The gorges are worlds unto themselves, supporting some of the most unique ecosystems on the planet.
Scenic Perch: The stone balcony at Wiseman’s View offers a breathtaking vista of the gorge.
Rare Beauty: A threatened species, Heller's Blazing Star is found in only five WNC counties, including Avery, home to Linville Falls.
Wild Wonder: Linville Falls drops 90 feet into the 12-mile-long Linville Gorge.
Floral Encounters: The rare Oconee Bell was first discovered in WNC in 1788 by French botanist André Michaux.
Time for Reflection: From Jumping Off Rock, peer out over Lake Jocassee and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Cool Cascade: The 80-foot Rainbow Falls is among the many waterfalls located in the Jocassee Gorges.
Picture Perfect: Hickory Nut Falls was used as a backdrop in the 1992 film Last of the Mohicans.
Stone Sentinel: Iconic Chimney Rock stands 2,280 feet above the gorge and Lake Lure beyond.
Cool Rush: A short path leads to 75-foot Dry Falls, which you can walk behind without getting wet.
Go With the Flow: Follow Mountain Waters Scenic Byway for views of the Cullasaja River and its three falls.
Hop Aboard: Learn about Great Smoky Mountains Railroad excursions at gsmr.com.
Core Adventure: The NOC’s Nantahala Outpost is a hub for paddlers and spectators alike. See www.noc.com.
Take the Plunge: Experience the gorge by paddling or rafting the class II-III Nantahala River.