Cullasaja River Gorge, Highlands

(70+ reviews on the web)
Geologic Formation
The Cullasaja River is a short river located entirely in Macon County, North Carolina. It is a tributary of the Little Tennessee River (and in turn the Tennessee River, Ohio River and Mississippi River), into which it flows near the county seat of Franklin. It originates to the southeast, near Highlands, the county's only other town. It flows from manmade Lake Sequoyah, which is fed by Mirror Lake and other creeks and streams originating on the western side of the Eastern Continental Divide, which runs through the east side of Highlands.A two-lane highway called Mountain Waters Scenic Byway, which is the combined route of U.S. 64 and NC 28, runs through the Cullasaja Gorge, which is mostly protected as part of the Nantahala National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service has designated this to be a National Scenic Byway because of the river, and its numerous waterfalls, including:
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I read alot about this gorge and the complexity of building the road through it. We were thrilled to drive it a couple times during our stay near Highlands. I suggest driving on a sunny midday in the ...  more »
  • This part of US64/Moonshiner 28 is one of our favorite motorcycle roads. We enjoy it best riding it from Franklin to Highlands, since you are facing the water at all times. There are a few pullouts an...  more »
  • Our son climbed the rope and jumped into the water. It seemed like a nice place to play in the water (a little cold for us). Worth the stop. Right off the road, no hiking.  more »