Fear ain’t a factor along the Southern Appalachian Mountain plateau in Western Northern Carolina – not when contemplating the noble rolling ripple of this vast and colorful range of Earth.
We at The Park on Main®, the luxury hotel in Highlands, may not reflect deeply enough on what the horizons offer us visually. It’s that constant backdrop, ever present, that lies languidly outside our doors, the mountain range wild and serious all in one breath-taking moment.
It’s the taking of the breath that may instill the fear or the awe. But it’s the scenic grandeur that overruns any anxiety. Nature’s very ancient meanderings produced this rugged splendor. Come to The Park on Main® – and behold your surroundings.
First Stop: Whiteside Mountain
Let’s start our tour by making our way to Whiteside Mountain between Highlands and Cashiers on U.S. Highway 64. The highway that runs along the Jackson-Macon county line is known as the “big view” overlook, according to www.highlandhiker.com. Turn onto Whiteside Mountain Road and go one mile to the parking area on the left. The fee to take the mountain trail is $2. Trekking along the trail gives hikers a panoramic view of the entire area, but Shortoff and Yellow Mountain rise to the north and Chimneytop Mountain appears on the eastern horizon.
Look south to the foothills and Piedmont (and Lake Keowee). Direct your line of sight to the west to the Nantahala Mountains and views of the Appalachian Trail. The mountain’s summit climbs to 4,900 feet, which is about 2,000 feet higher than Whiteside Cover to the south.
The 2-mile trail takes about an hour and loops around the back and north side of the mountain and to the right, rising about 500 feet.
Now to the Courthouse
It’s called Devil’s Courthouse, but only by name. To reach this trail follow the Whiteside Mountain trail to the left to the old jeep trail then to the clearing. The Whiteside Mountain trail veers to the right; Devil’s Courthouse goes to the left, across the clearing.
This trail is rugged and less traveled, winding down the side of the mountain. Keep going straight; avoid the spur trail on the right. The trail opens into a clearing and descends to the left and to the right. Keep going straight along the ridge until the trail begins to rise and veers to the right, moving along the left side of the ridge. The trail ends at the Devil’s Courthouse. This is the view. This is the awe – with three sheer cliffs on three sides.
We will continue to explore the wonders painted upon the Highlands landscape in future articles. Come and explore what you’ve been longing for.
Did you find this short excursion entertaining and invigorating? Contact The Park on Main® today to learn more about what Highlands has to offer! If you’re making plans to head this way soon, make reservations today at The Park on Main® today.
Did you enjoy this post? Share it!
Categorized in: Area Attractionsblog comments powered by Disqus