Whiteside Mountain, Jackson County

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Mountain Nature / Park
Whiteside Mountain is a mountain in Jackson County, North Carolina between Cashiers, Highlands, North Carolina, and the Georgia border. Whiteside Mountain can boast the highest cliffs in Eastern North America. It also has a feature called Devil's Courthouse, not to be confused with the Devil's Courthouse 20 miles away in Transylvania County, NC.Since the 1980s, the forest service has tried to restrict access to the Courthouse and has allowed the foot trail to it to grow over because of dangers such as strong winds. They also did not want accidents from paragliding and similar activities taking place from the mountain top or from the Courthouse. There is also an overhang, a small platform less than 7 feet in diameter, connected to Whiteside as if it were a cantilever. Similar overhangs can be found on the Appalachian Trail.HistoryThe Cherokee name for Whiteside mountain is Sanigilâ'gĭ.Legend of Spear FingerCherokee myth says that Spear-finger, the powerful woman monster, built a bridge from the Hiwassee River to Whiteside Mountain.Legend of De SotoThe overhanging edge has a message carved into it, which reads that Hernando de Soto was there and that it was carved by his men who allegedly threw over their sick, crippled horses there. However, it is likely a hoax carved by some boys sometime in 1926 when there was probably much more of the overhang than there is today. Since the terrain is too rough for men and horses to get through, for De Soto to have come through here at a time when there were no roads or pathways is unlikely. De Soto's route most likely took him through the Cumberland Gap from South Carolina.
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  • Walking whiteside is a family and friends favorite. Easy walk up a wide trail, but there are quire a few rocks of varying size. There are two trails, the second one splits at the beginning of the stai...  more »
  • This was our first hike in Cashiers/Highlands. Moderate intensity. Rustic, peaceful, beautiful views  more »
  • I went on a cool crisp October morning before the sun broke. I had the mountain all to myself, I recommend if you do this make sure you have a good headlamp. Trail is well beaten and if you are brave ...  more »