Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Bridal Veil, Dry Falls, and More with NCWaterfalls.com

Those living in or visiting western North Carolina who want to see a few of the 1,500+ waterfalls flowing around the mountains have a great resource in ncwaterfalls.com. Rich Stevenson, the site's creator, combs through the mountains on a regular basis, visiting known falls, and sometimes, discovering new ones.

I've researched destinations using Rich's Index of waterfalls, but last winter, I discovered he also groups falls by location on a page titled Places to Go: www.ncwaterfalls.com/info1.htm

This feature came in handy last winter when we made an unexpected trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Since hiking wasn't on on the itinerary—for that trip—I'd left our field guides at home. But once there, we couldn't resist taking an extra day to explore.

Destination? Nantahala Forest. However, with only a day at our disposal, we needed to make the most of our time.

Places to Go helped. In it, Rich breaks North Carolina into sections and lists falls within each area. I was familiar with the names of several falls, and after a few minutes of research, we picked three. All located off Highway 64, and all of which we could view from our car.


First was Bridal Falls. Visitors to this waterfall can usually drive beneath the cascade, which tumbles down onto a bed of smooth rocks creating a rainbow. At the time of our visit, chunks of icy snow blocked the way, so we parked and walked around.

And behind.


Next came Dry Falls. With its parking lot, ramp, steps, and overlook, this falls is a convenient stop for visitors.


While writing this post, I was reminded visitors can walk behind this waterfall as well, and according to Rich's website, the steps lead to a trail behind the falls. For reasons lost over time, we didn't on that chilly day, so check out the photos on Rich's website: www.ncwaterfalls.com/dry1.htm

Last on this day of roadside waterfalling was Cullasaja Falls. Set back in the woods, it's easy to miss this cascade while watching the road, and there's only one place to park. To assists visitors, Rich provides some instructions on his website: www.ncwaterfalls.com/cull1.htm



Dangerous Section of Hwy 64. Pull Completely Off the Road!
Rich stresses the fact that in places, Highway 64 is a winding, two-lane road and thus dangerous. We experienced that near Bridal Veil. When I crossed the road to take photos, before I reached the shoulder, a car whipped around the curve sending me scurrying.

While visiting Cullasaja, use extreme caution. As Rich points out, truckers need both lanes to navigate the curves. And, as we discovered, some drivers take those corners like NASCAR drivers a fast track, so pull completely off the road.

As always, while visiting these and all watefalls, have fun but please be careful! And before you go, don't forget to check ncwaterfalls.com.

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