Accessibility – Moderate
Height – 40′
Distance – 2.2 (out and back)
Beauty – 4
Photo rating – 4
Solitude – 5
GPS Info: LAT 36.12328 LONG -81.68430
Last Updated – 03-02-2019
Glen Burney Falls is one of three waterfalls along the Glen Burney Trail a short distance from the center of Blowing Rock. The Glen Burney Trail is easy enough to follow but the hike has been made harder since the bridge over the creek is out, forcing you to rockhop across. Even so it wasn’t a terribly challenging hike, although in several places the trail is getting narrow where it is eroding and sliding off the hillside.
to reach the trailhead, drive North on Main Street from the intersection with Globe Road for 0.2 miles and make a left onto Laurel Road. Cross over Wallingford Road and make a left into the parking lot for Annie Cannon Park. The hike starts here. There is a trail map on the kiosk but it is pretty obvious where to start. A sign at the trail warns of the bridge being out.
Follow the trail past the sign and down to a crossing of New Years Creek on a bridge only a few paces past a maintenance building for the sewer department. The trail will turn to the left to mirror the creek. Numerous pipes cross the creek and a section of privacy fence borders the left side of the trail as it passes a house. At 0.3 of a mile from the trailhead the trail will switchback to the left and lead past some historic ruins of a waste-water treatment plant on the right. After passing the ruins the trail will drop down to creek level and switchback and pass below the ruins.
Just shy of 0.5 of a mile from the start of the hike you will come to the crossing of the creek where the bridge has been washed away. It wasn’t a hard crossing and I did get across both times without getting my feet wet. The same couldn’t be said for the group of girls hiking in my wake, who seemed to be having a hard time keeping dry. Once across the trail will climb above the creek on river left, with several narrow sections before you get to what is signed as “Cascades.” It is a pitiful name for what is otherwise a nice 20 feet high waterfall. In my mind, and in keeping with the “Glen” theme, I will always think of it as Glenlevit Falls. There is a steep trail down to the base. I think it is worth having a look but I always think that. You can see for yourself HERE.
Once past the Cascades, resume your hike downstream following the abundance of signs along the way. As you pass the top of Glen Burney Falls the trail is going to split. One way goes to a somewhat crappy observation point while the left fork heads down toward the base. If you’ve hiked to this point, you want to head to the left. As you come to creek level the trail will T. A sign is posted here with arrows indicating Glen Burney Falls to the right and Glen Marie Falls to the left. Make a right and follow the trail upstream to the base of the falls.
To continue on from Glen Burney Falls to Glen Marie falls, follow the trail back to the sign and continue heading downstream on river left. The trail is going to follow close to creek level as it nears Glen Marie Falls. As you near the top of the falls, a sign points you off the trail to the top of the falls. I ignored the sign and continued down the obvious trail as it did a number of switchbacks down the hillside. It did lead to the base of the falls and as I found out, the best overall view of the falls for photographs is from the trail. If you want to see Glen Marie Falls, go HERE.