Nine weeks after some pretty extensive foot surgery I decided to test out the new improved left foot to see what it was capable of by visiting some favorite haunts and Western North Carolina waterfalls.
First test was getting the hiking boots on; that worked! Hurrah, looking good far 😉
Number 1 daughter and I set off as soon as “the boy” and his new fiancé (!) left for the airport and their journey home. Resigned to sitting on the I-75 for the next 5 hours we blasted some good old country music and sang/shouted away to our hearts content! We stopped overnight just before Atlanta, rested well and were up and on the road again by 8:30 the next morning, both excited to get our waterfall fix started!
Four hours later, the excitement was mounting as we turned onto my most favorite stretch of road. Starting just east of Franklin, NC, this stretch of Hwy 64 is an exhilarating 18-mile scenic drive along which can be found 7 waterfalls and 2 good hikes.
~ Here is a page that details them all, along with links to each waterfall/hike; Highlands Road, Hwy 64.

The first waterfall kind of comes at you unexpectedly. Except that I must have ventu this road at least 50 times now!
The spectacular 250’ Cullasaja Falls were in fine form for us as we pulled over to the small parking area. Full flowing and powerful, the noise of the Falls was invigorating!
Having been a snow storm just a couple of days earlier, a lot of the areas still had some great ice formations dangling from the sheer cliff edges.

Waterfall adrenaline rushing, we both jumped out and got ready to grab some great photography. Here came the bad news…
Number 1; the new tripod that I ordered for our upcoming Europe trip was a doozy. Big fat fail. Just wouldn’t stay up. Couldn’t hold the weight of the camera, and I don’t have one of the heavy DSLRs.
Number 2; said, lightweight camera, FAILED. I have no idea what the heck has gone wrong with it. But, suffice to say, I will be hot footing it to Best Buy when I get back home. I’ve only had the dang thing since August when it performed brilliantly during our trip to Ecuador. I have barely used it since and neither I, or Miss Clever Pants, (who’s been a photography buff since she was 13),  could make it produce anything near a decent picture.
Thank the Lord for iPhones!

Cullasaja Falls
Cullasaja Falls
Cullasaja Falls
After 30 minutes of taking pics, shooting video and nearly losing my sweet baby girl over the edge (you’ll notice I carried on taping!), we moved on up to our next stop.

Bust Your Butt Falls is a crazy fun place in the summer. Not so much in the winter! Far too icy cold for that game. Still worth stopping at for some pics though!

Bust Your Butt Falls!

Next stop was a bit of a debate. We weren’t going to but are super glad we did!
Dry Falls is another powerful falls but is extra cool because you can actually walk behind it across to the other side! However, the walk behind was closed off due to the intensity of the falls and the icy conditions, (see the icicles)!

Dry Falls, NC
Dry Falls, NC
We drove on by Bridal Veil Falls. Not so inspiring now that you can’t take cool shots of your vehicle sitting behind it anymore; boring old health and safety issues!
Neither did we stop off for Ranger Falls. The hike would likely have been a little harder than either my foot or Beth would have managed. Given the recent rain, snow and freezing weather I imagine that the trail may have been a little dicey in places.

Our next stop was Lake Sequoyah Dam Falls. Always an amazing spot to photograph and a great Falls to showcase my newfound iPhone camera skills of getting those gorgeous silky waterfall shots 😉
Clambering down grassy banks and over rocks was not necessarily conducive to good recovering foot care but whatever, the pics were worth the discomfort!

Lake Sequoyah Dam Falls, NC
Lake Sequoyah Dam Falls, NC
Lake Sequoyah Dam Falls, NC
Lake Sequoyah Dam Falls, NC

Next on the list was Glenn Falls. Not strictly on Hwy 64 but only two miles from the turning off, this is a hike that takes you to a triple waterfall. The first you come to is a gentle but still pretty falls. As you move down the water flow increases and the falls become more interesting.

