The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Chasing Waterfalls

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post is about our fourth day of vacation.

We awakened shortly before 6:00 am on Wednesday, May 17. By 6:50 am we were showered and dressed for the day.  This is our first full day at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley, NC.

Our VROC friends, “Skid” and Sandy, stopped by our hotel room around 7:15 am, on their way to breakfast. The four of us ate breakfast at Pop’s Grits & Eggs, located on the hotel grounds.  We sat down at the only available table and placed our breakfast orders.  Bob ordered a Sausage and Cheese Omelet. I ordered a Western Omelet. Breakfast was good and very filling.

After breakfast, Bob and I went chasing waterfalls. It was 9:00 am, when we began our drive. We saw seven waterfalls.  We used the GPS to take us from one waterfall to the next.  The first waterfall that we visited was Soco Falls.

Soco Falls is located between the towns of Maggie Valley and Cherokee. From Maggie Valley, head south on Highway 19 to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cross under the Parkway and continue downhill on Highway 19 towards Cherokee. From the Parkway, it’s 1.5 miles to an unmarked pullout on the left side of the road. This is the fourth year that we have gone in search of waterfalls in this area of North Carolina.  Each year we have missed the small parking area for this waterfall.  This year was no exception; however, we turned around this time and found Soco Falls.  There is no sign at the pullout, but you can hear the waterfalls from the parking area.  The trail to Soco Falls begins at the northern part of the parking area, where there is a break in the guard rail.  The first part of the trail resembled a goat path and was a little bit steep.  Within a few minutes, though, we reached a boardwalk and the viewing platform.

Soco Falls

Soco Falls is a double waterfall.   If you look closely at the photograph displayed below, a portion of the second waterfall can be seen on the bottom left side peeking out from behind the foliage.

Soco Falls
The taller of the two waterfalls is 120 feet tall.

U.S. Route 64 tightly twists and turns its way along the Cullasaja River Gorge, which is part of the Nantahala National Forest.   We stopped at three Cullasaja River Gorge waterfalls:

  • Cullasaja Falls
  • Quarry Falls
  • Dry Falls

Cullasaja Falls is located along a very dangerous stretch of Hwy 64. The 250′ waterfall is visible from the road, but there is only a small pull-off area.  Make sure that you pull completely off the road!   Tractor trailers use this section of road and they need both lanes to get around these curves.

Cullasaja Falls

Quarry Falls (also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls) is another roadside waterfall.  Quarry Falls is a small, but beautiful waterfall.

Quarry Falls is a 20-foot high, multi-tiered waterfall.

The 75-foot high Dry Falls earned its name because you can take a trail to walk behind the falls and not get wet (well, not too wet).

Dry Falls

Around 1:00 pm we ate a picnic lunch at Connestee Falls Park, located about 6 miles from Brevard along U.S. Route 276.

After lunch we took a very short stroll from the right rear of the parking lot to the viewing area for Baston Creek Falls.

The viewing platform sits on top of Connestee Falls.
The ledge that is visible in this photograph is a small part of Connestee Falls.
From the viewing area you look over at Batson Creek Falls.
Batson Creek Falls

Located a short distance from Brevard along Route 276 are Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock, both of which are located in the Pisgah National Forest.  Before arriving at Looking Glass Falls we avoided a car collision with a car that wandered onto our side of the road; we hit a squirrel; and we avoided hitting a dog that jumped out onto the road from truck bed in front of us. This all happened within a few minutes!

Looking Glass Falls is 60 feet tall.

Our next stop was at Sliding Rock. 

Sliding Rock is a 60′ natural rock slide with a 6-7 foot deep pool at the base.

Both Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock are located near the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Leaving Sliding Rock, we hopped onto the Blue Ridge Parkway (south) — the subject of my next blog post.

2 Responses to “Chasing Waterfalls”

  1. seniorhiker

    We’ve visited all of these waterfalls, and we hope that the two of you enjoyed them as much as we do. It wasn’t possible to walk behind Dry Falls the last time we were there. I’m glad they opened the path up again.

    Reply
  2. Betsy

    Howdy—you traveled in very familiar areas to us!!!! We love the waterfalls in NC –and hopefully, when you go back you can see 7 more.. They had Whitewater closed this past winter –after a wildfire hit that area and damaged the steps down to the viewing platform… I was glad to see that they now have the area behind Dry Falls opened. When we were last there, they wouldn’t let people walk behind the falls due to falling rocks. Glad it is open now since that is what people want to do when visiting Dry Falls.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    Reply

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