Best river trails in Highlands, North Carolina

1,082 Reviews
Explore the most popular river 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.
Map of river trails in Highlands, North Carolina
Top trails (17)
#1 - Dry Falls Trail
Nantahala National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(279)
Length: 0.3 mi • Est. 7 m
This trail goes behind a waterfall. You will get wet.Show more
#2 - Secret Falls Trail
Highlands, North Carolina
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(176)
Length: 1.3 mi • Est. 42 m
#3 - Ranger Falls Loop Trail
Nantahala National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(240)
Length: 2.4 mi • Est. 1 h 21 m
Please check in with park before leaving. Trails are sometimes closed after severely rainy conditions because of flooding, mud, or downed trees. Also, please read directions in the "Getting There" tab. Google Maps will not bring you to the second parking lot where the Ranger Falls Loop Trailhead is.Show more
#4 - Cullasaja Falls
Nantahala National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(71)
Length: 0.2 mi • Est. 5 m
You can see Cullasaja Falls from a very small pullout on US-64. There is room for four cars; make sure you pull all the way off the road. You have to climb over the guardrail to get to the trail to the bottom, which is unofficial and extremely steep. The rocks are very slippery and this trail is not for the faint of heart. Someone has installed a rope, which helps a lot; consider wearing gloves. The trail is lined with poison ivy and heavily strewn with litter. All in all, the falls are spectacular but getting to them isn't very pleasant.Show more
#5 - Chinquapin Mountain Trail
Nantahala National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(110)
Length: 3.9 mi • Est. 2 h 10 m
There are two great overlooks on this trail.Show more
#6 - Chattooga Cliffs
Nantahala National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(39)
Length: 3.6 mi • Est. 1 h 55 m
#7 - Chattooga River Trail from Bull Pen Road
Nantahala National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(36)
Length: 6.5 mi • Est. 3 h 8 m
#8 - Chattooga Gorge Trail
Nantahala National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(22)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 40 m
#9 - Chattooga Cliffside Trail
Nantahala National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(20)
Length: 4.4 mi • Est. 1 h 47 m
#10 - Waterfalls on Scotsman Creek
Nantahala National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 1.9 mi • Est. 45 m
Short but strenuous to Waterfall on Scotsman Creek and Upper Waterfall on Scotsman Creek.Show more
Showing results 1 - 10 of 17