Glenn Falls, NC
Travel more
The next scenic overlook brings you to the top of the tallest falls. It is possible to walk out onto the ledge and take some pretty cool shots down over the valley below, but do so at your own risk. In lighter flow times, I have walked back up the falls to take some really scenic shots but the water was too heavy for that this time.
Glenn Falls, NC
Glenn Falls, NC
Glenn Falls, NC
We played around there for a while. Getting in some #Serengetee and #travelmore shots for Beth who is a campus rep for Serengetee. Then we moved on down the trail to the next view point which is at the base of the falls.
Glenn Falls, NC
Glenn Falls, NC
We started out for the third falls but the foot was beginning to pain some and it’s a pretty uneven and sometimes obstructed path from there down so we turned and made our way, slowly, back up to the trailhead and from there into the fab little town of Highlands for some coffee and a well deserved slice of cake at Bucks Coffee Café

After enjoying our treats we had a little bimble around the town and got back in the car ready to head to Asheville where we were staying with my pal, “Mad Stefany” (as opposed to “Normal Stephanie”)!
Originally the plan was to go via Graveyard Fields Trail and Falls which is along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Beth and I had been together once before but took the wrong trail and never found the falls! I have been back since, found them easily and wanted to take Beth as they are too good to miss. Sadly though, the recent weather conditions had caused the Parkway to still be closed.
We did manage to squeeze in one last spectacular place before our day ended.
Looking Glass Falls, (new page coming soon) can be found along US 126, close to the town of Brevard and is really easily accessible. A little further on is Sliding Rock, another fun place in the warmer weather but we did not get there this time!

Looking Glass Falls, NC
Looking Glass Falls, NC
Back on the road, we made Asheville in good time and settled in for the night (with my foot elevated and an ice pack in place!)

The next day we had a more leisurely start before heading to DuPont State Forest for some more waterfall chasing!

Parking at the Hooker Falls parking area, we first took the short hike to Hooker Falls and then started up the longer, and very much steeper, trail to view Triple Falls (new pages coming soon!)

Hooker Falls, NC
As we huffed our way steadily on up, I didn’t really mind other folks passing us by. After all, I was still in recovery and was pleased with my progress. However, I have to admit to wanting to put my boot out and trip up the ultra keen chick who cruised past us, running, up that hill!
Triple Falls, NC
Now, in the past, when we have reached the top, we just take the stairs that descend to the flat rock at the base of the falls and just chill there for a while. But today I persuaded the girly to hike on up further… and boy are we glad we did! Only another, and much easier, 15 minutes along the trail we came across the amazing High Falls. How I’ve been here multiple times and never made it to them before is beyond me!

Back on the trail again, we headed back to Triple Falls and I kind of hop/jumped down the steps, feeling a tad foolish but whatever!
I never fail to be amazed by these falls. They really are just stunning in all seasons.

High Falls, NC
Triple Falls, NC
Triple Falls, NC
Triple Falls, NC
The climb back up the steps wasn’t as bad I thought it might be. I managed well enough and only had to take a break once, poor old thing! Walking back down that steep hill was tough though. The old foot was throbbing some by the time we got back to the car and started on the ride back to Stef’s.
Saturday was an Asheville day. Just chilling and poking around town, in and out of the cute stores and probably spending too much money! Of course, no trip to Asheville is complete without stopping in at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, definitely not a Keto lunch!
Asheville, NC
Traveling Chics Boutique
Malaprops Book Store & Cafe
French Broad Chocolate Lounge, NC
All too soon, our trip to my happy place was over. We made sure to have a good nights rest before hitting the road on back to Tampa; only 10 hours but at least I have a co-pilot now 😉

~ I will be doing a web page with ALL of the pics from these waterfall shoots. If you want to be notified of when it’s published, please like my Facebook Page; Bikes, Hikes and Waterfalls and watch for updates 😉

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Follow our posts as we prepare for our 13 week tour of Europe that starts in May 2018!