Elk River Falls in Elk Park, NC,  is one of the most beautiful – and heavily visited – waterfalls in WNC. Sadly, not all folks follow the “leave no trace” principles there and they leave a lot of trash behind.

Waterfall Keepers partners with the National Forest Service to protect and preserve this beautiful waterfall – and we need your help to do it!

It seems like visitors are more respectful and inclined to pack out their garbage when they don’t see any other garbage lying around.

– Jim, one of our current stewards

Help us clean up Elk River Falls


Elk River Falls is located in Elk Park, NC.

Get directions to the falls on Google Maps:

Our work

Our stewards regularly visit the falls to pick up trash and send in reports on trail maintenance needs and vandalism.

How often

We ask that stewards visit the falls every other month with the goal of getting this waterfall the attention it needs on a weekly basis.

What some of our current stewards say

“As I was collecting some trash on the perimeter of the parking lot a gentleman and his dog arrived and I gave him directions to the falls. I noticed he was packing a paper bag with snacks, etc. in the bag. Sometime later I ran into him again as he was leaving. He was carrying his discarded trash with him. Good to see! Packing in, packing out.
– Lynn

The work of this group shows at Elk River Falls and several visitors took the time to thank us.
– Anita & John

I think people are noticing it’s cleaner and also us in our vests picking trash up so they are packing out their trash. Broken step was fixed. Much of the graffiti on the rocks/boulders had been removed.
– Paul

The area was mobbed for a couple of weeks of spectacular fall color, so I expected to find a lot more trash. I guess (hope) people are less likely to leave trash if the area is clean when they enter it.
– Jim

A large group of senior hikers showed up as we were working and I told their leader all about Waterfall Keepers. She passed it on to her group and they gave us a round of applause.
– Rhonda

We were up at Elk Falls on Dec. 14 to clean up. Not much trash or people that day. We talked with a group of 5 people- who were looking for the falls- while standing 100 yards from the falls.
– David & Sydney