NC Waterfall Hunting

8/17/18 – 8/18/18

Lisa and I

This picture is at the end of day one. We found 9 waterfalls Friday and 3 on Saturday in Cashiers, Highlands and Franklin NC. Truthfully we put on a ton of miles in the car but did end up with 10 miles Friday and 5 miles Saturday.

We left Rock Hill at 6 am and drove to Cashiers NC (3 hrs). Our first waterfall was Silver Run Falls. This one is popular because it’s easy to get to and has a nice swimming hole. But thankfully not at 9 am on a Friday Morning. It’s a short walk and about a 25′ waterfalls.

There is an upper Falls that required a cool root climb. (A wall of roots). I am calling this one waterfall #2.

At the top is a hard to follow trail climb to another waterfall. It was a beauty also.

We got a little turned around coming back and ended up sliding down a rock face. Lisa went backwards. I thought I would slide on my heels but my heels left me and I slid down on my butt! It hurt! I have scratches on my rear and a hole in my shorts to prove it! At least Lisa got a good laugh. 🤭

We went back to the car and started off to waterfall #3.

This one was awesome. It did not have a lot of water going over the falls or in the Tuckasegee River below but it was a beautiful gorge. On Saturday and Sunday they do a dam release for kayakers. I hate we missed that! A hiker left a note on a piece of paper under a rock pointing out a den of copperheads!

We were down there along time. Lisa climbed to the top of the first level. She took a pic down of me that I think is visually cool!

The trip up was very hard. It was all uphill and lots of steps. I suffered pretty hard. I don’t know why I have such a hard time when I go hiking every week!

That’s her at the top waiting patiently! I don’t know if she is playing solitaire or something cause we didn’t have cell service. 🤣

Back at the car we head to waterfall #4. Dry falls. This is one right off the road they turned it into a tourist destination. It’s still really worth going. It’s a beauty. They built a stairway down to it, behind it and out the other side. Yep more steps!

Now onto waterfall #5. Ranger Falls. It is a secluded waterfall just over a mile up a steep trail that levels off near the end. It was really pretty about about 30 ft high. This is an interactive trail.

We left this one fairly quickly and headed back to the car to go to waterfall #6. The next two are in Franklin NC which was a pretty far drive but we didn’t think we would be near hear anytime soon. The first one is Rufus Morgan Falls.

We checked that off our list and went to the car and headed to waterfall #7. Big Laurel Falls. This one was really out there. Probably halfway to Murphy but 7 miles down a dirt road. We passed a campground, then a water covered bridge at a free campground.

This was a fairly easy 1/2 mile trail considering how far we drove. Moderate climbs but I’m getting pretty tired now!

It’s now 5:17 and we have been going since 6 am. If Lisa gets tired she never shows it. We head back to the car and make our way back to Highlands to find Sunset Rock. It’s cloudy but we hope to see some kind of a sunset. We have been up and down Highway 64 all day. It’s a mighty curvy road road. We arrive near sunset rock to early so we head to the next waterfall which is Glen Falls. Waterfall #8 and #9.

This waterfall trail is clearly marked. It has 2 tiers to it. They have built a couple viewing areas. This trail goes down the whole way. The first viewing area give a good look at the top waterfall.

The trail keeps going down to the 2nd falls viewing area. This is called Glen Falls #2. Not very original at all.

Well now it’s all up! Today has been rough on the climbs for me. Some days I’m just not as strong as others. I’ve whined a bit today. She is used to it! It’s not hot here, prob in the 70’s but I’m sweating as well. We start the climb back up and I finally make it to the top. On the way I took a pic of Lisa’s legs. As you can see all muscle. Girl has no problem climbing anytime! How many 50 year olds have legs like that? Not me!

Finally to the car and we head to Sunset Rock. This is right near downtown Highlands. It’s pretty popular and has a one lane dirt road up to it. The car in front of us drove up there so we did too. People were walking up it. At the top there isn’t much parking but we parked and headed to the rock. Everyone up there had wine or beer and we chatting away. We sat down and waited. The clouds were quickly coming in from the left so no sunset. Really cool to hang here anyway. First time today we’ve sat still.

We now have to find a place to camp since we haven’t yet. It’s dark so lovely. I find a free place and use GPS to go there and for at least the 3rd time today it takes us nowhere. I google for a pay site and we head there. We got there after 9 it was dark we picked a site and I set up my tent. Lisa set up a eno. I was to chicken to stay somewhere where there weren’t any people were so we settled for this!

It was a rough night. I tossed and turned, she ended up in the truck. She said it was because I was snoring so loudly she thought I would attract bears!😬

6 am she was up looking for something to go to the bathhouse. It just started to rain so I put my tent away and we went to the bathhouse to grab a quick shower. We have more waterfalls to find!

Our first one today is called Picklesimer Falls. We have been in the wrong direction and backtracking a lot yesterday but this one was crazy! We followed the directions down a long dirt road that comes to a T. There are some campsites and a gravel road to the right. We think this is correct do we park and head that way. It doesn’t go anywhere we go back to the car and take the road to the left. Directions say small pull off by an old logging road go up and see a gate not visible from the road. We drove a while and don’t see anything we back track and i see a dirt road going up. I walk up there is a gate too.

We park and start walking. Lisa and I don’t think this is right but that’s how I know it is right! It seams right after the logging road go 200 yards to the woods, 250 yards in the woods, then we hear it. We are here. Not a great big falls but a hard to find one!

Now back in the car to find #11 – Secret Falls. This one is very nice and has a sandy beach and a swimming hole. The trail takes you down about a mile or so.

We stayed a few minutes and headed back up that trail. Up ugg I do feel stronger today but still…..

we hav one more on our list called the Scotsman. It’s down a long dirt road that comes to a one lane bridge over the Chattooga River. Under the bridge isPothole Falls. There are new stone steps down to it. It’s pretty cool.

We head down the road for our final falls. It says 1.1 miles from bridge. Not really a trail but a worn path by two white pines 15 off the road! Really? Needless to say we did not find lithos one! We went up and down the road a few times hanging my head out the window and not seeing anything!

We must not have wanted this one too bad cause we opted to head home. It was still nearly 3 hours to home. It was about 11 am.

That was a lot! We are doing the 100 waterfall challenge by Kevin Adams and the altered version by the western Carolina hiking club. Theirs includes some in Tennessee and South Carolina. On Kevin Adams I just hit 43. On the other one I have 51. Just over half way! We have 2 unable to locate so far. In due time!

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