Dry Falls and Cliffside Lake Trails, Highlands, NC

September 25, 2012

TRAIL INFO. - We traveled to Highlands, NC today and first stopped by the newly re-opened Dry Falls Trail. Always a favorite stop to view one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the U.S. The trail is about a quarter mile long and allows you to walk behind the falls and feel the cool mist and hear the violent rush of water tumbling into the gorge below. The new renovations to the trail make it much safer and less slippery behind the falls. Next, we traveled down the road a couple of miles to Cliffside Lake Recreation area and hiked on a couple of trails there. We hiked the lake loop and the Ranger Falls - Skitty Creek loop. The trails here are nice with lots of restroom facilities and picnic areas and a nice network of trails to choose from.

Total hiking distance today - About 5 miles with some elevation change. We rate the hike difficulty as moderate.

Directions: From downtown Highlands, take highway 64 toward Franklin. Dry falls is a couple of miles down the highway on the left. For Cliffside Lake continue another couple of miles and look for the sign. Turn to the right and drive to the pay station ($4 per car / $2 with senior pass) and continue to the parking area.

Another great day for a hike! Mostly sunny and cool with temperatures ranging from 45 to 62 degrees F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Spotted Jewelweed, White Snakeroot, Blue Aster, White Aster, Goldenrod, Maryland Golden Aster, Blue Lobelia, Lady's Thumb, Heal-All, Mountain Gentian, White Yarrow, Black-eyed Susan .

Birds Identified: Cardinal, Mallard Duck, Junco, Nuthatch .

scroll down for photos and video from today.......

Parking lot at Dry Falls.
View from the upper observation deck adjacent to the parking lot.
Approaching the falls on the newly renovated trail.
Breathtaking walk behind the roaring falls!
Simply spectacular!
Our group enjoying the view from the other side.
Next, we move down the road to Cliffside Lake Recreation Area and see lots of mirror images!
We decide to take the loop trail up to Ranger Falls on Skitty Creek.
Trail signs along the trail.
Here we pass by the dam on Cliffside Lake.
The loop trail is a nature trail with lots of signage.
Beautiful Ranger Falls!
Bee enjoying the Goldenrod.
The OFHC gang for today's hike! (l-r front) Phil Brownrigg, Vic Robson, Lynne Saporito, "Angus" the trail dog, Pam Euliss, Bill Hunt and Tony Presley. (l-r back) John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Jack Jacobi, David Whitaker, Karen Brown, Donna Presley, Pom Sinnock, Geri Whitaker, Jim Driggers, Greta Driggers and Bob Magee.

See below for video and more photos!

click below for more photos!

Dry Falls and Ranger Falls - Cliffside Lake Trails 9-25-12

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