Lower Whitewater Falls Via Foothills Trail

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Nantahala National Forest

Lower Whitewater Falls Via Foothills Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cashiers, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,568 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

paved

river

views

waterfall

This hike visits both overlooks: Upper Whitewater Falls and Lower Whitewater Falls. Overall, a great hike with a mix of woodland, lush fern areas, river views, and of course two gorgeous waterfalls. About the hike: You can approach this hike via two different trailheads, depending on where you park. You could follow the route on this listing, parking at the Upper Whitewater Falls trailhead (maintained by the Forest Service) or you could access via the Lower Whitewater Falls trailhead located off of Bad Creek Rd (maintained by Duke Energy Co). The advantage starting at the Lower Whitewater Falls trailhead is you are doing the steepest ascend/descend in the middle of the hike as opposed to saving it for the end of the hike. The hike from the river up to the Upper Whitewater Falls overlook is steep and makes up most of the 1568 foot gain on this hike. The other somewhat significant descend/ascend is near the Lower Whitewater Falls overlook. Otherwise, the portion along the river is relatively flat with a few stairs.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail. Very steep at the start and end, but worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Beaut hike. Parking is at Duke Energy lot. Every other hiker we saw was actually hiking the entire Foothills Trail. There are bridges, ladders and boulders. You end at the upper falls platform then wind your way downhill next to the river the while easy back. Pack a lunch.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
10 months ago

This hike visits both overlooks; Upper Whitewater Falls and Lower Whitewater Falls. Overall a great hike with a mix of woodland, lush fern areas, river views, and of course two gorgeous waterfalls. About the hike: You can approach this hike via two different trailheads, depending on where you park. You could follow the route on this listing, parking at the Upper Whitewater Falls trailhead (maintained by Forest Service) or you could access via the Lower Whitewater Falls trailhead located off of Bad Creek Rd (maintained by Duke Energy Co). The advantage starting at the Lower Whitewater Falls trailhead is you are doing the steepest ascend/descend in the middle of the hike as opposed to saving it for the end of the hike. The hike from the river up to the Upper Whitewater Falls overlook is steep and makes up most of the 1568 foot gain on this hike. The other somewhat significant descend/ascend is near the Lower Whitewater Falls overlook. Otherwise, the portion along the river is relatively flat with a few stairs.

hiking
bugs
muddy
Sun Mar 10 2019

Fun trail!! Initial elevation change is a bit challenging (both down and up). Note: parents came with dogs and had to turn around. The stairs are very steep at the beginning and were not suitable for our dogs.

hiking
Sun Feb 24 2019

If it is foggy, come back another day. First visited 2/23 and it was too foggy to even see the Upper Falls. Returned 2/24 when it was clear. Absolutely beautiful. Not really a hike rather a nice walk, but well worth it.

hiking
Sun Jul 29 2018

Started near Lake Jocassee and hiked along the Whitewater River until we reached the falls. Very easy with clearly marked trails and stairs for some sections. 7.6 miles was a non-issue for this dominantly flat stroll through the woods. Video Review of Falls: https://youtu.be/M-m6QBo4Wa0

hiking
Tue Feb 20 2018

Beautiful hike to an awesome, powerful waterfall, well worth the hike!

hiking
Fri Oct 27 2017

A few nice sightseeing areas. Nice waterfall. Nice picnic areas once at the bottom. Easy hike

Mon Jan 09 2017

Stunning views of a powerful waterfall! Venture down the steps for better views!

hiking
Wed Nov 02 2016

Great hike.

Sat Sep 17 2016

Beautiful view from viewing platform! An easy and short walk on a paved road and then about a 100 steps down to the viewing platform.

Sun Jul 03 2016

Just a beautiful site. Easy walk. 100 steps to viewing platform are worth it.

hiking
Mon Sep 08 2014

Easy half mile walk on a paved walkway to view the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies. 400feet! Magnificent!

Fri Jul 25 2014

Short and easily accessible!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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