The town of Highlands, in the U.S. state of North Carolina, lies on a mountain plateau, at an altitude of 4118 feet. Highlands is a mountainous town and is surrounded by Nantahala National Forest. There are nature and hiking trails, scenic waterfalls, lakes, art galleries, restaurants and shopping centers, offering plenty of outdoor activities for tourists.
Dry Falls plunges from a height of 75 ft and is one of the most scenic among the many waterfalls on the Cullasaja River. The falls gives you the rare opportunity of walking behind the waterfall and remain dry. During heavy rains, chances of you continuing dry are less. Located on US Highway 64, visitors can park their vehicles and walk the short road till they get close to the falls. Those who are fortunate enough can get a glimpse of the rainbow. In winters, it is a thrill to see the ice formations.
Bridal Veil Falls
Another famous fall on the Cullasaja River is the Bridal Veil Falls. It is the only waterfall, behind which you can drive a vehicle. Tourists can also walk behind the falls and get close to the cascading waters of the fall. This 60 ft waterfall is located on US Highway 64 and 2.5 miles from Highlands. Though the volume of water flowing is not high, the falls are spectacular. People can park their cars and watch the waterfall from a distance.
Cullasaja River Gorge
The Cullasaja River Gorge is a series of waterfalls that can be seen all along the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway, which passes through Nantahala National Forest in Highlands. Tourists can walk behind the roaring waters of Dry Falls, drive behind the thin cascading waters of Bridal Veil Falls, see the spectacular drop of Cullasaja Falls, or swim in the deep pool at the bottom of Quarry Falls. It is perfect for photography and to enjoy the tranquil forest.
The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse at Highlands
The mountain town of Highlands in North Carolina saw a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Many saw this rare event from scenic spots like Whiteside Mountain, Sunset Rock, Sequoyah Falls and a few other places. Facilities like parking, lodging, outdoor seating, vantage points, restrooms were provided, along with safety precautions for viewing the eclipse. It was a golden opportunity for photographers, astronomers, locals, and tourists to come to Highlands.
The Cullasaja Falls is the last of the many falls on the Cullasaja River, and also the most beautiful. The falls consists of a series of cascades and drops into a large pool at the bottom. The height of the waterfall is 200 ft and can be easily viewed from several spots from US Highway 64. Acute bends on the highway, sheer rock cliffs, steep roads, massive force of water and spray, all make it very dangerous to go near the falls. However, experienced hikers and brave people can make to the bottom and enjoy swimming in the pool.