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Waterfall Walks In and Around Highlands

Posted by: Jennifer Kornegay

Sitting high atop the Blue Ridge Mountains and tucked into the Nantahala National Forest, the Highlands area boasts a wealth of natural wonders including some of the Southeast’s most beautiful waterfalls. Ranging from magnificent cascades to smaller sparking spills, here are a few to check out while you're here.

Glen Falls
This glittering gush of water is easy to access from a trail off of Highway 106. You don’t have to walk far to get a good glimpse, but if you make the effort to take the long, downhill trek to the end of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a picture-perfect look at the full tumbling cataract.

Cullasaja Falls
Rolling and rumbling along Highway 64, the Cullasaja River is smothered in mountain laurel shade before being hurled over this multi-layered waterfall that bubbles and bounces for 250 feet over a series of ragged outcrops.

Silver Run Falls

Stroll down a quiet, level path under a canopy of trees to discover this tranquil gem off Highway 107. It puts off a soft cooling spray and plunges into a calm, clear pool perfect for a quick swim.

Bridal Veil Falls
Sliding down the mountainside along Highway 64, this 45-foot fall drops water in delicate, shimmering sheets that bring to mind a bride’s lacey veil.

Whitewater Falls
This majestic 411-foot waterfall off Highway 281 plummets in roaring ribbons of whitewater to create the highest fall east of the Rockies. A paved walkway leads to a breath-taking look at the thundering spill, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike down to the bottom of the falls for an even better view. But don’t rush your walk to get to the waterfall. Stop to gaze at the wildflowers (and butterflies they attract) scattered along the edge of the path.

Dry Falls
Get a behind-the-scenes view of one of Mother Nature’s fountains here. Dry Falls is right off Highway 64 with ample parking. Foamy torrents rush over a craggy rock ledge that stretches far from the hill supporting it, creating a space behind the waterfall large enough to walk through without getting wet (hence the name). Watch your feet and hold tight to the railing as you descend the metal steps down to the falls though; they’re steep and can get slippery.