North Carolina Waterfalls (USA)
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North Carolina Waterfalls bless the state with an assortment and abundance that we think rivals any state in the country. In fact, there are so many waterfalls here that the town of Brevard and the surrounding Transylvania County proclaim it to be the Land of Waterfalls. And after our experience in touring the Land of Waterfalls in the western end of the state, we have a hard time disputing that claim!
Another thing about waterfalling here is that we happened to make our visit at the peak of Fall colors! Therefore, we got to see waterfalls with these Autumn hues surrounding them, which was something we had never exerienced before! In fact, many of the waterfalls we had seen managed to make our Top 10 Autumn Waterfalls List
In addition to all of this, North Carolina is also blessed with features like the Blue Ridge Parkway (i.e. a road that literally crowns the ridges of the Southern Appalachian Range providing birdseye views of exploding Fall colors amidst rolling mountains on both sides of the road), the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (where Cherokee heritage and natural scenery mix in ways that bring us back to a time when settlers first saw its deep beauty), and even a city that mixes cosmopolitan diversity with Southern style in Asheville. Indeed, it really does seem like North Carolina is right at the heart of Nature and fine living in the South. We were so entranced by the natural beauty that this state had to offer that we even spent a large portion of our two-week Southern Appalachians trip here.
To better organize the plethora of waterfalls found in this state (especially since just about all the waterfalls are concentrated in its western third), we've broken it up into the following subregions - Brevard, DuPont State Park, and the Pisgah National Forest
, East of Asheville
, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
, and Highlands and the Nantahala National Forest
The Brevard, DuPont State Park, and the Pisgah National Forest subregion pretty much encompasses everything pertaining to the Blue Ridge Parkway immediately southwest of Asheville. A very large concentration of the waterfalls that we've seen in the state were well within a half-day to full-day trip from Brevard (pronounced "bre-VARD"), which was the town right at the heart of all this action. Some of the noteworthy falls that were in the subregion include Triple Falls
(which was one of the filming spots for the movie The Hunger Games
) and the well-photographed Looking Glass Falls
The subregion that I'm dubbing "East of Asheville" is pretty much all the waterfalls that we've seen east of the city. We did this because the concentration of waterfalls seemed to diminish the further east you go in the state so Asheville seemed like a suitable center of the waterfall action, especially since it's probably the main city in Western North Carolina. In addition to places to the southern end of the state like Chimney Rock State Park and Pearson's Falls
, it also includes the Blue Ridge Parkway further to the north, including waterfalls like the NC version of Crabtree Falls
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park subregion encompasses not only the park, but also everything to the west and northwest of Asheville. So far, we've only been able to pay a brief visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, but we'll be sure to look to add to this area if we're fortunate to return here on another trip. Among the waterfall highlights of our visit here was Mingo Falls
Finally, the Highlands and Nantahala National Forest subregion encompasses everything to the far west of the state. It stretches all the way to the western border with Tennessee while bordered to the north by the Great Smoky Mountains, and excludes the Pisgah National Forest to the east. Highlands is the main city of this part of the state so naturally, we're including waterfalls such as Bridal Veil Falls
, which was one of the few waterfalls we were able to drive behind
Even though we thought we packed our itinerary with as many worthwhile waterfalling excursions as possible in North Carolina (let alone on our trip), we met other locals and visitors who were even more passionate and committed than we were in our waterfalling pursuits. While we had to make choices about which waterfalls to see and which ones to leave out because there was simply too little time, money, and energy to chase them all, some of these folks were determined to not let one go by them!
I'm sure we've only scratched the surface of what waterfallers in the South have known for a while, and we figure it's about time us folks from the West (and perhaps the rest of the US and the world) ought to see what we've been missing!. And with some Southern Hospitality mixed in with a waterfalling trip, who wouldn't want that?
Anyways, check out our sampling of the waterfalls that we've surveyed by clicking on the links below.
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To get a glimpse of what each waterfall looks like, check out the table below. Click on the waterfalls to read more about them.
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