Hikingsouth Hike of the Week

The Dry Falls Trail and Cliffside Lake Trails - NC.

June 20, 2017

This week's hike was on the short but spectacular Dry Falls trail. Then we hiked at nearby Cliffside Lake on the lake loop and Ranger Falls Trail.

HIKERS: Phil Brownrigg, Joe Collins, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Angela Evans, Mike Jones, Tony Presley, Carole Wintle and Jack Wintle .

TRAIL INFO. - We first stopped by and did the short hike to Dry Falls. Always a favorite stop to view one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the U.S. The trail is about a half mile round trip and allows you to walk behind the falls and feel the cool mist and hear the violent rush of water tumbling into the gorge below. Next, we traveled down the road a mile or so to Cliffside Lake Recreation area and hiked on a couple of trails there. We hiked the lake loop and the Ranger Falls - Skitty Creek Trail. The trails here are nice with lots of restroom facilities and picnic areas and a nice network of trails to choose from.

Total hiking distance today - 4+ miles with some elevation change. We rate the hike difficulty as moderate.

Directions: From downtown Highlands, take highway 64 toward Franklin. Dry falls is a couple of miles down the highway on the left. For Cliffside Lake continue another couple of miles and look for the sign. Turn to the right and drive to the pay station ($5 per car / $2.50 with senior pass) and continue to the parking area.

Another great day for a hike! Mostly to partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from the upper 60's to the mid 70's F.

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Galax, Flame Azalea, Wild Hydrangea, Black-eyed Susan, Buttercups, St. Johns Wort, Heal-all, Arrowleaf, Rosebay Rhododendron, Coreopsis, Yarrow, Red Clover, Mountain Phlox .

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Wood Ducks, American Crow, Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Nuthatch, Black and White Warbler and Tufted Titmouse.

scroll down for photos and video from today...


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Beautiful Dry Falls from the upper viewiing platform.
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Approaching the falls.
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The trail leads directly behing the falls.
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Spectacular view from the other side!
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Group Photo-op!
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Next, we drove down the road a couple of miles to Cliffside Lake.
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A nice trail loops around this beautiful mountain lake.
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Beautiful reflections on Cliffside Lake!
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Momma Wood Duck with her ducklings. (see them in action in the video below)
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We head up the Skitty Creek trail to Ranger Falls.
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Rosebay Rhododendron
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Here, the trail forks to the left toward Ranger Falls.
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A long downhill walk leads to the falls.
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Photo-op at Ranger Falls!
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The OFHC gang for today's hike (l-r) Angela Evans, Greta Driggers, Jack Wintle, Carole Wintle, Phil Brownrigg, Jim Driggers, Joe Collins, Mike Jones and "Barney" and Tony Presley.

SEE VIDEO FROM TODAY'S HIKE BELOW!

SEE MANY MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS HIKE BELOW! (CLICK PHOTO)


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