Photo Courtesy – WUNC
In case you weren’t aware of North Carolina’s topography, there isn’t a lot of elevation change in the eastern part of the state. Practically everything, with the exception of a couple of hills, is flat east of Interstate 95. Everything between Interstates 95 and 77 is also not the most conducive terrain for waterfalls, though some small falls exist. The best chance to locate any falls of your own is to follow the “fall line,” the geologic feature running down the east coast that marks the area where the harder base rock transitions to softer sedimentary rock. In North Carolina, the fall line generally rests along the western edge of the Interstate 95 corridor.
If you did your own research without looking at any pictures, you’d think the central and eastern parts of the state were littered with waterfalls. However the term “waterfall” was a blanket term early settlers used to define literally any motion of the water that wasn’t placid. If there were any section of a river that contained exposed rock that caused the river to get even the slightest bit agitated, it was labeled a waterfall. What’s left are dozens of glorified rapids that were given the name “waterfall” when it simply isn’t true.
There are two primary areas for waterfalls: