Secret Falls Near Highlands, NC

secret falls highlands nc smokies waterfalls

Secret Falls near Highlands, NC Smoky Mountains – Photo by Water Falls Hiker

Secret Falls: A Hidden Gem in Highlands, NC

Secret Falls is a hidden gem tucked away in the picturesque town of Highlands, North Carolina. This secluded waterfall offers a peaceful retreat and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. With its enchanting cascades and tranquil surroundings, Secret Falls is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Trail and Access

To reach Secret Falls, visitors can follow a moderate hiking trail that leads to the waterfall. The trail is approximately 1.5 miles round trip and winds through a lush forest, offering glimpses of scenic views along the way. As you hike, you’ll encounter a variety of flora and fauna, enhancing the natural charm of the area. The trail concludes at Secret Falls, where you can enjoy the mesmerizing sight of the cascading water and the serene ambiance of the surroundings.

Location and Directions

Secret Falls is located in Highlands, North Carolina, a charming town situated in Macon County. To get there:

  1. From Asheville, head southwest on US-23 South/US-74 East towards Sylva.
  2. Continue on US-23 South/US-64 West for approximately 35 miles until you reach the town of Highlands.
  3. In Highlands, turn right onto Horse Cove Road (also known as Whiteside Cove Road).
  4. Follow Horse Cove Road for about 2 miles until you reach a small parking area on the left side of the road. This is the trailhead for Secret Falls.

Exploring the Area

While visiting Secret Falls, take the opportunity to explore the charming town of Highlands and the surrounding areas. Some notable attractions and activities in the vicinity include:

  • Highlands Main Street: Stroll along Main Street in Highlands and discover an array of boutique shops, art galleries, and locally-owned restaurants.
  • Whiteside Mountain: Embark on a scenic hike up Whiteside Mountain, known for its stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Gorges State Park: Located nearby, Gorges State Park offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife observation in a pristine natural setting.
  • Dry Falls: Just a short drive away, you can visit Dry Falls, a unique waterfall where you can walk behind the cascading water and experience its beauty up close.

Experience the Magic of Secret Falls

Secret Falls offers a serene and enchanting experience amidst the splendor of the Smoky Mountains. With its moderate hiking trail, picturesque waterfall, and peaceful surroundings, it provides a perfect escape from bustling city life. Plan your visit to Secret Falls and discover the hidden beauty that awaits you in Highlands, North Carolina.

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