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For years I’d heard mention of a nearby spot where kids loved to swim and dive – this is it.  Locally known as Trash Can Falls, it’s officially Laurel Creek Falls. The falls aren’t the star of the show here, it’s the hidden setting and opportunity to jump and play.  We just enjoyed watching. Students from nearby Appalachian State University mingle with local kids to scramble around the boulders and test the… Read More

A short, but rigorous hike will reward you with views of the lovely Crab Orchard Falls. Even in this very dry summer, the sound of the water rushing over the rocks is powerful. The falls are extensive and have many levels, but from what I have read, have never been officially measured. Visitors park at the Valle Crucis Episcopal Church, in the upper parking lot.  It is well-marked where you should and… Read More

48 degrees. Glittering golden leaves. Carolina Blue sky and a mountain view that doesn’t stop.  We took an afternoon break from packing-up to head south, and enjoyed our last hike of the season, to The Cascades. A short 30-minute walk along a well-maintained trail leads to the beautiful falls located in E.B. Jeffress Park at mile marker 272 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Deep Gap.  You hear the it before you see it…. Read More

A hidden gem about 20 minutes from Linville and Grandfather Mountain, Elk River Falls is worth the visit.  We love to take our visitors: it’s a quick adventure, absolutely beautiful, and a great spot for a memorable NC photo-op! Near the Tennessee border, just outside the tiny town of Elk Park you will see a sign for Elk River Falls.  The first time you turn off North Carolina’s 19E to Elk River… Read More

    Going Off-Road to the Wilson Creek National Wild & Scenic River Well, maybe not really “off” road – but at least the less traveled gravel roads so common in the NC mountains. We recently found ourselves off in the Jeep for a photo-expedition to the beautiful Wilson Creek area. A popular hiking, swimming and picnicking destination, the Creek is actually quite lengthy and often wider with much more dramatic scenery… Read More

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