All bragging aside, we are a lucky bunch in western North Carolina. Innovative restaurant scene? We got it. An environment of sustainability and preservation? You betcha. Beautiful mountains and opportunities for one-of-a-kind hikes? Whoa buddy, do we ever! This time of year sparks an urge to be outside, and to really appreciate this natural environment which is like no other. Let’s focus on one of the most breath-taking features of our mountains and parks: waterfalls.
Dupont State Forest in Brevard County has a treasure chest of waterfalls, some of which require a hike, others of which demand just a small walk. Heavier rain this time of year results in a powerful stream, which makes the already impressive waterfalls quite spectacular. The trails are well marked and kiosks at each of the trailheads provide adequate information. The main attractions are Bridal Veil Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, High Falls, Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and Wintergreen Falls. Each offers something different. Bridal Veil Falls, for example, has an overhang that allows people to walk behind the "veil." High Falls are simply high and impressive. The 3-mile hike starts from the Hooker Falls parking lot, and is a short walk to the first set of falls. Hooker Falls has an observation landing and wading area that is fantastic for kids to play in when the weather is warm. Hike a half mile upstream to get to Triple Falls, a three part falls that creates a beautiful pattern with a 120-foot drop. Another half-mile will get you to the largest waterfall: High Falls. This 150-foot drop cascades down a wall of slanted granite. Whichever waterfall you visit (we recommend all of them) you are guaranteed a beautiful hike and great spot to have a picnic al fresco!
Sliding Rock is not too far from Dupont State Forest, and stands out for it's unique use of it's falls. The angle and slickness, produces a natural water slide that draws crowds every summer. If you want quiet reflection here, we recommend either visiting during a weekday, or off-season, as the falls are incredibly popular (a long line to the top can be expected). Sliding Rock is located in Mt. Pisgah, only a 45 minute drive from Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds.
Looking Glass Falls is beauty and convenience in one package! Just a stone's throw from the main road, Looking Glass is a gorgeous waterfall, also located in Pisgah Forest. This is why Transylvania County is known as the Land of Waterfalls! Looking Glass Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls in America, and is a must-see if you visit Pisgah. Plenty of parking is provided, and just a short walk will get you to the falls. And don't forget your camera!
These are just a few of the waterfalls that we have here in Western North Carolina, all with varying degrees of effort to see them up close. Transylvania County's chamber site is a great resource of information about which hikes are more challenging than the others. There is so much to see, and Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds is conveniently located so that you don't have to skip a single waterfall to fit your itinerary. At the office, we are more than happy to recommend routes to get you there, and the best hikes to fit your needs.