Gorges State Park, Sapphire

4.6
#3 of 17 in Things to do in Jackson County
State Park Nature / Park
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.
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  • While the trail itself is just over 3 miles (in and back) to Rainbow Falls, the hike itself was moderately strenuous and the way back was mostly uphill. It was perfect for my family and our daughter's...  more »
  • The trail is a moderate one and if you take your time, it is doable for most everyone. Children were running up and down. Some people were in sandals, but I prefer hiking boots for safety.  more »
  • All of the descriptions read on the brochures had a pretty good description of the hike. However, as we were heading off to see the two falls (Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls) we learned that altho...  more »

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