Gorges State Park, Sapphire

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State Park · Nature / Park
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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.
The 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.
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Gorges State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
323 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Stop into the Rangers Station upon arrival. We had selected two trails using All Trails. First hike was nearly a disaster. So then we went to the Ranger Station and learned All Trails wasn’t ideal as....  more
    Stop into the Rangers Station upon arrival. We had selected two trails using All Trails. First hike was nearly a disaster. So then we went to the Ranger Station and learned All Trails wasn’t ideal as....  more »
  • Just took the short hike to Bearwallow Falls. Was disappointed that we couldn't get near the water. The dog was especially disappointed. 
    Just took the short hike to Bearwallow Falls. Was disappointed that we couldn't get near the water. The dog was especially disappointed.  more »
  • My husband and I hiked to rainbow falls. The trail was marked as strenuous and was definitely challenging. I was amazed on how many people did not take the difficulty very seriously. The falls... 
    My husband and I hiked to rainbow falls. The trail was marked as strenuous and was definitely challenging. I was amazed on how many people did not take the difficulty very seriously. The falls...  more »
Google
  • Park is beautiful. The trails have a lot of elevation change but they are wide and relatively easy to traverse. Overall a great hikes. Besides the connection to foot hills trail, there are very few hikes in the park. Almost everything within the park can be done in a long day.
  • The visitors center is nice with nice bathrooms and well placed picnic tables. The hike is pretty tough in parts, but we'll worth the walk. The trail is shaded most all the way. My mother in law (77 years old) did make it but it was very difficult for her and she had walking poles. I have done a fall hike and spring. Both seasons were fantastic.
  • So beautiful! The hike was pretty long and tough but to be fair we were on a time limit with the school. Getting to Rainbow Falls 🌈 was amazing and you will be happy you went. ❤️ I also was able to capture some once in a lifetime exquisite shots with my Canon R6!
  • Amazing park engaging history. Hike to rainbow falls was amazing once you get river side. A little on the wet side, not a hike for people who don't hike as the steps are a little eroded so there are some more difficult parts. It is worth the hike though, epic doesn't do it justice.
  • Our hike to Rainbow and Turtleback was beautiful. Great visitor center with knowledgeable staff. Well behaved dogs are welcome inside. I do wish they would add more trails to all of the other falls inside the state park boundaries. Would be such a nice addition.

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