The quaint mountain city of Highlands is a haven for out of doors recreation and enjoyable evenings. It’s simple to spend days shopping on Main Street, delving into the native delicacies, and having fun with the nightly entertainment. But if you’re anything like me you also have to get out and stretch your legs. One of my favourite ways is to hike to a waterfall.
These seven waterfalls are inside a thirty-minute drive of Highlands. Some require only a very brief walk while others are at the finish of a rather strenuous hike. Here is everything you want to know in regards to the seven waterfalls near Highlands, North Carolina.
Sequoyah Falls is definitely the spillover from the dam creating Sequoyah Lake in Highlands.No. 01
This one almost doesn’t qualify as a waterfall. That is until you define a waterfall as “water falling over an object”. At the west end of Highlands is the dam that creates Lake Sequoyah. Each time I even have visited Highlands a gentle wave of water has flowed excessive of the dam. I suppose it’s a very beautiful site, much more so than fashionable concrete dams.
There is not any hiking required to see this waterfall.
Getting to Sequoyah Falls
Sequoyah Falls is positioned 2.2 miles from the middle of Highlands alongside US Highway 64.There is not any formal parking to seeing the dam however rather just a simple gravel lot on the facet of the highway. There is a bit of a drop off, though, and I have scraped the underside of my vehicle each times I have visited.
Bridal Veil Falls spills over a side highway along US Highway 64, nevertheless autos are now not allowed to drive beneath the falls.Bridal Veil Falls spills over a facet highway alongside US Highway 64, however vehicles are no longer allowed to drive beneath the falls.No. 02
Bridal Veil Falls
This waterfall became in style when folks started posting photos of driving behind the towering curtain of water on a paved highway. However, that road has been closed for a few years now for safety causes. Still, it’s a neat waterfall to cease and see.
It’s located literally on the facet of US Highway sixty four. The water pours over a rocky outcropping and into a gully that disappears beneath the freeway. The best time to see this waterfall is late spring or after a couple of days of heavy rainfall.
There isn’t any hiking required to see this waterfall.
Getting to Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls is positioned 2.7 miles from Highlands along US Highway sixty four. There is parking for about 3-4 vehicles on either finish of the road that used to cross behind the falls.
Dry Falls is one the preferred waterfalls within the area. Can you see the handrail along the trail behind the waterfall?Dry Falls is one the most popular waterfalls within the region. Can you see the handrail alongside the trail behind the waterfall?No. 03
I even have all the time loved the irony of the name for this waterfall. I requested a neighborhood once why the waterfall was called Dry Falls and her response was, “Because you can walk behind the waterfall without getting wet.” That is usually true. On a dry day. Without any wind. Actually, it’s not true at all.
The 75’ Dry Falls is among the most stunning and well-liked waterfalls within the area to visit. It’s an easy drive from Highlands or Franklin to get there and a relatively easy walk alond a concrete path to see it. The path continues behind the waterfall beneath the rocky ledge. Continue alongside the trail to the other facet to a scenic overlook.
While you’re behind the waterfall you can keep fully dry should you hug the rock wall and stay far-off from the gushing water. However, as the Smith family from Minnesota realized, when you get too near the water you’ll get soaked. They requested me to snap a household photograph leaning towards the picket railing directly behind the waterfall. I snapped two photographs as rapidly as I may but their backsides had already turn into drenched.
From the parking lot there are a series of concrete steps leading down 100’ in elevation. There is a stable handrail in case you need it while going up and down the steps. It’s solely a couple of quarter mile hike to the waterfall and again.
If you don’t need to stroll all the way down you possibly can go as far as a big bench about halfway to the waterfall. From there you get a fairly good view of the waterfall without having to walk down one other series of steps.
Getting to Dry Falls
The parking area for Dry Falls is situated 3.5 miles from Highlands and 15.7 miles from Franklin along US Highway 64. The parking area is administered by the National Forest Service. There is a $3/vehicle parking charge. There are about a dozen parking spaces for personal vehicles but no areas for trailers or RVs.
Bust Your Butt Falls is a well-liked swimming hole.No. 04
Bust Your Butt Falls
I found this waterfall whereas perusing Google Maps the night time earlier than I was set to drive by way of the area. At first I thought it was a kind of things somebody added to the maps that didn’t actually exist (I used to be able to discover Bruce the Shark within the Atlantic Ocean). Well I can say this waterfall positively exists and the name couldn’t be more accurate.
Bust Your Butt Falls is precisely that: a place so that you just can bust your butt whereas sliding down the cascading waterfall. There is a rope connected to a tree on one side of the waterfall. I don’t know if that is a everlasting feature or simply left over from previous visitors. Either way I watched a group of individuals use the rope to climb up the slick rocks after which slide down.
At the underside is a couple of 3-4’ deep swimming gap. There are plenty of bigger boulders surrounding the swimming hole for you to lounge should you don’t need to go for a swim.
It’s not completely simple to get out to Bust Your Butt Falls. You can see it from the facet of the road but to get to the water requires climbing across several large, jagged boulders. It’s straightforward however you actually have to observe your footing.
Getting to Bust Your Butt Falls
Bust Your Butt Falls doesn’t have a avenue tackle so if you want GPS instructions you will want to manually find it in your favourite GPS device. But even without GPS it’s simple to find. It’s about 6.8 miles from Highlands along US Highway 64. There is room on either side of Highway sixty four for parking with room for perhaps a dozen vehicles. These parking areas are in a bend in the street so be careful attempting to cross.
