Located a few miles south of Gorges State Park on US281 South, Whitewater Falls rarely disappoints. A couple years ago, when wildfires were randomly burning throughout the Western North Carolina mountains, the steps down to the observation deck burned. Those steps have now been rebuilt, which provide renewed opportunities to capture Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Rockies.
This is a waterfall that is an easy hike for canines too. Even if you have older dogs, taking them out for a ride in the car simply can’t be beat. Our dogs just want to hang out with us instead of being left behind. Now, whether they like to hike isn’t something I’ve asked them………………yet.
I keep trying to deem this a “roadside” cascade even though there’s a small hike to get to the falls. A small hike, in my AARP mind, is no more than a half mile. By following the paved walkway up to the overlook, you’ll get a great shot of the falls, although I recommend taking the 150+ steps to the lower overlook. Yes, you will have to make the return up those steps, but I found the view stunning, breath-taking, and worthy of every step involved.
I was surprised to see so few visitors to Whitewater, especially in the heart, or should I say heat, of the summer. Early visits to cascades remain the best way to enjoy nature’s quiet beauty. Even though it takes a while to reach Whitewater Falls, which flows at the NC/SC state line, combining this cascade with others is as easy as looking at a map! I like to combine Whitewater with other “roadside” cascades. One of those combinations is Eastatoe Falls, located in Rosman, NC. Additionally, another “roadside” beauty is in the newly formed Headwaters State Forest. From Eastatoe, you can hop onto East Fork Road and find East Fork Falls if time permits.