A Drive Down North Carolina’s Loneliest Road Will Take You Miles And Miles Away From It All
How do we really escape? It can be a trip to the beach, reading a book, or even taking a long drive. I’ve always loved the saying, ‘The highway don’t judge if you’re alone’ and on some North Carolina roads it only adds to the experience to transport yourself miles away from reality. For 98 miles between Rosman and Murphy on US 64, the Waterfall Byway passes some of the most pristine and scenic falls in North Carolina.
U.S. 64 stretches a total of 604 miles from the Tennessee state line to the Outer Banks. Due to its expanse throughout the state it's often referred to as the 'Murphy to Manteo.' The historic route dates back to 1927, when original Model T Fords would snake up mountain roads or cruise through the countryside.
Today, U.S. 64 covers a variety of landscapes - from mountain peaks, foothills, big cities, small towns, and the Outer Banks. The Waterfall Byway is a portion of U.S. 64 that takes drivers through some of the most exquisite falls in North Carolina.
The drive is located between Rosman and Murphy and spans a total of 98 miles, averaging around three and a half hours to complete. The town of Rosman is located in Transylvania County, AKA, North Carolina's 'Land of Waterfalls.' Drivers get to experience a bit of everything - from a stunning walk behind waterfall to an entire state forest with multiple hiking trails leading to one, two, even three waterfalls.
One breathtaking part of the Waterfall Byway is the 120-foot Bridal Veil Falls. As the first fall of the Little River, it's perhaps the most unique, dropping off an overhanging ledge and allowing visitors to walk beneath.
Aside from the majestic vistas Bridal Veil Falls offer, it's perfect to do more than just look at but explore the surrounding area. Bridal Veil Falls flows over a granite face making for some stunning pictures while large rocks surrounding the fall are great for a picnic lunch or sunbathing on a warm day. At 10,473-acres you might want to take a whole day to explore DuPont State Forest.
Read our guide here
and follow our waterfall trail that takes you to three separate waterfalls.
While there's plenty to explore, see and do in DuPont, save the afternoon for the majestic Dry Falls. Sure, you can crouch below Bridal Veil Falls, but Dry Falls allows you to completely walk beside and beneath the 75-foot waterfall.
Dry Falls is located just off U.S. 64 in the Nantahala National Forest. Nearby Waterfall Byway you'll also find Mountain Waters Scenic Byway. U.S 64 and NC 28 run directly through the Cullasaja Gorge, making this a prime location for waterfalls and incredible views. Flowing over a cliff, visitors to Dry Falls have the option to both view from afar or walk below.
An observation deck from the parking area allows you to view from afar. If you have walking problems or it's a wet, rainy day and you're a bit weary to walk to the base you can still get just as beautiful views from the top. You'll see not only the fall but the Cullasaja River which Dry Falls is a part of. This 8.7-mile stretch of river ends with Cullasaja Falls. Of course it's fun to view from afar but to get the true experience of Dry Falls, you must walk beneath. A safe, guarded walkway takes visitors directly behind the cascade. It feels as if you've found your own secret paradise hidden away from the modern world. Dry Falls is a great place to spend an hour or two taking in the view.
While Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are notable attractions on the Waterfall Byway, it doesn't just get that name from those two. There's plenty of other waterfalls in close proximity. Transylvania County is home to over 200 waterfalls alone. Nearby Dry Falls, you can reach Glen Falls, the swimming hole Bust Your Butt Falls and Secret Falls.
Waterfall Byway begins at the intersection of U.S. 64 and N.C. 215 near Rosman and also passes through areas that are rich in Cherokee and early immigrant history.You'll travel west and cross the French Broad River and eventually end at Toxaway Falls.
Length: 98 miles
Drive Time: 3.5 hours
You really can’t beat the beauty of this drive! Have you ever taken a journey through here?
Sure, it might be fall, but I think anytime of year is perfect for chasin’ waterfalls. Good news is,
these 10 beautiful waterfalls require no hike.
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