Gorges State Park, Gorgeous Way to Reconnect With Nature

http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/gorg/main.phpGorges State Park is about an hour and 20 min from us (about 60 miles) and is part of the Southern Loop Day Trip we made up for our guests. The day trip to the park from Waynesville is a great way to see a little bit of everything, and gives you  a lot of options to see a number of our Western North Carolina attractions.  It starts with with a stop in the town of Franklin, continues along the beautiful Rt. 64 Mountain Waters Scenic Highway for some of the best Western North Carolina waterfall viewing and before you get to the park there is a stop off in the towns of Highlands and Cashiers if you want to do some shopping, or just get a bite to eat. We asked Melissa to check out the hiking, because we ran out of time the day we mapped out the day trip.  (Someone has to earn a living around here!) A fairly new North Carolina state park, Gorges has a very nice visitors center with a paved parking lot, and something I really appreciate restrooms!

Melissa found the trails to be beautifully maintained and according to the park information, along those trails is an abundance of rare wildlife and plant species.  It never ceases to amaze all of us how many rich, natural resources our area has!  With a number of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, fishing and the beautiful waterfalls, this North Carolina park is a must do when visiting the mountains of Western North Carolina. 

The trail Melissa took was Rainbow Falls Trail, which is 3 miles out and back, well marked, and an easy to moderate trail.

There are conflicting reports online, but Rainbow Falls itself is anywhere from 125′-150′ high and is obviously breathtaking (Niagara Falls is 167′)!

According to Melissa, the trail takes you right on top of the falls. ( I want to experience that Lion King moment!)  After you make it to the top, there is a skinny trail between 2 rocks, and if you continue on the trail you can get to another waterfall, Turtleback Falls.

No doubt we’ll all be going back several more times to Gorges until we get to see everything.  But this week, as Glenn and I tackle the trail (look for Glenn’s photos on Facebook), while Melissa will be tackling the mountains of laundry!

Oh well, it’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it! 


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