Dry Falls - Whiteside Mt. - Highlands Biological Station, NC

June 21, 2011

This week's hike was on several short trails near Highlands, NC. We visited Dry Falls, Whiteside Mountain and The Highlands Nature Center.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Karen Brown, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Bill Hunt, Martha Hunt, Wanda Miller, Wayne Miller, Jeanne O'Connor, Lynne Porter-Whitmire, Rick Porter-Whitmire, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Dan Ross, Lynne Saporito and Marvin Tabor.

TRAIL INFO. - Hiking in the Highlands, NC area offers relief from the summertime heat. The Dry Falls Trail is a short quarter mile trail to a spectacular Waterfall. It is very powerful and the trail allows you to walk behind the falls to the other side while enjoying the intense sound and cool mist from the falls. The Whiteside Mt. Trail is an awsome 2 mile loop that takes you accross the summit of the mountain past multiple rock cliffs with spectacular views of the NC mountains and valleys below. Peregrine Falcons nest in the rock cliffs and if you are lucky, you will see them soaring around as you cross the mountain top. The Highlands Nature Center / Biological Station has an array of very nice nature trails to enjoy including the lake loop and Rhododendron Trail.

Total hiking distance today - Approximately 3 miles with some hills. We rate it moderately easy.

Directions: Dry Falls - From Highlands, take Hwy 64 west for just over 3 miles from it's intersection with Hwy 106. Look for a brown and white forest service sign for Dry Falls and turn left into the parking area. Whiteside Mountain - From downtown Highlands, go east on US 64 for 5.5 miles to the Whiteside Mountain Road sign turn right on paved road NC 1600 and go .6 mile. Highlands Biological Station - From Dillard, GA: Take Hwy 106 to Highlands and turn right onto Main Street. Continue straight through town. Turn left onto Sixth St. and make a right turn into the Station driveway.

Another great day for a hike! Partly Cloudy and mild with temperatures ranging from 65 to 76 degrees F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Rosebay Rhododendrun, Carolina Rhododendrun, Mountain Laurel, Flame Azalea, Summersweet Mountain Hydrangea, Stinging Nettles, Yellow Wood Sorrell, Meadow Rue, Whorled Loosestrife, Tall Bluet, Galax, Bush Honeysuckle Bristly locust, White Yarrow, Daisy Fleabane, Leatherflower, Hawkweed, Four-leaf Milkweed, Spiderwort, St. John's Wort Fire Pink, Ox-eye Daisy, Pale Corydalis and Lyre-leaf Sage.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Northern Cardinal, Pine warbler, Brown Thrasher, Bluejay, Black-throated Blue Warbler, American Crow and Turkey Vulture.

Scroll down for photos and video from today!

Our trail-head today at the Dry Falls Parking Lot on Highway 64 north of Highlands, NC.
Next to the parking lot is a very nice boardwalk and observation deck.
Magnificent Dry Falls!
The unique trail leads behind the falls to the opposite side.
A cool spot even on the hottest days of Summer.
The view is absolutely spectacular!
Next, we move over to Whiteside Mt. between Highlands and Cashiers, NC.
Our first of many viewpoints from Whiteside Mountain.
The trail brings you across the rim of spectacular rock cliffs.
Some of the rock cliffs where Peregrine Falcons nest.
A great rock outcrop named Devil's Courthouse.
This view looks over toward Highlands.
Next, we move over to the nature trails at Highlands Biological Station.
Lunchtime at the Botanical Gardens.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r) Lynne Saporito, Bill Hunt, Martha Hunt, Greta Driggers, Lynne Porter-Whitmire, Jim Driggers, Rick Porter-Whitmire, John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Donna Presley, Wayne Miller, Wanda Miller, Karen Brown, Vic Robson, Dan Ross, Jeanne O'Connor, Marvin Tabor and Tony Presley.


Click below for More photos!
Dry Falls and Whiteside Mt. 6-21-11

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