The Horsepasture River in southwest NC runs but a short distance at a little over 18 miles long, before in emptys into Lake Jocasse in northern South Carolina. Even shorter is the 4.5 mile section from NC 281 to Lake Jocasse that is designated a wild and scenic river. In this stretch of river is 6 named & famed waterfalls, tons of smaller falls and rapids that would might get names on most streams, and some of the prettiest waterfall scenery that North Carolina has to offer. This area receives a ton of rainfall. Gorges State Park, where the Rainbow Falls Trailhead is located, receives over 80 inches of rain per year. That’s a lot of water running down the hills, and the Horsepasture usually has a very healthy flow of water. Of the 6 names falls, 4 of them are fairly safe to reach, Stairway Falls, Rainbow Falls, Turtleback Falls, and Drift Falls (viewable from the edge of pool only due to private property). Read more
Most of the time, High Falls, or Cullowhee Falls as it is known to some is a nice, very tall 150 ft waterfall with a low flow. Today, 4/18/15 was the first scheduled dam release this season from Lake Glenvile, that transforms this pretty waterfall into one of the most powerful, raging waterfalls in North Carolina. The dam release was set to be done at 10:00 am. While I did not arrive in time to see the “transformation”, I did get a good glance at the river in its regular flow, driving along NC 107. Soon after leaving Sylva, NC along NC 107 heading south, the highway runs alongside the great Tuckaseegee River or “The Tuck”, as locals call it. It’s a fairly wide mountain river with lots of water in it. After driving through Cullowhee and Western Carolina University, NC 107 follows the river for miles into the small community of Tuckaseegee. It’s here where the Tuckaseegee meets up with the West Fork of the Tuckaseegee River. The West Fork was like a creek in size compared to the Tuckaseegee. NC 107 switches here and follows the West Fork. Read more
After spending some time on the last weekend in March hiking to D.E.W. Falls, and Johns Jump….(waterfallshiker/johns jump/d.e.w.falls), I still had time for more exploring. Johns Jump and D.E.W. Falls didn’t take much time to get to and I still wanted to make an attempt to see Twin Falls on the Thompson River. Read more
It’s hard to believe that it has been 3 years since I made my first trip to Jones Falls in extreme eastern Tennessee. I first visited here in February of 2012 after reading some interesting blogs about other waterfall opportunities that existed right there starting at Elk Falls, in Elk Park, NC. Read more
I nearly missed this opportunity! As we suffered through one of the coldest periods in recent memory, wonderful photos of normal waterfalls transformed into unique ice sculptures, carved only by the fastest of the moving waters began to show on Social Media everywhere. I had a Sunday all set up to get out into the far southwest NC, and a rough list of 10-12 waterfalls that I planned to visit. Read more
After spending an incredible afternoon viewing a photographing the Living Waters Waterfalls, I had time for maybe 1 more closeby waterfall before I had to head for home. I was only a few miles down the highway from where Forest Rd 140 met up with NC 215 at the Courthouse Creek Bridge. I had planned on driving right past it, assuming it would be closed like many other forest roads in winter. I was pleasantly surprised to see it open, and my 2nd trip to Courthouse Falls began. Read more
Well, if the recent 60’s weren’t enough, today we hit the low 70’s, in February…Crazy! There was no way that I was not going to find a way to get out and enjoy this. My choice today was Stone Mountain State Park. Stone Mountain State Park is one of my favorite places to hike, especially during the week. The location is very close to the triad where I live. The park sits just at the edge of the Blue Ridge escarpment. The elevation at the summit is only 2305, and the temperatures here while a tad cooler than the triad, tend to be similar to that of lower elevations, which makes it a prime hiking spot in the winter. This park was one of the original places that I began hiking so it holds a special place with me. I can not think of another hike that offers more variety in it! Read more
It’s hard to believe this post is nearly 3 years old now. Where is the time going so fast! I was hoping to get out today and enjoy this 60 degree January day in the Wilson Creek area, but could not get away from work.
Today, I took the opportunity to visit two of my favorite waterfalls in the Wilson Creek Wilderness: North Harper Creek Falls, and Harper Creek Falls. Similar names, but different waterfalls on different creeks. The weather for this spring day hike was fantastic, deep blue sky and temps about 60. It was a perfect day to hike. My decision for hiking to The Harpers was made due to a very special young lady named Harper Grace turning 1 today. I could not make it to Atlanta for her party, but I can hike to 2 waterfalls that could be…..named after her. (Lol) Happy Birthday Harper!!!
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Usually, to see frozen waterfalls in Western NC, one must go further west and up in elevation. However, on our 4th night in a row of temps in the teens and single digits here in the lower elevations, I had a feeling that our small waterfalls at the nearby Hanging Rock State Park might just freeze up. It is a Sunday morning and is the last day of temps this cold, before rain and slightly warmer air moves in. So, I fought all instincts and got out of bed very early on a frigid morning and headed out just after the park opened at 7 am. I wasn’t expecting much company as it was 12 degrees in the visitor center parking lot. Read more
I have had Raven Rock Falls on my list for quite some time now. Accessed off of Cold Mountain Road (which runs from NC281, around Lake Toxaway, then up..towards Panthertown Valley), the first challenge is finding where to stop along this steep, winding Cold Mountain Rd, which fortunately is paved. I read from a very trustworthy site, NCWaterfalls, to drive 4.7 miles from NC 281, and look for telephone poles, in particular the one marked “61”.