North Carolina Nature July 15, 2022
Surrounded By Beautiful Waterfalls And Rivers, This Region Of North Carolina Is An Outdoor Enthusiast’s Dream
The small town of Franklin is an oasis in the middle of one of North Carolina’s most unspoiled regions – the Nantahala National Forest, the largest national forest in the state and home to some of the eastern United States’ most beautiful scenery. Exploring
Franklin, North Carolina is just the beginning – the surrounding rivers, forests, and mountains are home to peaceful trails and rushing waterfalls. The region is beautiful any time of year, but fall might just be the most enchanting of all; there’s nothing like seeing the trees come alive in technicolor as you explore!
Franklin, North Carolina is almost too pretty to be real. Walking in the shadow of the antique clock tower or strolling downtown is the perfect way to begin a fall day.
But soon, you'll want to get into your car and explore the surrounding wilderness. Sandwiched in between some of the country's best natural preserves, the Cullasaja River Gorge is the perfect place to explore waterfalls and rivers.
During the autumn season, the surrounding woods turn multiple shades of stunning yellow, orange, and red and illuminate the water below. It's enough to make you want to stare at the river all day - but there's so much more to see!
This area is full of waterfalls, including four of the region's best. We'll start with the world-famous Cullasaja Falls, towering over the surrounding area at over two hundred feet.
Maybe even more famous is Quarry Falls, more widely known by the colorful moniker of "Bust-Your-Butt Falls". It leads to a deep, cool swimming hole popular on hot days - and yes, the top is slippery!
If you're looking for a waterfall you can get up close and personal with, Dry Falls is one of the largest in the area and is highly accessible - including having a convenient fenced path that takes you right behind the raging waters.
A drive-by waterfall? Nothing is impossible in the Franklin area, and Bridal Veil Falls is one of the most popular photo stops in the whole region. While driving under the waterfall has been halted pending repairs, it's one of the most impressive sights in the Tar Heel State.
The woods and trails surrounding the larger falls and rivers are also filled with smaller but no-less-charming falls. Rufus Morgan Falls can be accessed by a simple one-mile loop trail that is ideal for beginners and families.
It's time for a choose your own adventure pathway! Which way down the forked trail will you go? One path will take you down a 1.5-mile hike to the popular Big Laurel Falls, one of the area's largest falls in the woods.
Another, quieter path will take you down to the more-hidden Mooney Falls, which is a perfect place for quiet reflection away from the crowds.
The Nantahala River Gorge isn't far away, and it's another stunning site full of fall foliage and rushing waters - with some great waterfalls to match.
The best waterfall in the area is definitely White Oak Creek Falls, which features several streams of rushing water converging in a stunning show.
Once you're done exploring the waterfalls, why not step out into the Nantahala River and cast a line? You won't be alone - this is a very popular spot for fly fishing, with a rich bounty of freshwater fish awaiting anyone with good aim and some persistence.
Have you been to the
Franklin & Nantahala, NC area before?? There’s so much to explore in this area that we hope you’ll tell us your can’t-miss spots for newcomers in the comments section. If you’re planning a visit, make sure to drop by the Facebook page of the Franklin, North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the Nantahala Visitor Guide Facebook page for details on what you can expect. If you’re looking for another primer before you go, check out our previous adventure in Franklin. Address: Franklin, NC 28734, USA Address: Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina 28734, USA