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.Hiking Trails, Waterfalls & Scenic Overlooks

Bartram Trail: Offers many short or long hikes to spectacular vistas, such as Scaly Mt., Jones Knob, and Whiterock Mt. Maps can be obtained from the U.S.F.S.

Scaly Mountain: 3.2.miles (round trip). Trail head: Hickory Gap Road (SR 1621). Features: Impressive views from summit of Scaly Mt. (4804') looking towards GA.

Jones Knob - Whiterock MT: 0.6 miles (round trip) to Jones Knob; 4.6 miles (round trip) to Whiterock Mt. trail head: Jones Gap. Features: Easy hikes, rock outcroppings, and views of the Nantahala Mts. to the West. Located on Jones Gap Road.

Chinquapin Mountain: 3.2 miles (round trip). Trail head: Glen Falls parking area. Features: Numerous stream crossings and several views from Chinquapin Mt. (4,160') into Blue Valley at vistas along the trail. Located off of NC106.

Sunset Rocks: 1.2 miles (round trip). Trail head: Horse Cove Rd., across from the Highlands Nature Center. Features: A rock outcropping overlooking Highlands and Horse Cove; trees marked and identified as part of the Town of Highlands "Highlands Trees" project.

Yellow Mountain - Shortoff MT: 3 miles (round trip) to Shortoff Mt., 9.6 miles (round trip) to Yellow Mt. trail head: Cole Gap on Buck Creek Rd. Features: A short easy hike to a view of Buck Creek area; Shortoff Mt. has views to the south; Yellow Mt. has views in all directions. The trail to Yellow Mt. is a difficult trail, traversing three of the area's scenic mountains, with many steep ascents and descents. Located off Buck Creek Rd.

Slick Rock: 1/5 mile (round trip). Trail head: Bull Pen Rd. Features: Granite rock outcrop covered with mosses. The hike is a short one, but the summit offers and impressive view of the mountains. Because the slope faces directly east, this is a beautiful place to watch a sunrise.

Hurrah Ridge-West Fork Trails: 2.1 miles (round trip). Trail head: End of Blue Valley Rd. (FS79). Features: The Hurrah Ridge trail is part of an historic trail used by Blue Valley residents to drive livestock up to grazing grounds in "The Flats" of Scaly Mountain.

Whiteside Mountain: 2 miles (round trip). Trail Head: Whiteside Mt. parking area. Features: This moderate loop trail offers spectacular views from a high ridge top, 2,100' above the valley floor. Whiteside Mt. (4900') has the highest sheer cliffs in the Eastern US (400 - 750').

Cliffside Lake Recreation Area: There are numerous hiking trails in this area, including an interpretive loop trail describing shrubs and trees along the Cliff-top Vista Trail. The half-mile loop around the lake offers hikers an easy walk that is quite level.

Ellicott's Rock - Bad Creek Trails: 7 miles each (round trip) Trail Head: Bull Pen Rd. Features: Ellicott's Rock is a rock embedded in the Chattooga River bank bearing the letters NC, carved by surveyor Andrew Ellicott.

Fodderstack Poplar: 100 yards  (round trip). Trail head: Rich Gap Road. Features: Large yellow tulip popular, the second largest tree in the state and third largest in the East.

Whitewater Falls Trail: 1/2 mile (round trip). Trail head Whitewater Falls parking lot. Featuring Whitewater Falls the highest in the eastern U.S., 411 feet and is an easy walk on the paved trail.

Glen Falls: 1.4 miles (one way; 15 min. to first falls). Trail head: Glen Falls parking lot. Trail end: Forest Service Rd. (79C) in Blue Valley. Features: Three cascading waterfalls and a beautiful stream. One of the advantages of this trail is that you can return after seeing the first or second waterfall, and still have an enjoyable walk.

The Narrows: 4 miles (round trip). Trail head: Whiteside Cove Rd. Features: Chattooga River forced into a narrow channel, cascading river, swimming hole.

Chattooga Loop Trail: 2 miles (round trip). Trail head: Horse Cove Rd. Features: A pleasant walk through the woods and then along the river, ending with a spectacular view of rock formations from the Bull Pen Bridge, known as "The Iron Bridge."

Notice: This is information only. To ensure an enjoyable hike, we strongly recommend you contact the US Forest Service at (828) 526-3765 or visit their office. They have additional information, maps and brochures. Please use caution; although these trails, waterfalls, and scenic areas are beautiful to see, they can be very dangerous.


Bridal Veil Falls: This fall cascades over US 64/28 3 miles from town. Cars drive under the 120 ft. waterfall.

Bust Your Butt Falls: Approx. 7 miles west of Highlands

Cullasaja Falls:  On Hwy.64 / 9 miles from town, it is one of the most Picturesque falls in North Carolina. It is a 250 ft cascade.

Dry Falls On US 64/28, 4 miles from Highlands. A pleasant walk from the highway, the path goes behind the 75 ft. waterfall.

Glen Falls: Located off a dirt road 3 miles south of Highlands on 106S. The turn-off is marked by a U.S.F.S. sign. Glen Falls is composed of a series of 3 large falls dropping approximately 60ft. each on the east fork of Overflow Creek in the Blue Valley area. The one-mile foot trail down to the falls is steep.

Kalakaleskies: Located off US 64/28 west, 2.5 miles northwest of Highlands on the Cullasaja River. The Sequoyah Dam is at the head of the falls. There are 18 small falls within a quarter mile paralleling US 64/28.

Lower Satulah Falls - Clear Creek Falls - A high narrow waterfall visible from the overlook approximately 2 1/2 miles from Highlands Main St.

Rainbow Falls: Hwy. 64 east to Hwy. 281 south

Turtleback Falls: Hwy. 64 east to Hwy. 281 south

Whitewater Falls: Aprox. 20 miles from Highlands, these falls are the highest in the eastern US at 411 ft. A pleasant 45 minute drive, many visitors enjoy driving through Horse Cove and crossing over the Chattooga River on their way to Whitewater.

Scenic Overlooks

Blue Valley Overlook - Located 3 1/2 miles SW of Highlands on NC Hwy. 106s. Looking from Blue Valley Overlook, you get the feeling that the whole world is made of mountains.

Osage Overlook - Hwy. 106s across from Bartram Trail entrance, the view from this vantage is of Scaly and Osage Mountains.

Satulah Overlook - South of Main Street on Hwy. 28s, a spectacular view of Satulah Mountain, Hidden Falls and Blue Valley is to be found.

Whiteside Overlook - Located 5 1/2 miles from Highlands on Hwy.64e. Looking out over Whiteside, you will be faced with the majesty and austerity of the mountains.