Gorges State Park
Rainbow Falls, one of the most stunning waterfalls in NC.
Gorges State Park in Sapphire, NC is only a few years old and a little out of the way but it is worth all the driving to find it. Western NC is known for its gorgeous waterfalls but I haven’t seen any prettier than the ones in Gorges. They are simply spectacular.
The end of the line, Drift Falls.
The Horsepasture River feeds the following falls, Rainbow, Turtleback, Drift Falls and Stairway Falls. The trails are well marked and most are easy hiking. It’s a great hike for beginners and rewards everybody who takes the time to do it with out of this world views of the falls and the river. I just couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.
Turtleback Falls, people tend to jump off this one. No, just no!
All total it’s about seven miles if you hike all the way back to Drift Falls and out again. If you go in the spring the water is high and the falls and river are at their most spectacular. In the summer there are some great swimming holes to jump in and cool off. Just don’t jump off the top of Turtleback Falls. People have died trying that one.
The hiking is pretty easy. The trails do get really muddy and slippery in front of Rainbow Falls so hiking poles would be helpful if you have them. The Stairway Falls are off the main trail so you will have to do a little bushwhacking to get to them but they are well worth the effort.
There is a new visitors center with beautiful clean bathrooms and a ranger on duty to help you find your way. Although, I only stopped in for a quick bathroom break, I understand there are some great presentations on display if you have more time to spend.
Things available to do in the Gorges State Park include distance hiking, backpack camping, trout fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding. There is a little something for everybody.
Sierra Nevada Brewery
After your visit to the park, take a forty-five minute drive to Sierra Nevada Brewing in Hendersonville, NC and have a beer and some dinner. This place will wow you when you drive up.
A great selections of crafted beers.
The food and beer are great and the prices are not bad. They even have an outdoor patio where you can step outside and sit by a huge fire pit. It is a really pleasant place to hang out.
Patio camp fire.
If you’re in western NC and would like to explore, this is a great day hike. And, there are many local breweries just down the road. So take some time, get outside and enjoy a great day in the mountains!
Love, peace, happiness and fun,