Scenic USA - North Carolina

Mountain Waters Scenic Byway

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Cullasaja River Gorge - Mountain Waters Scenic Byway, North Carolina

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     The North Carolina western mountains, one of the state's three travel regions, Mountain Waters Scenic Byway Sign is dominated by the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Black Mountain Range and the Great Smoky Mountains. Perhaps the oldest mountain ranges in the United States, North Carolina's Appalachian Peaks are some of the highest in the east, with 40 topping 6000 feet in elevation. Nantahala River Paddlers And it's a sure bet that these mountains offer some the best streams for fishing, rafting, kayaking, canoeing and tubing.
     For those not up to the thrill of tackling whitewater in a kayak, the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway is one of the best ways to enjoy the Mountain Region. Dry Falls Added to the National Forest Byway list in 1993, this 60 mile scenic drive winds through the Nantahala National Forest, connecting the towns of Wayah Bald Observation Tower (1937) Highlands and Almond. The byway runs through two river gorges, passed a string of waterfalls and highlights some of the most gorgeous scenery in the state. Pictured here is a short section of the byway along North Carolina's U.S. Route 64, where a narrow, winding highway follows the Cullasaja River Gorge. To the west at Franklin, the byway follows SR 1310 (Wayah Road) up and over the mountains at Wayah Gap. The highlights on this section of the byway include hiking trails (Bartram and Appalachian trails), the Nantahala Gorge, Rufus Morgan Falls, camping and picnic areas, and the high point at Wayah Bald Lookout Tower. This extra special scenic highway features two dozen scenic attractions, enough to fill a weekend of family fun.

    Byway Route
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