Dry Falls, North Carolina

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Dry Falls in March 2009

I get the sense that I wasn’t supposed to see Dry Falls when I visited the area in March 2009. Dry Falls is supposedly closed, or was closed until at least July 2009. I was going to pass by until I noticed that numerous other cars had stopped and were getting out to view the falls. No workers were there, so I don’t think we were interrupting anybody. I actually didn’t see any work going on at all.

Dry Falls is now open, so this is one waterfall that you should definitely go and visit. Actually, this stretch of US-64 has two very easy-to-visit waterfalls, Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Dry Falls is cool because you can walk behind the waterfall. You’re sure to get at least a little bit wet! Go check it out!

Directions:

  1. The waterfall is accessible from US-64.
  2. If you are heading north on US-64, the parking area for the falls will be on your left. You will have passed Bridal Veil Falls on your way there.
  3. From the parking area, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 70′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip (though there is a viewpoint that is handicapped accessible)

Where in the World is Dry Falls?

Upper Whitewater Falls, North Carolina

I always have a hard time choosing favorites. I like most waterfalls that I’ve seen, and each of them has it’s own unique qualities, whether big or small. Upper Whitewater Falls has the distinction of being one of my favorites, though. It’s a big waterfall, but that alone does not make it my favorite. I’ve seen waterfalls that are bigger (Multnomah Falls), but that doesn’t mean that they’re my favorites. There is a complexity about Upper Whitewater Falls that puts it in the top ten.

At 411′ tall, it is one of the larger waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. It’s not a straight 411′ drop, but instead a series of drops that add up to the total. This is what makes Upper Whitewater Falls so beautiful. It’s narrow and then it’s wide, and then narrows down again. At some points, there are actually three separate “waterfalls”, or at least the river splits into three. In the picture below, you can’t even see the whole falls because it’s so large.

There are at least two easily accessible viewpoints. One of the viewpoints is right near the parking lot, while the second is accessed from a walk down some stairs. There may be a third viewpoint at the base of the falls, though I’m guessing that this is more complicated!

Directions:

  1. From US-64 in North Carolina, turn left onto NC-281.
  2. Head south on NC-281 to the entrance for Upper Whitewater Falls.
  3. After parking, pay the $2 entrance fee, which is definitely worth it. Then follow the paved trail to the upper view.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 411′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

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Upper Whitewater Falls in March 2009

Where in the World is Upper Whitewater Falls?

Triple Falls, North Carolina

If the view were not so advantageous, Triple Falls might be classified as three separate falls. But with Triple Falls, you see all three drops simultaneously from multiple different viewpoints. This makes Triple Falls one of the more popular waterfalls in the waterfall-infested Transylvania County.

Triple Falls isn’t necessarily that easy to get to. Let’s just say the walk back down wasn’t even that simple, even though I was going downhill. There is a clearly defined trail, but the trail is consistently steep in parts. It’s not the kind of steep that requires strategically placed ropes, but it is steep enough to wear you out. Unless you’re really out of shape, you should be able to do it, but plan to take a well-deserved break at the falls. If you love waterfalls or love the feel of lactic acid burning away in your calves, you can head even further up the trail to the equally spectacular High Falls. (Hooker Falls is on the opposite side of Dupont Road.)

Directions:

  1. You’re going to want to get on US-64 heading south of Brevard. (Head north on US-64 if you’re coming from South Carolina.)
  2. Turn right on Crab Creek Rd. and head 4.3 miles to Dupont Rd.
  3. Turn right on Dupont Road, which is also called Station Road in places.
  4. Go for a ways until you cross the Little River. During busy times of the year, you’ll realize that right near the bridge is the parking area for the falls. You can also park on the side of the road.
  5. The trail to Triple Falls and High Falls starts across the road from the parking area.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 120′
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip

Triple Falls

Triple Falls in March 2009

Where in the World is Triple Falls?

Moore Cove Falls, North Carolina

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Moore Cove Falls in March 2009

Moore Cove Falls is a cute little waterfall. It’s just overshadowed by other waterfalls that are much larger and showier that can be found in the vicinity. The much larger Looking Glass Falls is very close by. Still, if you’re in Transylvania County looking for waterfalls, Moore Cove Falls is a good choice to stop and visit. It’s easy to visit and the hike to the falls is quick, fun, and not too strenuous.

And as I’m writing this, I’ve discovered there’s another smaller waterfall along the same trail to Moore Cove Falls, just a ways further…somebody’s decided to call it Little Moore Cove Falls.

Directions:

  1. From Brevard, drive north on US-276.
  2. After about 5.5 miles you’ll pass the pullout/parking for Looking Glass Falls. About a mile past that pullout is the parking for Moore Cove Falls.
  3. There will be a wooden information sign on the right side of the road indicating the beginning of the trail. If you go over the bridge that is right near there, you’ve gone too far.
  4. From the trail head, enjoy the fun trail to the falls!

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 50′
Length of Hike: 1.2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Moore Cove Falls?

Bridal Veil Falls, North Carolina

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Bridal Veil Falls in March 2009

Bridal Veil Falls is one of those waterfalls you should stop at if your nearby simply for the reason that it’s so easy to see! As you’re driving along US-64 between Franklin and Highlands in North Carolina, this waterfall plunges out onto the road below. Drivers used to be able to drive under the falls, but that part of the road has been blocked off because of falling rocks. You can still park and walk up to the beautiful waterfall, though.

Directions:

  1. Drive on US-64 between Franklin and Highlands. If you’re driving north, the waterfall will be on your right.
  2. Park and enjoy.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 45′
Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is Bridal Veil Falls?

Cathey’s Creek Falls, North Carolina

Cathey’s Creek Falls wasn’t impossible to find, just very tricky. For much of the way to the falls, you’re driving along a single-lane, dirt National Forest Road. It’s very curvy and inclined, so you have to drive at a pretty slow speed. This is the type of road that tends to stress me out, and I could feel its effects. You’re out in what seems like the middle of nowhere, and for most of the journey, there’s no real place to turn around. It can be very unnerving! In order to find the falls, I actually had to LISTEN for the falling water, as the falls are completely blocked from view on the road. Once you pull of the road, try to find the rather inconspicuous and steep trail down to the falls.

Cathey’s Creek Falls as a waterfall is actually very beautiful. Surrounded by rhododendrons, it was really a impressive view. Once you’re done visiting the falls, drive just a little bit further uphill, and if I remember correctly, there will be a bridge with an area that allows for easy turn around. Knowing there’s a place to do this beforehand may relieve some of the stress and allow more enjoyment at the falls!

Directions:

  1. From Brevard, drive west on Route 64 for about 3 miles.
  2. Turn onto Cathey’s Creek Road. The road splits: head to the left. Keep driving.
  3. When you reach the water treatment plant, keep going straight onto Forest Road 471.
  4. Now you begin your climb up the mountain/hill. You will drive for about 2 more miles on FR471. Pay attention for a “pull-off” that will be on your right. It is NOT clearly marked. If I remember correctly, if you pass the pull-off and continue on, you will reach a bridge that crosses the creek. You can turn around there, and backtrack to the pull-off.
  5. Try to find the trail that descends down to the creek. It is somewhat steep, which wasn’t too bad. The trail was not very firm, though, as there was a lot of mud that kept shifting. The trail is very short, though.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Height: 40′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

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Cathey’s Creek Falls in March 2009

Where in the World is Cathey’s Creek Falls?