Driving through the lush landscapes of North Carolina is a relaxing yet at the same time an invigorating vacation experience. Driving this Southern route in an RV is even more inviting, as you have everything you need with you at all times. The Cullasaja River Gorge is one destination that attracts many to a scenic drive that tops just about any on the East Coast.
Starting in Franklin, NC you will take U.S. Highway 64 through some lovely river country, the Cullasaja River being the major attraction. This tributary of the Little Tennessee River has cut a beautiful canyon named the Cullasaja River Gorge. Waterfalls, animal life, birds and National Forest land – all yours on this marvelous drive. Spring through fall is the best time to come.
In Franklin you will find RV camping at Cullasaja RV Park, with full hookups and fun activities. No matter the time of year, this North Carolina town offers a number of events and festivals that the whole family will enjoy. In July, the Franklin Folk Festival is a favorite, with many themes that cover different aspects of pioneer days in this area. Also in Franklin, you will find access nearby to the Appalachian Trail and other hiking trails you are sure to love.
Take off on the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway (U.S. 64 and NC 28) which takes you through rural countryside and hardwood forests. You will be in the Nantahala National Forest with its multitude of outdoor recreational opportunities. Picnic in any one of the many day-use areas. You can climb, fish or hike – it’s all here for you!
The most famous attractions in Cullasaja River Gorge are the fabulous waterfalls. This National Scenic Byway provides access to some amazing hikes and views of beautiful cascades. You can hike to the Bridal Veil Falls along a wooded trail. Just take the trailhead which is located across the road from the parking lot. It takes about two and a half hours out and back.
Two other waterfalls you’ll see as you drive this byway are Dry Falls and Quarry Falls. You can walk behind Dry Falls, witnessing its 75-80-foot cascade in a unique way. However, you must be sure to protect your valuables from the spray, otherwise they will get wet. Quarry Falls is also called Bust-Yer-Butt Falls, so watch your step!
Be sure to visit the magnificent 250-foot Cullasaja Falls on your RV journey. There is a small pull-off area at the side of the road, so be sure to pull completely off the road so you won’t endanger others in their travels. If you are up to it, you can hike there on a steep trail through rough terrain. Another falls you can stop and see is Glen Falls. It takes a 2.5-mile trek to reach it, but you will avoid the crowds as it is not on the main highway.
The last stop on your Cullasaja RV adventure is Highlands, NC. If you love to go birding, this is definitely the spot! There are also plenty of trails where you can hike and enjoy nature. This RV trip has certainly shown you the best of North Carolina and will remain in memory for a long time to come!