Visiting the Area
Beyond The Mountain – and its wonderful views and serenity – there are many attractions, shopping and outdoor activities available.
Highlands is a chic top of the mountain resort town just five miles from The Mountain, offering fine dining, including six restaurants with the prestigious Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The town also offers a busy performing arts schedule that includes live theatre at the historic Highlands Playhouse and regularly scheduled music events at the Performing Arts Center. In addition visit the:
- Highlands Historical Society and museum
- Highlands Biological Station – including Nature Center, Botanical Gardens and the Highlands Biological Foundation
- The Bascom Center for the Visual Arts and its wonderful exhibitions
Just down the mountain in Rabun County find three wonderful vineyards with tasting rooms open most days of the week.
- 12 Spies Vineyard and Farm– 550 Black Branch Rd, Rabun Gap, GA – (813) 335-2886 (less than 15 miles from The Mountain). A range of wines from sweet to dry – Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Tannat and Traminette – varietals that grow well in the climate and altitude of Rabun Gap, Georgia.
- Stonewall Creek Vineyards – 323 Standing Deer Ln, Tiger, GA 30576; (706) 212-0584 (27 miles from The Mountain). First grapes in 2005 – winery opened in August 2012 with rosé and Petit Manseng – first reds released in 2013, aged in French oak, Cabernet Franc and Malbec blend – wine tastings.
- Tiger Mountain Vineyards – 2592 Old 441 S, Tiger, GA 30576; (706) 782-4777 (36 miles from The Mountain) – red and white wines from grapes grown in Rabun County – ten acres of vines, planted in 1995 and 1996 on the Ezzards’ five generation-old family farm – individually tended and hand-picked – mostly European vinifera – more than 195 awards – vineyard and tasting room open year round.
- The Mountain Hiking Trails – See The Mountain Office for trail maps to Glen Falls, Chinquapin Mountain, and Abe’s Creek. The trails heads are located right at The Mountain.
- Other Hiking Trails – See The Mountain Office for maps of Rabun Bald, Scaly Mountain, Whiteside Mountain and Yellow Mountain.
- Highlands Heritage Trail – Self-guided in-town tour of Highlands historical buildings and landmarks. See The Mountain Office for maps.
- Highlands Plateau Greenway Trail – For a leisurely hike through forests of oak, hickory, pine, fir and old-growth rhododendron and mountain laurel in the understory.
- Bridal Veil Falls – The only waterfall in North Carolina that you can drive behind! This picturesque 100 ft. falls cascading over Hwy 64/28 (Franklin Road) is just 7 miles from The Mountain.
- Dry Falls – Walk behind this 75′ tall waterfall or enjoy the view on the wheelchair accessible viewing deck. Just past Bridal Veil Falls on the right (coming from Highlands) with restroom facilities and multiple parking spots. Located on Hwy 64/28 (Franklin Road) just 7.7 miles from The Mountain.
- Bust Your Butt Falls – This popular swimming hole and natural slide is just 3 miles past Dry Falls. Located on Hwy 64/28 West (Franklin Road), 10.5 miles from The Mountain, on the Cullasaja River – parking on the left and right (use caution).
- Cullasaja Falls – A 250 ft. cascade on Hwy. 64/28 (Franklin Road), 13 miles from The Mountain – one of the most photographed falls in NC.
- Glen Falls – Just four miles by road from The Mountain. Drive north from The Mountain 2.9 miles toward Highlands on the Dillard Road. Turn right on Forest Service Road 1618, and drive 1 mile to a parking lot. From there a steep trail leads down to the falls. A series of three large waterfalls each dropping 50 feet on the east fork of Overflow Creek in the Blue Valley area. The foot trail down to the falls is steep.
- Whitewater Falls – Highest in the Eastern United States: 411 ft. falls – 28 miles from The Mountain, on 107 S beyond Cashiers – sign and road to falls on left.
- Blue Valley Overlook – One mile SW of The Mountain on Hwy 106 S (Dillard Road). On a clear night you can see lights from Seneca, SC.
- Osage Overlook – Hwy 106 South (Dillard Road) across from Bartram Trail entrance – great views of Scaly and Osage Mountains.
- Whiteside/Cowee Gap Overlook – Just 10.5 miles from The Mountain on 64 E (Cashiers Road). A magnificent view of Whiteside Mountain and its dramatic cliffs.
- Sunset Rock – An easy 20 minute hike beginning at the east end of Main Street – across from the Nature Center.
- Satulah Overlook – South of Main Street on 285 (Fourth Street) – spectacular view of Satulah Mountain, Hidden Falls, and Blue Valley.
- Rafting – Nantahala Outdoor Center – choose from the calm and lazy Nantahala River or the outrageously exciting Chattooga River just 45 minutes away from The Mountain! Chattooga River is without a doubt the Southeast’s premier whitewater rafting adventure. In fact, Southern Living called rafting the Chattooga “The #1 Thing Every Southerner Ought to Do.” The Chattooga was federally protected in 1974 by the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, forever preserving its rugged river gorge from development. Thus, the Chattooga delivers breathtaking scenery and treasured whitewater in an unmatched wilderness setting.
- Zip lining – Highlands Aerial Park – Forest canopy tours to match your “adventure meter” – walk-ins welcome – reservations highly recommended.
- Canoeing & Kayaking – Highlands River Adventures
- Fly Fishing – Headwater Outfitters, Highland Hiker, – 500 miles of fishing streams in Macon County alone – trout fishing as good as it gets!
- Highlands Plateau Audubon Society – Elevation and rich flora make Highlands a premier birding hot spot, particularly during spring migration.
- Sky Valley Country Club – Scenic, newly renovated 18 hole course – reasonable fees – off Hwy 106/Dillard Road between Highlands and Dillard, GA – 15 minutes from The Mountain. For tee times call: (706) 746 5303.
- High Hampton – An 18 hole George Cobb course at the historic High Hampton Inn. Turn right at traffic light in Cashiers onto 107 South. Look for entrance on left side of the road. For tee times call: (828) 743-2450.
- Sapphire Mountain – A Ron Garl semi-private 18 hole course in the Sapphire Valley community – on Hwy 64 east beyond Cashiers. Pro Shop: (828) 743-1174.
- Sapphire Valley Ski Area – Sapphire, NC – one of the South’s most active ski resorts – upgraded chair lift and snow making equipment. Amenities include a base lodge, Four Seasons Grille, ski retail shop and ski rental shop.
- Cataloochee Ski Area – Maggie Valley, NC – ski rental shop, The Shop (retail – souvenirs and minor equipment) – classes and private lessons – Tube World nearby.
- Arrowmont Stables – 276 Arrowmont Trail, Cullowhee, NC 28723 – 21 miles north of The Mountain – ring and trail riding – (828) 743-2762 or (800) 682-1092
- Dillard House Stables – 1153 Franklin St, Dillard, GA 30537 – 13 miles southwest of The Mountain – guided horseback riding for the whole family – (706) 746-2038
- Gem Mining – Jackson Hole Trading Post – 25 miles from The Mountain. Try your hand at gem mining and keep what you find!
- The First-Timer’s Guide to Mountain Biking in Western North Carolina – Our beautiful terrain provides mountain biking at its best – lazy dirt roads, dramatic single track trails – gentle to rugged – something for everyone.
- Singletracks – A complete guide to North Carolina mountain bike trails.
Highlands Medical Care
- Highlands has a hospital, walk-in clinic, and pharmacy. Learn more about the medical and emergency services.
Presenting Highlands Area Trivia
Highlands has so many interesting facts! Click here for some Highlands Area Trivia.