Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: NC 281
Trip Ends: NC 281
Total Distance: 5.1 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Foothills, Spur Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Hike
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Nantahala National Forest
Wayah Ranger District
Franklin, NC 28734


Whitewater Falls, also called Upper Falls, is one of the highest falls east of the Rockies at 411 feet. This waterfall is designated a North Carolina Natural Heritage Area and it is accessible via a short 0.2 paved path off NC 281. The Foothills Trail passes near the Upper Whitewater Falls and this route is a loop hike that combines the Foothills Trail with a spur trail that crosses NC 281 near the Whitewater River bridge. There is a designated campsite along the spur trail, and a few other sites that are suitable for small groups that are looking for a nice overnight loop hike in this area.

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