Height: 75 feet
Trail Type: Asphalt and dirt
Hike Distance: 0.2 miles round trip
If you’re the kind of person who takes waterfall names literally (and I’m not sure why you would), Dry Falls might be one you skip. However, Dry Falls is easily one of the best waterfalls in the state. The name comes from the fact that you can walk behind the falls and stay (relatively) dry. In recent years, the forest service has renovated the parking and viewing areas for the falls, including the construction of a handicap accessible view.
The falls themselves plunge over an overhanging rock wall before collecting in a narrow chute and bursting into the river below. In normal to above-average flows, the roar of the water coming over the falls is almost deafening, and the view from behind/underneath the falls is as unique an experience as you’ll get in the mountains.
From the intersection of US 64 and NC highway 106 in Highlands, drive west on US 64. The parking area for the falls is 3.15 miles on the right.
There’s not much of a hike here. A paved path heads down a set of stairs before switchbacking down a moderate slope to the falls. The path turns to dirt close to the falls and circles behind/underneath the falls and stops a short way down the other side of the gorge. In all, you get a nearly 360-degree view of the falls, which is practically impossible to do with a falls of this size.