North Carolina Waterfalls
Mother Nature provided a special feature to the Western Carolina Mountains. In Transylvania County alone there are over 250 waterfalls. Some are much larger than others, but all have their own beauty.
While visiting this area, a “must see” is the stunning Whitewater Falls. It is the highest falls east of the Mississippi River dropping 411 feet. Much of the area around the falls remained undeveloped due to its difficult access and rugged terrain. However, you’ll still be able to enjoy the lush landscape of wildflowers, berries, and ferns as you take in the beautiful views of Whitewater Falls. There are two viewing sites for the falls. The first is a short walk that has been blacktopped for your convenience. For those that wish to view the second level, transcend the 153 wooden steps. One of the access points to the Foothills Trail leaves from the lower level guiding you on a beautiful hike that should not be missed. In spring over 65 wild flowers dot the forest with color during their blooms. For information on where to park so that you do not need to walk back up the mountain, please email us and we will send you an information sheet on this.
Drift, Turtleback, Rainbow, and Stairway Falls
Tucked away in one of the most scenic areas of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, these falls are worth taking the well-worn path to be seen. A quick stop by the Gorges State Park headquarters for a map (on Hwy 64), and you’ll be off on different paths to view these stunning falls on the Horsepasture River.
Silver Run Falls
A great place to picnic and swim, the Silver Run Falls is 40 feet high. At the bottom is a beautiful pool to cool off in as well as a great photo opportunity. These falls are found on Highway 107 south of Cashiers.
Parking is limited here, but with a drop of 123 feet, Toxaway Falls is not to be missed. As you drive on Highway 64, you’ll be able to see parts of this waterfall from your car. Hiking is not an option here, as most of this section of the river is private property. Having a home or condo in Toxaway Falls lets you enjoy this view everyday.
Cashiers Sliding Rock
At a 3,000’ altitude, you’ll plunge into an energizing 45-degree pool of clear water from this natural waterslide on the Chattooga River. On a hot summer day, this is an ideal place to visit! Fun for all ages but is especially nice for the children. Located 4 ½ miles southwest of Cashiers on Whiteside Cove Rd.
Bridal Veil Falls
Easily seen from your car, Bridal Veil Falls is unique in that you can drive under them! The old highway was built behind the falls, so you can take a drive right under them and see why they are some of the most popularly photographed falls in the area. Located on hwy 64 near Hightlans.
Located on the Cullasaja River with sprays of water and thundering sounds, this falls is anything but “dry.” Travel behind the falls in the recessed area, and you’ll take in the views of millions of gallons of water cascading over the edge. Located on hway 64 west of Highlands.
Definitely worth the visit to see, Cullasaja Falls is, however, a little hard to get to. The highway in this area is narrow and busy, and the places where you can pull off on the side of the road are very small. The falls are 250’ high and go over a series of jagged cliffs. Located on hwy 64 near Highlands.
Follow the Foothills Trail into the gorge and down to the Whitewater River to see Laurel Falls. Because of the thick foliage that surrounds it, only the last 100’ of its total 400’ can be seen. The one-mile hike, though, is worth the views.
Be extremely careful as you make your way down the trail to John’s Jump on Mill Creek. The path down from the south end of the guard rail on Highway 281 South is very steep, but these falls and their inviting and quiet pool at the base are beautiful to see and enjoy.
White Owl Falls
The Thompson River tumbles over a broken ledge into a pool at the base of White Owl Falls. The short but difficult walk to the falls can be reached off Highway 281 South.
The ledge of High Falls is as wide as the Thompson River and falls into a rock-filled pool at the bottom. If you don’t mind the hike, this is a wonderful waterfall to see.
Falls at Bull Pen Bridge
Found under a bridge on the Chattooga River, these falls have a rugged beauty to them. You’ll be able to find the small cascades and shoals this area has to offer by taking the trail from the falls into Whiteside Cove.
Easily viewed, these falls are on Greenland Creek and have many twists and turns. The Schoolhouse Falls have a drop of about 20 feet.
Ready for a tough hike? You’ll need to be prepared for that in order to reach Glen Falls. The wonderful viewing areas include drops ranging in height from 20 to 80 feet, and you’ll also be able to take in breathless views of the Blue Valley on the trail.
Bring your camera along to capture some great shots of Courthouse Falls from the trail that runs beside it. These falls end in a pool of water 50’ below the falls.
Contact us for a driving map and more complete description where the falls are located. Having a map in hand lets you plan out your trail for the day.
Disclaimer: We love suggesting activities that you may enjoy. But please note all activities are at your own risk and NCMountainLife.com and any of its representatives are not responsible should you partake and injuries result from any activities that are seen or discussed on our website. All activities have some risk, so always be careful. Wet rocks can be very slippery so proceed with extra caution by any waterfall. Do NOT get too close to the edge on these waterfalls. Deaths have occurred where people take one step too far. Mother Nature has blessed us with some of her best landscapes. So enjoy them.