This week @kaylndavis is taking us over to southeast US to her beautiful land of North Carolina, tapping into the Great Smoky Mountain range. Gorgeous waterfalls and lush green mountainsides makes this a must-do hiking destination. Take in the view as we go through Kayla's hiking guide for us. Also check out her tips/eats for each individual hike.
High Falls Waterfall, Cashiers NC
- 1.4 miles round trip.
- Difficulty- easy going down many stairs/stone stairs so as you go back up it will be difficult. The reward is definitely hanging out by the waterfall.
- I always pack my own lunch when I hike here & toss down a blanket. On summer days it’s a nice spot to take a dip.
- It is pet friendly!
- They periodically do a dam release here so make sure to check before you hike, it’s a hit spot for kayakers during that time. Which also makes it fun to hike & see kayakers rustle through the rapids.
Bartram Trail/Winding Stairs. Nantahala Gorge, NC
- There are many access points so take a look at a map and see which trail you’d like to explore that day. It is about an 80 mile hike that leads through NC & GA, but there are sections you can do specific to the Gorge.
- Along with hiking in the Spring/Summer I love to raft. Adventurous Fast Rivers is a great Outpost.
- My favorite spot 25 minutes out of the Gorge to grab a beer is Bryson City Outdoors, they have rotating food trucks and a wide variety of outdoor gear for your hiking needs.
- If you don’t pop into a surrounding county I would recommend packing your own lunch. There are many picnic pull offs.
- Bring your pup! Trails are pet friendly.
Waterrock Knob, NC
- 1.2 mile hike round trip. The summit is 6,273 ft in elevation.
- Pet friendly.
- There is a plane that crashed in 1983 that is still on the mountain, a little ways after the Waterrock Knob trail.
- This trail is on the Blue Ridge Parkway so depending on the weather will depend if you can hike this trail during the winter. The park service will close the park typically during the winter months.
- There are countless trails in the area so pack water & food, hit the woods!
- Amazing views of the Great Smoky Mountains.
- 30 minutes off the Parkway is a small town called Sylva. I recommend Quirky Birds in Dillsboro to grab lunch, Innovation Brewery if you want a post hike brew, and Dalayas for dinner for a Thai Cuisine.
Plane crash from 1983
The pups love it here :)
Thanks Kayla for all of your recommendations and giving us a taste of the beautiful place you call home.