Five Must See Waterfalls in Western North Carolina
Western North Carolina is home to hundreds of waterfalls, from trickling creek flows like Cove Creek Falls to the mighty roar of behemoths like Whitewater Falls or Big Falls. With so many choices, how do you pick the best? Here are five of the most beautiful waterfalls in this spectacular region to whet your appetite. Did I leave out your favorite? Let me know Waterfalls of Western North Carolina .
According to the National Forest Service, Whitewater Falls is “the highest waterfall East of the Rockies” at 411 feet. There is some debate about the claim, but there is no doubt that Whitewater Falls is one of the most spectacular falls in the state. After paying the $2 parking fee, follow the paved path for a leisurely stroll to the viewing area. There is a lower viewing area down two flights of stairs which is well worth the effort.
Linville Falls, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area
Linville Falls sits at the northern end of the mighty Linville Gorge, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East”. It plunges into a deep plunge basin full of icy cold water, but swimming is strictly prohibited at Linville Falls as many people have drowned in the powerful currents here. Be sure to check out the views from the Plunge Basin Overlook and Erwin’s View.
High Falls, Dupont State Forest
High Falls is just one of three waterfalls you can see in a mile long stretch of the DuPont State Forest just outside of Brevard. The DuPont State Forest has been popular with hollywood, hosting movie sets for *Last of the Mohicans* as well as *The Hunger Games*. Take the hike to see Hooker Falls, High Falls, and Triple Falls and you will understand the fascination.
Courthouse Falls, Pisgah National Forest
Courthouse Falls is a 50 foot plunge on Courthouse Creek below the infamous Devil’s Courthouse, a rather ominous rock face that looms over the Blue Ridge Parkway at 5,720 ft. Legend has it Judaculla, a mythical giant hunter who could control wind, rain, thunder, and lightning, lived in the cave at Devil’s Courthouse.
Schoolhouse Falls, Panthertown Valley
Schoolhouse Falls may be the smallest waterfall represented here at only 20 feet, but it more than makes up for the lack of size with a tranquil plunge pool filled with icy cold water for Summer swimming. It also happens to be located right in the center of Panthertown Valley, where there are also 13 other named waterfalls and countless swimming holes in a pristine Southern alpine setting.
Todd Ransom is a nature photographer and author of *The Waterfalls of Western North Carolina* for iPhone and iPad. You can find more of his work by visiting Flickin Amazing .