Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Highlands with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I live up here and this is my favorite hike to take especially when fall hits.

Beautiful! Definitely worth the stop.

Really great hike. Good trail for beginners as there are not many difficult parts to it, but one is still rewarded with breathtaking views. I suggest going around noon or in the afternoon as in the morning the views are a little limited.

I must see what an adventure

This trail offers a steep hike through a nice forest to a series of beautiful waterfalls. However, there is very limited space available for viewing these falls, and the crowds detract from any possibility of a wilderness experience. The falls are very popular and located just outside of the Highlands city limits. If you hike this trail and want a chance to enjoy the falls, get there very early.

Great hike especially with younger hikers. Awesome views and a real sense of you made it to the top for the young ones.

hiking
9 days ago

Recent monsoons have made the flow twice the normal flow!

hiking
10 days ago

Down hill is easy. Uphill is hard. A series of falls with limited viewing.

Clockwise is the easier route.

Good shady trail. Good amount of flowing water at various points along the trail. The falls are great and a nice cool break before finishing up the hike.

peaceful and very well maintained trail.

hiking
13 days ago

Hiked 5 days before today and after 3 days of intense rain. Easy hike to enjoy the pool at the base of the falls.

Heavily shaded. Took about 1.5 hrs counterclockwise.
Stopped to read trail markers and enjoy ranger falls.

hiking
14 days ago

I have no clue how on earth this “trail” is easy. Extremely subtle entrance, as in, hop the rail or you’ll miss it. Not for the faint of heart, but 100% worth risking your life along the slippery slopes for that jaw dropping view!

on Dry Falls Trail

walking
14 days ago

If you are in the area, this is a must stop! There are steps down to the falls but it is so worth it. My 8 year old loved it and said it was his favorite of all the falls we have visited. Being able to walk behind it, is definitely fun. The recent rains made it very full and beautiful. I’m sure it’s that way even without the rain and would highly recommend this stop.

Relatively short hike, rocky near the water, but well worth it

walking
14 days ago

Hardly any walk, well defined, and beautiful scenery!

The parking lot is big but fills quickly so arrive early. There is a short hike up switchbacks and stairs to get to the top quickly or a long gravel road to get there more easily but takes longer. I'm 60 and found the switchbacks to be easy and the best route. I went on an overcast day and found that visibility was 0 feet when I got to the many viewing areas along the SE face of the mountain. However, after lingering for 15 minutes the haze lifted and visibility stretched to the horizon after about 30 minutes. The main trail is well guarded by safety fences but the side trails are not so watch children. I'm posting the hazy pictures but also some unique photos of the mountain taken off-trail. There are many gated communities in the area but the shot of the mountain over the lake was taken on Whiteside Cove Road at 35* 04.035'N and 083* 07.194'W. The clear and sunny shots were taken at a place called "The Spa" along SR-64 between Cashiers and Sapphire. (It is a beautiful place that is not gated and the people were friendly.)

hiking
16 days ago

Dry Falls is located along SR-64 / Highland Road just NW of Highlands, NC. I was VERY impressed by this trail. there was ample paved parking, facilities, a cement trail with guardrails down to and behind the falls, an amazingly pretty waterfall, and no admission. From car to falls is about 10 minutes and the views along the trail of the falls are breathtaking. I went just after a rain so the falls had more flow but I suspect that this waterfall is beautiful year 'round.

hiking
16 days ago

Cullasaja Falls is on the Cullasaja River that flows alongside SR-64 / Highland Road. It is on the south side of the road and is not marked so you won't see it unless you're looking for it. There is room for only 2 cars along the road at the viewpoint. As the day was rainy and the step hillside was wet I decided not to try climbing down the hill but am posting a few pictures taken from the roadside. (In my opinion your time is better and more safely spent at Dry Falls just up the road.)

Great exercise. Limited viewpoints was only negative

Good, quick loop. The falls are worth the trip and the diversity of trees along the way made for a pretty enjoyable time. We went right at the loop junction, and we were glad that we did. Either way, this is a good loop.

100% worth the stop on the side of the road

Nice family hike with our 15, 10 and 2 year old. A lot of hikers for A Friday morning. Easy hike up the gravel trail. Great views along the ridge line and nice hike down the other side. Once you reach the top, make sure you follow the trail to see the views along the ridge even if you come back down the gravel, easy trail.

Great short trail. We walked up via the gravel trail then back by way of the tougher trail. Gorgeous views! Definitely walk around Highlands and drive a short way (.5 miles) to see Dry Falls. Beautiful falls on the side of the road.

Great Short Distant hike! Beautiful views!! Read the informative signs. Very Cool!!

Beautiful forest walk for the first 1.7 miles. The final 1.1 miles wind through a wildflower packed field. We parked in the flat mountain lot which made this hike a 2.8 mile loop. Saw a few others on the trail on a Saturday.

Total of 91 steps each way. Beautiful gorge and falls. fun to walk behind

91 steps down, 91 steps up. Beautiful gorge and falls. Fun to walk behind.

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