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Discovering the Majestic Waterfalls Around Cashiers and Highlands

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Nestled in the heart of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the picturesque towns of Cashiers and Highlands in western North Carolina are renowned for their breathtaking natural beauty. One of the highlights of this region is the abundance of stunning waterfalls that dot the landscape, drawing visitors from near and far. If you're a nature enthusiast or an adventure seeker, exploring the waterfalls of Cashiers and Highlands is a must-do experience that will leave you awe-inspired.


Whether you have mobility challenges or able bodied, we note for you falls that can be viewed by roadside, those that have disabled access trails, as well as those only accessible by a hiking trail.


Let's dive into the wonderland of waterfalls in this enchanting part of North Carolina.


Bridal Veil Falls - (Accessibility: Roadside View)

A must-visit waterfall in the Cashiers and Highlands area is Bridal Veil Falls, a unique waterfall that allows you to drive behind it. Located on Highway 64, Bridal Veil Falls is easily accessible from the roadside, making it a popular stop for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike. As you approach the falls, you'll be greeted by the sight of water gracefully cascading down a 120-foot drop, resembling a bridal veil, hence the name.


What makes Bridal Veil Falls truly special is that you can actually drive your vehicle behind the waterfall, passing through a tunnel-like opening in the rock. It's a thrilling experience to feel the mist on your face as you drive behind the roaring curtain of water, creating a one-of-a-kind adventure that's perfect for capturing unique photos or simply enjoying the awe-inspiring beauty of the falls up close.

Silver Run Falls - (Accessibility: Trail)

Located just a short drive from Cashiers, Silver Run Falls is a hidden gem that will captivate you with its pristine beauty. A 25-foot cascade of clear, cool water flowing into a tranquil pool, Silver Run Falls is a perfect spot for a refreshing swim on a hot summer day. Surrounded by lush green foliage and moss-covered rocks, the falls offer a serene atmosphere for a peaceful picnic or a leisurely hike along the short, well-maintained trail that leads to the base of the falls. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning natural beauty of Silver Run Falls.


This photo of Silver Run Falls was taken last summer.
This photo of Silver Run Falls was taken last summer.

Whitewater Falls - (Accessibility: Disabled Access Trail)

Towering at 411 feet, Whitewater Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States and an awe-inspiring sight to behold. It is one of our favorite for photos and relative ease of access on a paved trail.


Located in the Nantahala National Forest, just a short drive from Cashiers, Whitewater Falls can be accessed via a trail that leads to multiple viewing platforms offering different vantage points of the falls. The roar of the water, the mist in the air, and the dramatic views of the falls cascading down through the rugged rock formations are truly mesmerizing. Whitewater Falls is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photographers looking to capture the beauty of Western North Carolina.

Whitewater Falls last fall. We traveled to see the falls three different times last year.
Whitewater Falls last fall. We traveled to see the falls three different times last year.
Even the owners of High Ridge Haven take time to hike to the falls.
High Ridge Haven owners take time to see the falls.

Dry Falls - (Accessibility: Trail and disabled-access viewing platform)

Often referred to as the "Nantahala National Forest's Great Wall of Water," Dry Falls is a unique waterfall that allows you to walk behind the cascading water without getting wet. Located near Highlands, Dry Falls is easily accessible via a short paved trail from the parking area. As you approach the falls, you'll hear the thundering sound of water and feel the mist in the air. Walk down the stairs to the viewing platform and witness the breathtaking sight of water plunging over a 75-foot tall cliff, creating a spectacular curtain of water. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even walk behind the falls and experience the power of the rushing water up close. Dry Falls is a true marvel of nature and an unforgettable experience.

Glen Falls - (Accessibility: Trail)

Nestled in the lush forests of Highlands, Glen Falls is a series of three cascading waterfalls that offer a stunning display of natural beauty. The trailhead to Glen Falls is located off Highway 106 and can be accessed via a moderate hiking trail that winds through the woods, crossing over footbridges and traversing rocky terrain. Along the way, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the falls as they tumble down the mountainside, creating a mesmerizing sight and a soothing soundtrack of rushing water. The final tier of Glen Falls drops 60 feet into a tranquil pool, surrounded by moss-covered rocks and towering trees, creating a serene and picturesque setting.

Other Notable Falls

Other falls to consider, no less spectacular than the rest include:

Rainbow Falls last summer while rhododendron were still in bloom.
Rainbow Falls last summer while rhododendron were still in bloom.

If you're a nature lover or an adventure seeker, exploring the waterfalls in Cashiers and Highlands, North Carolina, is an experience you won't want to miss. From the serene Silver Run Falls to the towering Whitewater Falls, the enchanting Dry Falls, and the unique Bridal Veil Falls, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles, respect the natural environment, and stay safe while enjoying the beauty of these natural wonders. So pack your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to discover the majestic waterfalls of western North Carolina.

High Ridge Haven is centrally located to access these spectacular falls. The 10.5 acre private estate perched on a ridge is itself an attraction with hiking trails, jacuzzi and stunning mountain views. Book direct and save from paying booking fees.

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