Winter In The Land Of Waterfalls
Thundering cascades coursing down the sides of North Carolina’s mountains set hearts to pounding in the spring. Hearts and rapids both slow when winter turns mountain falls into a mystical ice sculpture garden.
One of the most amazing waterfalls anytime of year is Rainbow Falls. Its constant mist in warm weather sends rainbows vaulting toward the sun, giving the waterfall its name. During winter, the spray congeals on everything it touches, turning the trail icy and perilous. Rainbow Falls, also known as High Falls, is on the Horsepasture River in Transylvania County.
More than 200 waterfalls are located in Transylvania County, many of them accessible off what is known as the waterfall byway: Highway 64. Numerous waterfalls along this route are visible from the road, making it a great way to see the frozen falls in winter from the warmth of your car.
Begin in Rosman at the juncture of Hwy 64 and Hwy 215. Head west on 64, and soon you’ll come upon Toxaway Falls. Pass through Cashiers (pronounced Cash-ers), and soon you’ll come to the beautiful 120-foot Bridal Veil Falls.
A very impressive cascade is 411-foot Whitewater Falls – arguably the highest in the eastern United States. No other in the east has the combination of water volume, height and visibility. Whitewater Falls has been designated a North Carolina Natural Heritage Area. It is reached by taking Hwy 281 south out of Cashiers. A short, handicapped accessible trail makes the falls easy to access from the parking lot.
Linville Falls, one of the best-known waterfalls in the Appalachian Mountains, marks the beginning of Linville Gorge, often called the Grand Canyon of the East. Its walls rise up nearly 2,000 feet in places. You reach Linville Falls via the Blue Ridge Parkway.
No matter where you travel in our high country, there is probably a waterfall nearby.
added: December 28, 2008
updated: December 31, 2008
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