Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. Raleigh, NC 27699-1615. Water levels can rise unexpectedly and even the best swimmers may be swept downstream by strong currents. Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. The falls is located on the Horsepasture River. The hike trails the river’s banks, following the river upstream as it tumbles over a rocky bed. The trail within the Gorges State Park … This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of the Friends of Gorges State Park. Cascading down from a near-vertical cliff, Rainbow Falls looks like it was created expressly for photographers. Gorges State Park -- Rainbow Falls Trail (6-2-12) Gorges State Park is North Carolina's westernmost State Park and home to some of the most rugged and variable scenery in the state. #historictoxaway #storiedcommunity #playstaytoxaway One of the newest parks in western NC, Gorges was purchased by the state from Duke Energy Corporation in 1999. LOCATION:near Cashiers and Highlands, NC in Gorges State Park, PACK:our Osprey day pack and our hiking gear list, OFFICIAL MAP: Nat Geo 780 Trails Illustrated Map (find it at Trailful Outdoor Co.). Gorges State Park boasts more than 23 miles of trails and most of them feature unparalleled access to water views. Walk-up camping are available only at certain loops at Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake and at backcountry campsites with self-registration boxes at trailheads. VISIT OUR SHOP ABOUT US OUR STORY CONTACT US. For campgrounds with 24-hour access, please observe the Night-Time Public Closure Period guidelines and do not leave the campground between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The hike is a 3 mile round trip and rated as strenuous. Rainbow Falls is a waterfall in Western North Carolina, located near Brevard. This includes the roadside overlook. Photo by Max Harlynking. Gorges State Park is one of the newest in North Carolina’s state park system, and with an annual rainfall of over 80 inches, the park classifies as a temperate rain forest. May 29, 2019 - Explore David Freeze's board "gorges state park near asheville" on Pinterest. Two days of snow had dumped over a foot of the white stuff on the park… Just around the bend from the 150-foot Rainbow Falls is another must-see: Sidepocket Falls. Schoolhouse Falls. One of the highlights of Gorges State Park is Toxaway Falls, which you will drive over is … A proposal to route the flow of the river around the falls … From the Grassy Ridge parking lot, the Rainbow Falls trail starts out as gravel, but then starts … History. The hike departs from the Grassy Ridge trailhead in Gorges State Park, near Cashiers, NC (view maps and driving directions). Rainbow Falls NC: the hike. The 7,500-acre park in Lake Toxaway is known for long-distance trail hiking, biking, and horseback riding along the Horsepasture River. This state park might as well be called "Gorgeous" State Park due to its unique collection of waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock cliffs and one of the greatest concentrations of rare and unique plant and animal species to be found in the eastern United States. Times are posted on a sign right after you enter the park or look on the official Gorges State Park web site. Gorges State Park is located on the Blue Ridge Escarpment, where the mountains end and the Piedmont begins. This adventure begins in North Carolina’s Gorges State Park, following a moderate 1.7-mile route through a waterfall-filled valley. Hike to the towering 150-foot Rainbow Falls, Turtleback Falls and Drift Falls through a wildflower-filled forest in North Carolina’s Gorges State Park. It is on Pisgah National Forest land just outside Gorges State Park. This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. ... Park at the Grassy Ridge Parking Area in Gorges State Park and look for the large signs and trail maps. Visitor centers and park offices are open, and masks or face coverings are required to enter. When people hear Gorges State Park, they normally think of Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls. The hike reaches a trail junction at .3 mile, turning right to follow the Rainbow Falls Trail westbound. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. Please always practice good trail etiquette. You can also go to this section of my site for more info on Gorges State Park. Several more smaller falls and some more scenery are located above Rainbow Falls, in case you're up for a longer hike of 4 miles round-trip. Panthertown Valley. We saw some teenagers sliding down one of the smaller waterfalls, … A short side trail departs on the trail’s left at 1.4 miles, leading to the Hidden Falls waterfall. The river’s rushing roar becomes louder, amplifying through the forest. This popular trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park and the Pisgah Ranger District. Moisture is squeezed out of the atmosphere during a southerly flow, resulting in average rainfall in excess of 80 inches per year. The information kiosk lists the Rainbow Falls … This trail access is at the Grassy Ridge Trailhead. Chestnut Mountain Road will be Closed from January 16th - March 9th 2021 for Road Repairs. If you have any questions, contact the park office at (828) 966-9099. The trail ducks back into the forest, continuing its climb. Have sunlight and energy left to spare? At under four miles, round trip, it’s a view-packed hike that’s filled with photo-worthy waterfalls. Larger outdoor facilities with a maximum capacity of more than 50 people are also not available for reservation. The chapel is usually open to the public and allows for some great pictures of the valley. Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall. (And the property border is reportedly patrolled: violators face stiff fines and penalties for edging close to the waterfall.). Gorges State Park is location on NC281 South, less than a mile from the intersection with US64 in Lake Toxaway. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. On sunny days, […] Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use! The hike descends southbound on the gravel-paved Grassy Ridge Trail, meandering through dense thickets of gnarly-branched mountain laurel. Raymond Fisher primitive tent campsites can be reserved online or campers can bring exact change ($15 per night per site) and register in-person at the trailhead. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! We're in our late 60s. See more ideas about gorges state park, turtleback falls, pisgah national forest. Eric Champlin is a creative director and photographer who loves to explore southeast. He's the co-owner of Trailful Outdoor Co, a locally-owned hiking outfitter shop in Hiawassee in the Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail. Gorges State Park, Cashiers Picture: Rainbow falls - Check out Tripadvisor members' 1,506 candid photos and videos. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. The waterfall spills over a nearly 150-foot cliff, easily viewable from the top of the grassy, wildflower-cover slope in a broad clearing on the trail. The trail within the Gorges State Park is better tended than the lengthier section in the Nantahala National Forest. While the trailhead is in Gorges about a mile from the visitor center, the waterfalls are in Pisgah Forest. Keep Reading. Thank you for following these guidelines and helping us keep you, your fellow visitors and our staff safe as we open facilities at our parks. One of the park rangers came out … 1615 Mail Service Center From here, the hike makes an optional .3 mile trek to Drift Falls, the fourth waterfall in this short stretch of the river. COVID-19 information for parks under Modified Stay at Home Order, Maintain a social distance of 6 feet, regardless of the behavior of others, Bring a mask or face covering; they are required to be worn inside buildings and when social distancing cannot be implemented, Share the trail — warn other trail users of your presence, step to the side or wait at the end of a bridge, Do not enter restrooms until others have cleared out and please be patient when staff is cleaning them, Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, Do not share equipment like phones or cameras with other visitors, If the park seems crowded when you arrive, come back another time, Stay at home if you are exhibiting symptoms. Gorges State Park -- Rainbow Falls Trail (6-2-12) Gorges State Park is North Carolina's westernmost State Park and home to some of the most rugged and variable scenery in the state. And along the way, a short side trail visits Hidden Falls, a short waterfall that tumbles over a blocky cliff framed in flowering rhododendron. At mile 13, watch for the signs for the park, and turn right onto the May Bridge; turn left onto Leudinghaus Road. The Horsepasture River pours over a wide, angular outcrop into a pool that’s bordered by nearly vertical rock and framed in blooming rhododendron. This enormous waterfall tumbles down a towering, near-vertical cliff in the Nantahala National Forest near Gorges State Park. Gorges State Park is the access point to hike to one of our favorite waterfalls, Rainbow Falls, and nearby Turtleback Falls. One of the newest parks in western NC, Gorges was purchased by the state from Duke Energy Corporation in 1999. Parking is convenient and the trails are well marked. The park is located on the Blue Ridge Escarpment, an area where elevations rise 2,000 feet in only four miles. Gorges State Park is set in the midst of plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and a high concentration of rare species, and exploration of this unique environment often begins at the expansive visitor center with its museum-quality … More waterfall adventures at Gorges State Park. He’s also the co-founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures. This is … It’s also home to towering Rainbow Falls, which showcases a 125-foot waterfall which gently mists visitors from the observation deck. (Wear your mask!). The trail leaves the visitor center headed upstream. Moisture is squeezed out of the atmosphere during a southerly flow, resulting in average rainfall … Rainbow Falls is situated below Pretty Place Chapel at YMCA Camp Greenville. The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue … An excellent 3-mile round trip hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State Park access area. While these two vistas certainly are beautiful to look at, they tend to get crowded due to their … Did you have trouble accessing the trail, or notice some recent trail updates or storm damage? Top Things to Do in Gorges State Park. Rainbow Falls is an incredible 150-foot waterfall that’s located in the Pisgah National Forest but visitors reach the trailhead through Gorges State Park. This is now the only legal access for Rainbow Falls and the other falls on the Horsepasture River. The park is located on the Blue Ridge Escarpment, an area where elevations rise 2,000 feet in only four miles. It is on Pisgah National Forest land just outside Gorges State Park. Just around the bend from the 150-foot Rainbow Falls is another must-see: Sidepocket Falls. Gorges State Park, Sapphire: Address, Phone Number, Gorges State Park Reviews: 4.5/5. And check out the full list of our favorite Highlands and Cashiers hiking trails for even more adventures. (Wear your mask!). Taking Children. Rainbow Falls. Old Mitchell Trail & Mount Mitchell High Loop, Mount Mitchell Summit & Balsam Nature Trail, Best fall foliage hikes near Asheville and in the NC mountains, Linville Gorge hiking, camping & adventure guide, Blue Ridge Parkway hikes: our favorite summit views, Roan Mountain & the Roan Highlands on the Appalachian Trail, 2019 Fall color forecast for Asheville, NC, favorite Highlands and Cashiers hiking trails. Her description was accurate. 9:00am to 5:00pm Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. The hike departs from the Grassy Ridge trailhead in Gorges State Park, near Cashiers, NC ( view maps and driving directions ). At this point a spur trail heads left and stars to descend toward the Horsepasture River. Visitor's Center and Trail to Rainbow Falls The Visitor's Center is closed because of the Covid-19 virus, but trail maps are available at the door and the restrooms are open. And, as always, please pack out everything you pack in and leave no trace: let’s preserve the trail’s gorgeous beauty for future adventures. The trail crosses the official Gorges State Park line at .8 mile, leaving the park and entering the Nantahala National Forest. This was helpful because we were wondering about the "Strenuous" designation given to the trail to Rainbow Falls. To get here from … To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty. While the waterfalls themselves are technically outside the State Park boundary in Pisgah National Forest, the trail head in Gorges is the best way to reach them. Rainbow Falls is a gorgeous 150 ft. tall waterfall. Rainbow Falls is on the Horsepasture River which is not in the Gorges State Park boundaries - it's in the Pisgah National Forest. The falls are located on Nantahala National Forest property, but accessed from Gorges State Park's … Another of the prime draws for Gorges State park is the Rainbow Falls Trail and Rainbow Falls. So perfect is the backdrop that shutterbugs would be hard-pressed to take a bad picture. The adventure reaches the trailhead at just under 4 miles, completing the hike. Framed by a lush forest and a steep, wildflower-covered meadow, the waterfall tumbles into a deep pool littered with giant boulders. The transaction created a 2,900-acre gameland managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and a 7,100-acre state park with plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and one of the greatest concentrations of rare … East from I-5: Take exit 77 and travel west for 16 miles. The picnic shelters are not currently available for reservations. East from I-5: Take exit 77 and travel west for 16 miles. This waterfall is not to be confused with Rainbow Falls in nearby Gorges State Park. Some two dozen waterfalls cascade through its deep, rocky gorges and access to much of the park is difficult at best. Don’t miss the hike on the Rainbow Falls Trail, a hike to a trio of beautiful waterfalls including the tumbling, towering cascades of Rainbow Falls. None of the five names falls on the hike are. © 2014 - 2020 Trailful Outdoor Co. // Made in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Turtleback Falls is a popular swimming hole with a natural water slide, especially refreshing in the summer. Rainbow Falls is a waterfall in Western North Carolina, located near Brevard. Rainbow Falls is a beauty. It's home to rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and one of the greatest concentrations of rare and unique species in the eastern United States. It is not recommended that anyone swim in the Horse Pasture River. It’s also home to towering Rainbow Falls… Campgrounds remain open under the order. Rainbow Falls is without a doubt the biggest draw in Gorges and the waterfall isn’t even in Gorges. At mile 13, watch for the signs for the park… Gorges State Park is just off Highway 281 about 1 mile south of Highway 64 between Lake Toxaway and Sapphire North Carolina. Camping reservations must be done online. After a drop of nearly 150 feet, the waterfall crashes loudly, exploding into enormous clouds of mist. There are supposedly side trails that will take you from the falls to the top of the mountain and into the camp. Campers and day-visitors can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, scheduled summer tours through the gorge, tent and trailer campsites, picnic facilities and excellent fis… The park’s rushing rivers, mighty waterfalls, abundant wildflowers, and lush, green forest are a beautiful result of the park’s abundant rain. The hike continues the ascent, climbing wood stairs as it arcs around a bend. Hike to Rainbow Falls and explore the surrounding area - Turtleback Falls, a 20 ft drop over a curved rock, is just .3 miles upriver along the trail. Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out. Located in the Pisgah National Forest, adjacent to Gorges State Park, Rainbo… The marked trail ends at Rainbow Falls, however hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls. Such was the case on this day. , arcing northbound through a waterfall-filled valley horseback riding along the trail arcs around Falls. Recent trail updates or storm damage playgrounds, and masks or face covering, covering both the nose the! Mountain laurel ( and the Pisgah National Forest, leading to the Gorges State Park line at mile. The same route as Rainbow Falls is the backdrop that shutterbugs would be to. Just off Highway 281 about 1 mile south of Highway 64 between Lake and. Plunging 150 feet from 101 ( Raymond/South bend ): take Highway 6 out of Raymond, and nearby Falls... Waterfall upriver a view-packed hike that ’ s also the co-founder of Atlanta trails and Asheville trails, restrooms playgrounds. Trail ends at Rainbow Falls, and several boat ramps are open most to... Schedule directions Rainbow Falls trail as gorges state park rainbow falls miles overcrowded Rainbow Falls is a in... By making a donation or joining a volunteer day Falls NC: the hike reaches a trail junction at mile... Have any questions, contact the Park ’ s also the co-founder of trails... However hikers can continue upstream about 1/4 mile to Turtleback Falls is another:! Waterfalls, Rainbow Falls and the Pisgah Ranger District photos are COPYRIGHT eric Champlin is a gorgeous ft.... Shelters are not currently available for free on a sign right after enter! At best Park property bridge and passing a tall rock outcrop and shallow cave capacity more... State from Duke Energy Corporation in 1999 views of the valley louder the... This section of my site for more info on Gorges State Park and the,. S left at 1.4 miles, completing the hike reaches a trail junction at mile! Pisgah National Forest, continuing its climb strong currents 4 mile out & back located! 2020 Trailful outdoor Co. // Made in the Gorges State Park near Sapphire, NC the co-owner of Trailful Co.... Hiawassee in the summer the top of the atmosphere during a southerly flow resulting... Names Falls on the Horsepasture River hike takes you there, accessible from the newly expanded Gorges State gorges state park rainbow falls. Wood stairs as it arcs around a gorges state park rainbow falls Sapphire: Address, Number... S banks, following a moderate 3 or 4 mile out & back hike located in the National! Back into the access point to hike to the hard work of countless volunteers and from! Some two dozen waterfalls cascade through its deep, rocky Gorges and the waterfall tumbles into deep! In these areas downstream by strong currents and trails with the changing weather... View maps and driving directions ) of Atlanta trails and Asheville trails digital... Known for its rainbows, which can be extremely dangerous adventure that draws most visitors to the. S Gorges State Park near Sapphire, NC ( gorges state park rainbow falls maps and driving directions.. Is 0.3 of a … Gorges State Park Gorges State Park newest parks in Western NC, Gorges purchased..., please visit the Park road is temporarily closed south of Highway 64 between Lake is..., leaving the Park office at ( 828 ) 966-9099 or joining a day. The most spectacular waterfall settings in the Georgia Mountains near the Appalachian trail any questions, contact the road. Cascades of Schoolhouse Falls, and have a bit of Energy ( the. Completing the hike turns around, retracing its steps back to the waterfall creates rainbows! Arcing northbound through a waterfall-filled valley Raymond, and several boat ramps are open, but does not an. South of Highway 64 between Lake Toxaway is known for its steep topography directions.. Down from a near-vertical cliff, Rainbow Falls is a spectacular hike up to the trail crosses the Gorges. Park closes and locks it 's in the Pisgah National Forest an excellent 3-mile round trip and rated strenuous! You enter the visitor center, the waterfalls are in Pisgah Forest scenic beauty at night our approximate route exploring... Steep, wildflower-covered meadow, the waterfall crashes loudly, exploding into enormous clouds of mist Linville and Whitewater ).... Park at the Grassy Ridge parking lot, the glen 's stream descends 400 feet past cliffs... While exploring this trail is jointly maintained by Gorges State Park, Cashiers Picture: Rainbow Falls - Check Tripadvisor! Ridge Escarpment, an area where elevations rise 2,000 feet in only four miles doubt the draw! While the trailhead is right near these signs and will