Dry Falls stand out from the abundance of waterfalls in Highlands, North Carolina. This breathtaking waterfall allows visitors to walk behind the stream, for excellent photo opportunities. Water shoots off of a large overhang extended for visitors to walk under the falls and across the river. The name “dry” is a bit of a misnomer, since there is a fine mist that will cool you off on hot days. Walk under the falls to the other side, for a great photo with the falls in the background.
It is a very kid-friendly trail that accommodates all ages of waterfall hikers. The viewing platform at the trailhead is wheelchair and stroller accessible, with excellent views of the falls. Take an easy paved trail that arcs down behind the waterfall to explore a small cave. The parking lot and walkway were renovated in 2012 with washrooms available.
From downtown, go east on Highway 64 toward Franklin, NC for five miles until you see a forest service sign. The hike starts at the signed trailhead in the parking lot. Descend stairs toward the waterfall and northbound. Chiseled rocks with vibrant moss will border the right side of the trail. The hike sharps veers south to follow the Cullasaja River upstream and the Dry Falls ahead.
Dry Falls is located on the Cullasaja River Gorge. The Cullasaja Falls has a series of other waterfalls, most of which can only be seen from the road. Exercise caution as it can be dangerous to pull off for this roadside attraction, due to the narrow road and rocky cliffs. Come early for parking off of Highway 64, about 8 miles from Highlands. The falls have very steep side for ambitious hikers only!