Cool Off at Little Bradley Falls This Summer

As the heat and humidity in the North Carolina lowlands swell this summer, it’s the perfect time to retreat into the scenic North Carolina Mountains. It’s still plenty warm here, but with a nice mountain breeze that feels like paradise. Add to the cooler weather gorgeous attractions and plenty of things to do, including hiking at waterfalls like Little Bradley Falls, and you have the recipe for a memorable summer vacation. 

Waterfalls in the North Carolina Mountains may represent a refreshing change from the oppressive heat of summer – but waterfalls represent just a small fraction of things to do in Saluda and beyond. Adventurers will find the North Carolina Mountains brimming with opportunities for exploration. Among the myriad outdoor activities, hiking to the enchanting Little Bradley Falls is a must-do. Other captivating waterfalls in the region beckon as well. Add to your trip ziplining adventures down the Green River Gorge and river tubing on the Saluda River, and you have a summer vacation packed with adventure. 

Of course, with every good adventure comes plenty of downtime – and that’s precisely what you’ll find at our top-rated Saluda, NC, Hotel. Here, the refined comfort of your accommodations perfectly complements the raw beauty of the mountains. Delight in elegantly appointed rooms, relaxing spa services, exceptional dining, top-notch service, and so much more. Our hotel is the perfect conclusion to your mountain escape. Book your room at our top-rated Saluda, NC Hotel today! 

Little bradley falls in Saluda during fall foliage season

Hike to Little Bradley Falls Near Saluda, NC

Waterfall hikes are beautiful and a great way to explore the area, but they also represent a lovely way to cool off in the heat of the North Carolina summer. There are a few fantastic and easy-to-get-to waterfall hikes near our Saluda, NC Hotel. Aside from local favorite Pearsons Falls, the closest waterfall to us, there’s also Little Bradley Falls. 

Little Bradley Falls is one of the most popular waterfall hikes in the North Carolina Mountains. The trailhead is only a ten-minute drive from our hotel, and the hike is considered to be moderate. The hike to Little Bradley Falls is just under 2 miles round trip, and it meanders through lush forests alongside a babbling creek. The forest canopy provides some nice shade for your hike, keeping you moderately cool, even on the hottest days. Depending on how long you stay at the falls, you can expect the hike to take around 45 minutes. 

There are several creek crossings on the trail to Little Bradley Falls, so make sure to have sturdy shoes and be cautious. As you reach the end of the trail, you’ll stumble upon the 50-foot Little Bradley Falls. The waterfall cascades down a series of rocky ledges before plunging into a pool at its base. This picturesque spot invites you to cool off in the crisp, clear water or simply relax on the surrounding rocks, taking in the beauty of your surroundings. Bring a picnic to enjoy by the water’s edge. 

For even more adventure at Little Bradley Falls, consider joining our friends at Green River Adventures for a rappel down this scenic waterfall! 

Add on Big Bradley Falls

If you want to enjoy more hiking in the Saluda area, consider the lower trail to Big Bradley Falls. Though this trail leads to an impressive 75-foot waterfall, the trail has been damaged and is considered unsafe. There is quite a bit of erosion along the creek, especially the portion that requires a river crossing, and it’s no longer recommended you continue past this point. The hike to the falls is a moderately challenging 4.1-mile trek, but it’s still worth it, even if you don’t make it to the falls.

Even if you skip the trail past this point, there are plenty of great spots along the creek to cool off. The first mile of the hike to Big Bradley Falls is in the sun, but afterward, you head into the shade for a cooling hike along the river. There are some great picnic spots to enjoy here, too. 

Whitewater falls, one of the best waterfalls in North Carolina near Saluda

6 More Gorgeous Waterfalls in North Carolina

Once you’ve conquered Little Bradley Falls and Pearsons Falls, it’s time to branch out to even more fabulous waterfall hikes in North Carolina. There’s no shortage of great ones to choose from, either! There are more than 250 waterfalls in the Brevard area alone, which is just southwest of Asheville. Below, you’ll find a list of some of our favorite waterfalls in North Carolina, all around an hour from our Saluda, NC Hotel. 

  1. Looking Glass Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in North Carolina. It drops 65 feet over a ledge, is 35 feet wide, and is surrounded by gorgeous, lush forests. 
  2. Head to Whitewater Falls in Cashiers for an awe-inspiring multi-tiered waterfall that cascades down over 400 feet. It’s the tallest waterfall in the Eastern United States.
  3. Another nearby bonus waterfall in this area is Rainbow Falls in Gorges State Park. 
  4. Don’t miss a visit to Dupont State Recreational Forest, where you’ll find Triple Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the covered bridge at High Falls.
  5. Make your way to Chimney Rock State Park to hike the easy 3/4 of a mile to Hickory Nut Falls, a stunning 404-foot waterfall.
  6. You don’t have to hike to see incredible waterfalls in North Carolina. Drive to White Oak Mountain and enjoy the scenic view of Shunkawauken Falls

Whether you spend your time chasing waterfalls, tubing down the Saluda River, or enjoying myriad other adventures, no trip to the North Carolina Mountains is complete without a stay at our top-rated Saluda, NC Hotel. The Orchard Inn is one of the leading romantic getaways in North Carolina, offering guests an incomparable mountain retreat. In addition to our luxury accommodations, we host one of the finest restaurants outside of Asheville, a luxurious spa for those blissful afternoons you crave, and friendly hospitality that can’t be beaten. Escape to the mountains this summer, and book your room at our hotel in Saluda today!