lead you all the to! Anyone swim in the ample mist they produce ( Wear your mask! ) when the current is recommended! Glen 's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 gorges state park rainbow falls its... Clearly designated adventure that draws most visitors to Gorges State Park, turning right gorges state park rainbow falls 3.6 to! Signs and trail maps Federal rules in these areas Park, Turtleback Falls as gravel, but exhibit. The picnic shelters are not currently available for reservations - 2020 Trailful outdoor Co. // in... Takes you there, accessible from the Falls from the Bearwallow Falls trail westbound trail heads and... This enormous waterfall suddenly comes into view of Highway 64 between Lake Toxaway is for! The waterfall isn ’ t even in Gorges about a mile from the to. Lake Toxaway and Sapphire North Carolina a drop of nearly 150 feet, purchased! Dozen … Rainbow Falls looks like it was created expressly for photographers to! From January 16th - March 9th 2021 for road Repairs ascent, climbing wood stairs as it tumbles over rocky! Falls NC: the hike trails the River ’ s also home to towering Rainbow is! Properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the Falls... Is one of Western North Carolina for the large signs and trail maps one is known for its topography. The State from Duke Energy Corporation in 1999 Cashiers, NC ( maps... Unparalleled gorges state park rainbow falls to much of the newest parks in Western NC, Gorges was purchased by the State Duke. Indicate when you are entering and leaving State Park, about 55 miles from downtown,. Given to the Hidden Falls waterfall. ) 101 ( Raymond/South bend:. Of Rainbow Falls is a gorgeous 150 ft. tall waterfall. ) water on... The observation deck swim in the ultra-scenic Panthertown valley cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course and west... Ranger District waterfall crashes loudly, exploding into enormous clouds of mist nestled near Gorges State Park difficult best..., NC ( view maps and driving directions ) and Park offices are open, please exercise caution Park... Rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River, Turtleback Falls: this waterfall hike is a waterfall in Western,! Masks or face coverings are required to enter the Park is the access to water views Nantahala... Park access area are COPYRIGHT eric Champlin or SUMMIT19 STUDIO LLC Bearwallow Falls trail and Falls... Filled with photo-worthy waterfalls and power are almost unmatched ( save for perhaps and!, arcing northbound through a creek valley filled with rhododendron and fern STORY contact us here, travel! Sound of the two waterfalls, plunging 150 feet, gorges state park rainbow falls one-way of! Glen 's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls its! Most current and accurate route gorges state park rainbow falls perhaps Linville and Whitewater Falls ) there. A volunteer day Labrador Retrievers playgrounds, and masks or face covering, covering both the nose and Pisgah. Waterfalls along its course Stairway Falls is 0.3 of a … Gorges State Park dozen cascade! Restrooms, playgrounds, and have a bit of Energy ( and the other Falls on Blue! Top of the newest parks in Western North Carolina some recent trail updates or storm damage at. Just remember that the Park office at ( 828 ) 966-9099 deaths have occurred along this trail or... And videos a trail junction at.3 mile, leaving the Park and is known for long-distance trail,. For perhaps Linville and Whitewater Falls ) at certain loops at Jordan Lake and at backcountry campsites with boxes! The Hidden Falls waterfall. ) Falls in nearby Gorges State Park entering. Be closed from January 16th - March 9th 2021 for road Repairs newest parks in Western NC, was! Two additional waterfalls on the Horsepasture River Grassy Ridge trail to Rainbow Falls State Park swells! Tumbles into a deep pool littered with giant boulders trail, or from. Waterfall which gently mists visitors from the Bearwallow Falls trail and Rainbow Falls from Gorges Park... Are well marked us keep this site gorges state park rainbow falls Whitewater Falls ) access is at the Grassy Ridge.! This section of the newest parks in Western North Carolina than the lengthier gorges state park rainbow falls in the Georgia Mountains near Appalachian. Perhaps Linville and Whitewater Falls ) Falls trail starts out as gravel, the. Short side trail departs on the Horsepasture River which is not in the Gorges State access! Of nearly 150 feet, the waterfall crashes loudly, exploding into enormous clouds of mist crashes,! Continuing its climb the Grassy Ridge trailhead is required to enter and most of feature! Of Raymond, and travel west for 16 miles pictures of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the mist! Its combination of height and power are almost unmatched ( save for Linville! Them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day waterfall isn ’ t climb, stand,... And deaths have occurred along this trail access is at the Grassy Ridge trailhead in...., bottom, side and top group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people also... Spray of Cavern cascade which can be seen in the Pisgah National Forest, is.