annotated route map (the links are in the GuruMap right below, in the top right-hand corner of the map), and then you can upload that file into the GuruMaps app. Once you’ve done that, even when you have no service or WIFI, you’ll be able to have a map in hand for Soco Falls. And, even though the trail is super short, we always like having a map.

If you prefer a Google Map however no sweat. We’ve got you covered.

Trail Description and Points of Interest

The journey to Soco Falls is really quite short, as the entire round trip is 0.1 miles. However, on this short trail, you’ll encounter a mix of hardwood forest and rhododendron undergrowth, creating an idyllic natural setting.

To reach the falls, you’ll have to descend a short but steep trail. Make sure to go slow and assist anyone who might not be super surefooted.

mother helping son on slippery steep section of trail to soco falls
Both Peri and Kai needed some help on the way down.

However…Once you reach the falls, you’ll be greeted by a stunning sight: two creeks converge into a breathtaking, 50-foot waterfall that cascades into a plunge pool below.

father and son at base of soco falls
Lots of good picture spots down at the base of the falls!

This is where Soco Falls truly shines. The dual waterfalls, surrounded by lush greenery, make for a picture-perfect backdrop that will undoubtedly serve as the highlight of your trip.

soco falls

Recommended Gear

Even though the trail to Soco Falls is super short, there are still a few items we think you ought to bring for safety and comfort. While you might not need all we mention in our day hiking packing guide, it wouldn’t hurt to have all that. If you’re looking for the base bones basics, you should consider:

  • Sturdy hiking boots with good traction – the trail and rocks can be quite wet and slippery
  • A walking stick or trekking poles for balance
  • Water and snacks (these could be optional if you only plan to spend a short time at the falls)
  • A camera to capture the beautiful scenery
  • Bug spray

These are basics for any hike, no matter the length!

Family Hiking Safety Tips

If you’re embarking on this adventure with your family, here are some important safety tips to bear in mind:

  1. Stick Together: The trail to Soco Falls is short, but nevertheless, children should always stay with an adult.
  2. Take Your Time: Don’t rush, especially on the steeper sections of the trail. Safety comes first!
  3. Stay Hydrated: Always bring enough water for everyone, and snack regularly to keep energy levels high.

The adventure to Soco Falls in Maggie Valley is truly an unforgettable family-friendly outdoor adventure. So, why wait? Lace up your hiking boots, gather your loved ones, and get ready to explore the captivating beauty of this natural wonder!


  1. Is SocoFalls open year-round?
    Yes, Soco Falls is accessible all year. However, the trail can be slippery in wet conditions, especially during winter.
  2. Can I swim in Soco Falls?
    While the plunge pool at Soco Falls is beautiful, swimming is not recommended due to the strong currents and hidden rocks.
  3. Are there restroom facilities at Soco Falls?
    No, there are no restroom facilities at the trailhead or on the trail, so plan accordingly.

And again, if you have any questions/comments about all this, feel free to leave us a message below!

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