Scenic USA - North Carolina

Whiteside Mountain

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Whiteside Mountains - Highlands, North Carolina

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Where the borders of three states meet, Georgia, North and South Carolina, the landscape is dominated by Blue Ridge Peaks. While this eastern range of the Appalachians runs hundreds of miles from Georgia to Virginia, the tri-state area here is just loaded with scenic wonders. Pictured here is one of North Carolina's most famous monadnocks found near Cashiers. You may wonder what is a monadnock? Simply stated, it's an isolated mountain with a large section of exposed bedrock, Whiteside Mountain Closeup - Highlands-Cashiers, North Carolina commonly made up of granite or quartzite. One of the most conspicuous of all mountain peak features, the exposed rock takes its name from a peak in New Hampshire, Mount Monadnock, found in the Monadnock State Park.
   Some of the monadnocks found in the tri-state area include Glassy Mountain, Paris Mountain, Caesars Head, Little Mountain and Table Rock. One of the most recognized cliffs to mountain climbers is Whiteside Mountain in the Cashiers area, or Sanigila'gi to the Cherokee. The 750 foot ascent, shown in this view, is the most serious climb in the Southeast. The novice and intermediate climbers are warned not to attempt this climb without a knowledgeable guide. Whiteside's original route requires more than ten pitches and is rated a 5.11. An easier route to the top is the narrow Whiteside Mountain Road. It winds and climbs to near the top of the 4,930 foot summit. A trail leads from the parking lot through the Nantahala Forest of red oak, yellow birch, and red maple, and on to the mountain top. A pleasant loop trail, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the countryside. On a clear day it's possible to see the Georgia Highlands and the South Carolina foothills to the southeast. The trail loop is a two mile trip, with three overlooks along the way. Part of the trail follows an old roadbed where travelers were once ushered to the overlook the easy way. A post office at the top allowed sightseers to send out picture postcards of the wonderful views from Whiteside Mountain. Day hikers today are urged to continue on the loop, as the view gets better and better.

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