Dry Falls, and Cliffside Lake Trails - NC

August 20, 2013

TRAIL INFO. - We traveled to Highlands, NC today and first stopped by and did the short but breathtaking hike to Dry Falls. Always a favorite stop to view one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the U.S. The trail is about a half mile round trip 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. 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 to partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from the upper 60's to the mid 70's F.

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Maryland Golden Aster, Spotted Jewelweed, Joe Pye Weed, Heal-all, Rattlesnake Plantain, Duck Potato (Arrowhead), Rhododendron Maximum, Alumroot, Green-headed Coneflower, Blazing Star, Woodland Sunflower, Boneset, Horseweed, Whorled Coreopsis, Tall Coreopsis, Yarrow, Queen Anne's Lace, Blue Lobelia, Cardinal Flower, Evening Primrose, Garden Phlox, Early Goldenrod and White Snakeroot.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Mallard Duck, American Crow, Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, and Tufted Titmouse.

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

Map at the parking lot of Dry Falls.
Starting down to the trail to the falls.
Spectacular Dry Falls!
Working our way down to the falls.
We get this view as we walk behind the falls!
The viewing area on the opposite side of Dry Falls!
Duh! I am glad they warned us or we would have jumped off the falls to our death on the rocks below!
Next, we drive down the road a short distance to the Cliffside Lake Recreation Area.
The Cliffside Lake Trail loops around the shoreline of this beautiful lake.
Cliffside Lake Dam.
Next, we hike the Skitty Creek Trail to Ranger Falls.
Ranger Falls!
Lunchtime at Ranger Falls.
The OFHC gang for today's hike! (l-r) Tony Presley, Bob Magee, Donna Presley, Geri Whitaker, Wayne Barrios, Lynne Saporito, Trail Dog "Angus" and Dave Hinson.

Click below for a video and many more photos from this hike!

Click photo below for many more nice photos from the hike!

Dry Falls and Cliffside Lake Trail 8-20-13

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