After the blast of snow we got last weekend, forecasters are calling for temperatures in the high 50s and low 60s this week. That’s a perfect combination for winter hikes and breathtaking frozen waterfalls. One of our favorites is Daniel Ridge Falls in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. This is a pretty popular area for locals since biking and dogs are allowed.

Daniel Ridge Falls is a misnomer because it isn’t on Daniel Ridge Creek, but actually on Tom’s Spring (which feeds Daniel Ridge Creek). Also known as Jackson Falls and Tom’s Spring Branch Falls, this impressive waterfall is over 100 feet high. The hike up includes a lengthy section on a well-kept logging road and is super friendly for kids and hikers of all skill levels. On the way, keep your eyes peeled for one of the neatest sights to be seen in a Western North Carolina winter: needle ice.

From the parking lot, head toward the Davidson River and enjoy crossing a very cool mountain bridge. To go straight to the falls, follow the sign for a trail that’s about half a mile each way. If you choose the option, you can still join the loop trail at the falls.

Daniel Ridge Trail is just past the bridge and follows the river upstream, passing many small waterfalls and cascades along the way. A short spur trail follows the river and rejoins the main trail, which is well-marked with red blazes. After about a mile, Daniel Ridge Trail intersects with Farlow Gap Trail. Continue to follow the red blazes that mark Daniel Ridge Trail until you reach a fork.

At the fork, continue to the right for the big falls. (During summer, you’ll hear them before you see them.) After exploring this area, continue on the loop to the small upper falls. There is an enjoyable side trail in this area if you’re up for more exploring. Years ago, this area was heavily logged and you may find bits of locomotive coal along the way.

Before heading back to Asheville, check out downtown Brevard and grab a bite to eat at Brevard Brewing Company.

Directions:From Asheville, take I-26 east to Exit 40. Turn right onto Hwy 280 and go for 16 miles to the intersection of US Hwy 276 and 64. Turn right onto US 276 and go for 5.2 miles before turning left on Forest Road 475 (toward Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education). Drive 3.9 miles, passing the Cove Creek Group Campground. The parking area will be on your right after another .7 mile.

GPS Coordinates: N35.284688, W82.828712

Half Day Getaways highlights some of our favorite places just outside of Buncombe County and is powered by our pals at Prestige Subaru.