You can view Cullasaja Falls from the small parking area along US Highway sixty four.No. 05
At 250’ Cullasaja Falls is the most important waterfall in the area, but it’s additionally a waterfall with no official hiking trail and quite troublesome to view. It’s positioned on the west side of US Highway 64 (left if you’re coming from Highlands and proper if you’re coming from Franklin). As you’re driving along the two-lane curvy road you can catch a glimpse of it for a second.
You should not hike to this waterfall. There is an informal and unofficial trail main down from the small parking area. I’ve talked with a couple of locals and a couple of photographers who’ve hiked that trail to the river below and walked up to the waterfall.
It’s a harmful trek and has resulted in a number of air rescues over the years. The native rangers strongly recommend not hiking to this waterfall but as an alternative simply benefit from the view from the street.
Getting to Cullasaja Falls
Cullasaja Falls (Cullasaja is a Cherokee word which means “honey locust place”) is 9 miles from Highlands and 10 miles from Franklin. The best method to see the waterfall is to return from Franklin. If you’re visiting from Highlands drive previous the waterfall to Pine Grove Baptist Church and switch around. That is the first safe place you might be able to turn round on this street.
Coming from Franklin you need to keep an eye fixed out as a result of there shall be no signs pointing toward the waterfall or very small parking space. If you see the Jackson Hole Trading Post you’ve gone too far. You can turn round at the trading submit but the entrance is in a bend of the road and never the most effective place. Honestly I think the most secure place to show round is the Dry Falls parking area.
The most difficult part (even tougher than getting there) might be finding a parking space. The small pull-off on the west facet (same side as the waterfall) has sufficient room for 2-3 autos. It definitely doesn’t have sufficient room for a trailer, RV, or more than one large truck at a time.
The parking space is narrow. With my camper van I never have sufficient room to open the door on both aspect. I all the time have to park as near the stone wall as I can and wait until visitors has handed to open the motive force aspect door. Be cautious with this!
Glen Falls is a somewhat beautiful triple waterfall to go to but additionally some of the difficult to entry in the space. The 2.4-mile out and back trail features a nearly 800’ elevation change. Keep in thoughts one of the golden rules of hiking: what goes down must finally come back up once more.
From the parking area it’s about a 0.5-mile hike to the first observation deck and another zero.25-mile hike to the second. Chris Wilkes, owner of the Highland Hiker, emphatically famous the higher two waterfalls of Glen Falls are the most effective to view.
The trail is primitive however well maintained. Be positive to put on good hiking sneakers for this little trek into the woods.
Getting to Glen Falls
This is amongst the times I strongly counsel having a devoted GPS device just like the Garmin I use. If that is your first time driving out to Glen Falls you’ll need instructions but cellphone reception shall be spotty.
It’s a three.2-mile drive from the center of town to the parking area. The drive starts on Dillard Road near the west finish of Main Street. A little less than two miles down the street you’ll see Glen Falls Road on the left. From there it is another one-mile drive to the parking space.
This is essentially the most remote waterfall near Highlands but in addition comes with one of the biggest rewards: small crowds, a beautiful waterfall, and a swimming hole! A brief hike leads out to a 50’ cascading waterfall and a shallow swimming space. Do you suppose they’ll still name it Secret Falls after everyone reads about this?
The 1.3-mile out and again trail is a reasonable hike with lower than a 250’ elevation change. The trail is primitive and largely maintained although it can get muddy at occasions.
Getting to Secret Falls
The 6.5-mile drive to the Secret Falls parking area is a little bit of a drive within the wilderness. I strongly advocate a devoted GPS gadget if this is your first time on the market.
Begin on South 4th Street at The Ugly Dog Pub. The street winds round Satulah Mountain. Turn left onto Rich Gap Road after which almost immediately right onto Big Creek Road. This is a dirt street however pretty properly maintained. Cars should be fantastic as lengthy as it’s carried out muddy. Watch out for different visitors, though, as a end result of this is a one-lane old fire service road.There is a small primitive parking space alongside Big Creek Road.
Where to Stay
The upside of visiting Highlands is a bevy of fantastic native hotels and mattress and breakfasts to spend a quantity of nights. The draw back is a lack of anything on a friendly price range and even mid-range. Spending an evening in Highlands will cost you, however it’s well value the splurge for the amenities you get along with the room.
The Old Edwards Inn & Spa is probably the most luxurious place to remain in Highlands. Book a snug room on the historic inn, lodge, cottages, or residences – properties that are excellent for traveling families. Enjoy on-site dining and treat your self to a visit to the spa.
200 Main is a sister property to the Old Edwards Inn. The former hotel has been utterly renovated, expanded with additional rooms in separate buildings, and features a more budget-friendly option than staying at the Old Edwards Inn. 200 Main features comfy rooms with walk-in showers and balconies, fireplace pits on the ground degree, and an out of doors swimming pool.
Inside Tip When reserving a room online at 200 Main, I suggest the “King Room with Balcony and Fireplace”. At the very least you’ll benefit from the amazing shower, but hopefully you’ll even have a great time with the hearth, balcony, and spacious room. Book as early as potential; these rooms are inclined to promote out on the weekends months prematurely.
The first thing the oldsters at The Park on Main need you to find out about their boutique resort is that canine are very much welcome. The comfy rooms feature quaint balconies overlooking downtown Highlands and is perfectly positioned for walking to every thing in town.
Highlands Inn is located inside a gorgeous constructing resembling a stagecoach inn from the 1800s. Inside, the modern rooms are comfy, spacious, and provide balconies overlooking downtown Highlands.