A 41-mile paved route through the resort towns of Highlands, Cashiers, and Lake Toxaway via Whitewater Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. From the town of Highlands, this drive winds through what could be considered Waterfall Central in North Carolina and adjoining areas of South Carolina and Georgia. Transylvania, Macon, and Jackson Counties have the highest concentration of waterfalls in North Carolina due to a fortuitous combination of geology and climate. High mountain plateaus and good rainfall allow decent-sized streams to build up here.
Hard metamorphic and igneous rocks resist the leveling processes of erosion, and geologic folding and faulting have created steep escarpments. The combination of good-sized streams, durable rock, and high escarpments lead to great waterfalls. Special attractions: Nantahala National Forest, Whitewater Falls, Toxaway Falls, Glen Falls, Whitesides Mountain, Ellicott Rock Wilderness, Horsepasture Wild and Scenic River, hiking, fishing, scenic views, fall colors, and rock climbing. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
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