Who doesn’t love a waterfall? Growing up in Pittsburgh every time we had an out-of-town visitor we made the drive to Niagra Falls. It was there that I fell in love with waterfalls. A few damp trips on Niagra Fall’s Maid of the Mist tour boat gave me an up close look at the power of water.
Observing the power of a thundering fall is to see the power of nature. Here in the south we are lucky to have a lot of beautiful waterfalls.
One of my favorite southern waterfalls is Dry Falls.
Though located northwest of Highlands, NC it is almost as close to Franklin, NC as to Highlands. Like all southern waterfalls the beauty of the falls depends on how much rain we have had. When the water is flowing the falls are beautiful and worth a trip.
Dry Falls, also known as Cullasaja Falls, is located in the Nantahala National Forest. The falls have a drop off of about 80 feet, of which 40 feet is in freefall. One of the benefits of walking down to the falls is that you can follow the path that takes you behind the falls giving you the unique view of looking at the forest from behind the falls. Looking through the falls lets you fully appreciate their power. Even when the falls are at their fullest you will stay dry, though you may get hit with some spray.
Some things to know about Dry Falls:
- It is located on the side of US Highway 64.
- The falls are about 80 miles from Asheville and about 3 miles from Highlands
- There is a small parking lot off to the side of the road where you park to walk to the falls. During leaf season in the fall the parking lot can get full but in my experience people come and go quickly so if you decide to wait you most likely won’t be waiting long.
- To get to the falls you have to walk down a fairly steep series of stairs and then you have to walk back up so you must be steady on your feet. On my last trip I noticed several elderly people waiting in the parking lot rather than risk the walk down.
- There are his and hers pit toilets in the parking lot. There is no running water so make sure you have hand sanitizer handy.
- It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to walk to and enjoy the falls.
- There is a wheelchair accessible observation deck.