Gorges State Park, Sapphire

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web
Gorges State Park is a 7709acre North Carolina state park in Transylvania County, North Carolina in the United States. The land, along Jocassee Gorges, was purchased by the state from Duke Energy Corporation in 1999. It is North Carolina's westernmost state park and one of the state's newest. The park is adjacent to part of the Pisgah National Forest and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's Toxaway Game Land. Gorges State Park provides the principle access to the Horsepasture River on these adjoining public lands.HistoryThe land of Gorges State Park is a thriving second growth forest. It has recovered from the interference of man to provide a thriving and unique habitat.One of the most damaging interferences to the Gorges environment occurred in 1916 when the dam containing Lake Toxaway broke. Record amounts of water gushed southward down the Toxaway River, destroying the communities in its path, scouring the gorges and leaving piles of debris 15 to 20ft high.Following the flood, local citizens eventually sold large land tracts in the Gorges to Singer Sewing Machine Company, which logged most of the land. Then, in the 1940s and 1950s, Singer sold the land to Duke Energy Corporation. The corporation purchased the land for its steep topography and high rainfall, which offered opportunities for development of hydropower projects.
Plan your Gorges State Park visit and explore what else you can see and do in Jackson County using our Jackson County trip itinerary planner.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • Park opened in 2012 so everything is new. Beautiful visitor center with helpful rangers. Down one trail we were able to view three stunning waterfalls. Moderately challenging. Be sure to use a walking...  read more »
  • Honeymoon in September. Weather in the 70s. Me and my wife are in our 30s and really enjoyed the hike to turtle back falls. You first come to a large fall that gives you great photo opportunities. Rec...  read more »
  • Wonderful place to take children to learn about the mountains of North Carolina. A great place for kids and should not be missed, 
  • Great state park. We drove down from Brevard area and did the Rainbow Falls and Turtle Back Falls trails. Great hike, nice and easy on the way down and bit more challenging on the way back up, but great overall. Be careful for the currents around the falls as they can be very swift.
  • Great place to experience the outdoors. We hiked the Canebrake Trail to the Toxaway River. We camped out at the Toxaway river campsites and the next day continued onto the Foothills Trail and then on to the Auger Hole Trail. From there we traversed over two water crossings and made it back to the Frozen Creek access. In all we hiked 18.8 miles. The last two miles was all uphill.
  • Not very busy, they are in the process of constructing more trails. I hiked the Bearwallow trail, and the Rainbow Falls trail. Rainbow Falls is about 150` and high volume. Great to go when it's sunny and you can sit atop the falls and see the rainbow created by the mist from the falls.
  • It's got everything mother nature can offer. Beautiful woods, heights, swimming, and of course wildlife. You do need to be careful in some places due to slippery rock, and the possibility of drowning. Know your limitations and youll be fine.
  • This place was well enough away from civilization to bring rejoice. Cool people all around. Dogs everywhere. Very cool. Make the trek to Turtle Falls. Even more fun th ere.
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 3​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m