Driving distance/direction from downtown Highlands, NC: Follow Hwy. 64 East to Cashiers, NC and continue on Hwy. 64 for 10.1 miles to Hwy. 281 South. Turn right, and continue south for approximately 9 miles.
Parking: Park in parking lot.
Hiking distance: 0.56 miles-2 miles round trip
Description: A 0.25-mile paved, wheelchair accessible trail leads from the parking lot to an overlook. The Foothills Trail begins to the right of the overlook. If you continue down this very steep trail, it will lead to the Whitewater River and bridge. The dirt trail to the left of the overlook leads upstream and fords the Whitewater River above the falls. Use extreme caution near the top of the falls. On the far side of the river, the trail forks into two old roadbeds. Both trails end shortly on Whitewater Road, above the parking area. This is an easy walk of about 0.5 mile one-way from the parking lot.
Footnote: Whitewater Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the eastern United States, with a total drop of 411 feet. During the spring, wildflowers are plentiful.
Hike descriptions adapted from the Highland Hiker’s Guide to Day Hikes.