North Carolina June 06, 2017
The Perfect Two Day Itinerary In North Carolina’s Land Of Waterfalls
Deemed the ‘land of waterfalls,’ Transylvania County has over 250 gorgeous and stunning waterfalls. Yet, these magnificent natural structures aren’t the only thing this mountainous region has. From adventure and family outings to national forests and a large presence of artists, you’ll want to take two days to soak up both natural and manmade beauty.
Start day one in the Pisgah National Forest known for its cascading waterfalls, mile-high peaks and dense forests. Covering 500,000 acres of land, the forest encompasses some of the highest peaks on the east coast. With the park being so large, we're keeping this exploration in Transylvania County. For separate adventure the Pisgah National Forest spans into the Grandfather and Appalachian districts, Linville Gorge district, Wilson Creek, Toe and Cane River, Roan Mountain and Big Ivy/Coleman Boundary.
To get your blood pumping, hike through the 'Pink Beds' area. Below Brevard, this lush and heavily forested area is named after its large amount of rhododendron and wildflowers. While offering great hiking, the trails remain relatively flat and are perfect for those looking to take in the scenery plus the hike. The elevation can range from 2,000 to 6,410 feet. A good way to see it all is doing the Pink Beds Loop Trail.
While you've had a peaceful morning, it's now time for some action and a cool dip. Not far you'll find the famous Sliding Rock. This 'natural waterslide' is a must for any North Carolina bucket list. The 60 foot waterfall flows into an eight foot pool perfect for a VERY chilly mountain splash. Once you get dried off, you'll be ready to conquer more adventure.
For more info and directions about Sliding Rock
After Sliding Rock, visit the majestic Looking Glass Falls. As one of the country's most popular waterfalls, the cascade spans 35 feet wide, dropping a total of 65 feet. While you'll be visiting in the summer, you might want to come back in winter as well. Its namesake derives from the fact during cold weather, a layer of ice forms on the waterfall resembling a looking glass.
You'll want to spend the rest of your afternoon and evening in the eclectic mountain town of Brevard. Known for its 'white squirrels,' Brevard has plenty to offer in terms of art galleries and small shops. Many visit The White Squirrel Shoppe, O.P. Taylors, Gravy, and Local Color.
When it comes to dining, the popular Pisgah Fish Camp has been a Brevard staple since 1967. Named for its location at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, they serve (you guessed it) a variety of seafood, steaks, sandwiches, chicken with a hot bar and salad bar. It's been deemed 'where the locals eat.'
A Main Street staple is Falls Landing Restaurant. Operating for 21 years, the cozy atmosphere paired with delicious food and local brews makes it a great dinner stop. Other popular eateries in Brevard include Jaime’s Creole Brasserie, Marco Trattoria, The Square Root, and The Phoenix and The Fox (Brevard's only farm to table restaurant).
For more information on what to see and do while in Brevard, read our comprehensive guide
The next day you'll want to wake up early, drink some coffee and have a hearty breakfast because you'll be exploring one of the most rugged and adventurous forests in North Carolina. Filled with 80 miles of hiking trails, surreal waterfalls, and lush forests, DuPont State Forest is a nature lover's dream. Home to the popular Triple Falls, High Falls and Hooker Falls...you might even spot a waterfall from the Hunger Games.
With so much to see and do here it can be certifiably overwhelming. A great starting point is the gated trail leading to Hooker Falls. During the 3-mile waterfalls hike you'll pass Hooker Falls (also a popular swimming hole, bring you bathing suit!) you'll walk through dense forests and take a left turn onto the Triple Falls Trail. Triple Falls (pictured above) features a picnic area and a small trail that will lead you to the base of the falls.
For a jaw-dropping experience, High Falls can be accessed with a 2-mile hike from Triple Falls (by way of the High Falls Trail). This stunning waterfall totals 150-feet with many climbing on the rocks (always use caution, and common sense) to get a better view and a stunning picture. If you're craving more, you can hike from High Falls to Lake Dense.
For more information on the perfect morning in DuPont, read our comprehensive hiking guide
If you want to fit a little more adventure into your last day, stop by one of North Carolina's newest and most pristine state parks, Gorges State Park. Here you'll find Rainbow Falls which is named after the rainbow mist produced from the 80-foot fall visible during sunny afternoons.
For more information on what to see and do at Gorges, read our comprehensive guide
For the cherry on top to an amazing trip, not far from Gorges you'll find Whitewater Falls. With the upper and lower portions spanning a total of 811 feet from North Carolina to South Carolina, it's the highest waterfall east of the Rockies.
If you have a free weekend this summer, this trip is the perfect adventure! Have you visited these sites, towns, waterfalls and parks?