Upper Whitewater Falls – Highest Waterfall East Of The Rockies

Plunging an amazing 411 feet, Upper Whitewater Falls in southwest North Carolina is the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. Located in a fairly rugged, little-visited area, the upper falls are easily accessible via a short paved path bordered by wildflowers, moss-covered boulders, and dense forest. A 154-step staircase leads to a lower observation deck … Read more

Gorges State Park In North Carolina – The Beauty In Ugly

After five weeks on the road it was time to head home, but not before one last day of hiking. From the North Carolina mountain town of Cashiers, I mapped a route past Gorges State Park, which opened to the public this past May. Located atop the Blue Ridge Escarpment, this newest North Carolina park … Read more

Cherokee, North Carolina Is More Than Phony Teepees and Taiwan Trinkets

Phony teepees, gold panning operations, and stores overflowing with “Indian” souvenirs stamped “Made in Taiwan” dominate the main street in Cherokee, North Carolina. On the sidewalks, performers don garish costumes and perform steps bearing little resemblance to actual Cherokee ceremonial dance. In a shopping center parking lot, kids line up to ride a mechanical bull, … Read more

Mountain High in Lovely Little Cashiers, North Carolina

Deep within North Carolina’s Nantahala Forest, a glittering emerald valley is encircled by 5,000-foot high peaks. Sunshine streams down through crisp pine-scented air, illuminating the craggy stone faces of Yellow Mountain, Rock Mountain, and Chimney Top that stand sentinel around the valley. In the surrounding woods, spongy footpaths carpeted with last winter’s detritus follow rushing … Read more

North Carolina – Land Of Waterfalls

It’s not unusual for my travels to take on a theme. Past tours have found me checking out beaches, National Parks, botanical gardens, or historic landmarks. This trip became an unexpected search for North Carolina waterfalls. It started simply enough. I wanted to do some extended hiking – one of my passions in life. The … Read more