9/2/2009 - Scenic trips to see waterfalls, foliage in Western N.C.
by The Canadian Press
ASHEVILLE, N.C. Some of the prettiest places to see fall foliage in Western North Carolina also offer scenic views of waterfalls.
The Blue Ridge Parkway will take you to U.S. 276, where you'll find Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock. The water in the natural 18-metre waterslide at Sliding Rock is still warm enough to try in early fall.
For hikers, a five-kilometre trail in DuPont State Forest will take in three waterfalls: Hooker, Triple and the 46-metre High Falls.
At Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 418.8, the Yellowstone Prong loop trail leads to two waterfalls, with spectacular fall colour. Second Falls is just half a kilometre from the parking area.
In the Nantahala National Forest, adjacent to Gorges State Park, you'll find the 46-metre-high Rainbow Falls, with views of the falls from the front, bottom, side, and top. It's one of four waterfalls on a three-kilometre stretch of the river. Access includes a a new hiking trail from Gorges State Park.
Just 13 kilometres from Gorges State Park is Whitewater Falls, in the Jocassee Gorge area just before the South Carolina state line. For an excellent view of the falls, follow the paved almost half-kilometre walkway to the upper overlook.
Linville Falls, at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 316.3, can be seen from four overlooks on the Erwins View Trail, 2.6 kilometres round-trip.
Crabtree Falls, at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 339.5, near Linville Falls, is accessed by a four-kilometre loop hiking trail through an old-growth forest.
Hickory Nut Falls, a 122-metre waterfall in Chimney Rock State Park, can be reached from a 1.2-kilometre walk through hardwood forests of oak, hickory, maple and basswood.
One of the region's least-visited waterfalls is Glen Falls, in Highlands, a 2.4-kilometre round-trip walk through the Nantahala National Forest.
For details on these waterfalls and other activities, lodging and dining in Western North Carolina's Blue Ridge area, visit http://www.romanticasheville.com/waterfalls.htm.