Fall is coming closer than we all think. Back to school sales have already started and before you know it you will be too busy to take a trip. For a quick trip away, consider the mountains of Western NC. The weather is unlike any other this time of year. While most of us are sweltering away in the heat of summer, the residents and visitors of the mountains are keeping slightly cooler. While considering what to do in NC, let us at The Orchard Inn give you our 4 favorite hiking waterfalls in Western NC.
While there are a ton of waterfalls in Western NC to choose from, the first on our list is Shunkawauken Falls. The main reason is that this one is basically a hidden gem. It is 150 feet tall and named after a local Indian chief. There aren’t any signs to help you find the falls so make sure you follow the directions. While beautiful, this waterfall isn’t best for a long visit. There isn’t any parking near the waterfall but you can stop your car for a few minutes since the road usually isn’t busy.
Just 10 miles away from Shunkawauken Falls is another landmark waterfall, Pearson’s Falls. The waterfall is privately owned by the Tryon Garden Club and there will be admission to get in but it is well worth it. The hike is 1/3 of a mile and very easy to walk. Along the way are picnic tables that follow the brook up to the falls so be sure to pack a meal or at least a snack and enjoy the outdoors. While you are there, make sure to check out their botanical preserve that houses over 200 species of rare wildflowers, plants, and trees.
From there, make your way to Chimney Rock State Park and visit Hickory Nut Falls. This waterfall is 404 feet tall and is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. After parking, take the trail that leads up to the falls and enjoy all of the seasonal flowers, both rare and proliferate. The total hike is 1.5 miles and mainly level and easy. After enjoying Hickory Nut Falls, spare some extra time to take one of the other trails that intersects here and enjoy another part of the park.
The last of our favorite waterfalls in Western NC is Catawba Falls in Pisgah National Forest. This 100 foot waterfall and surrounding areas is truly worth the drive. The total trail is 3 miles and is fairly level. However, you do have to cross the river at a few points but don’t worry, the water is shallow. Be careful on the rocks, as they tend to be slippery. The trail follows the Catawba River and you will not be disappointed in the sights and sounds that accompany you on your walk. For those of you who like a challenge, check out the upper falls. The climb is considered difficult but the view of the 50 foot falls is well worth it.
There are many other fantastic waterfalls in Western NC, but these 4 are our top favorite. While thinking of a place to stay on your trip, consider a room at The Orchard Inn. This beautiful Saluda, NC B&B has everything that you could ask for when it comes to an amazing weekend. Reserve your room today and be sure to have an amazing weekend before school is back in session.
Photo by: Romantic Asheville