Gorges State Park is location on NC281 South, less than a mile from the intersection with US64 in Lake Toxaway. One of the highlights of Gorges State Park is Toxaway Falls, which you will drive over is you’re coming to Gorges from Brevard NC. Another of the prime draws for Gorges State park is the Rainbow Falls Trail and Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is without a doubt the biggest draw in Gorges and the waterfall isn’t even in Gorges. None of the five names falls on the hike are. While the trailhead is in Gorges about a mile from the visitor center, the waterfalls are in Pisgah Forest. Less than a mile into the hike you will pass a sign letting yuo know you are leaving Gorges State Park. Gorges offers numerous opportunities for hiking and mountain biking in a wilderness setting.
If you plan on going exploring in Gorges off of the main trails, make sure you are prepared. You don’t have to go very far at all before you are in the middle of nowhere. There is a lot of rugged and remote terrain and when there isn’t a trail, it’s easy to get lost. If you’re not experienced in hiking off trail, this isn’t the place to learn. I use a cellphone with the AllTrails to chart my progress. I also bring a Mophie Juice Pack to recharge my phone. I always have my NC Trail map as well as a map of the park.
467 – Bearcamp Falls (Hilliard)
468 – Splash Dam Falls
556 – Sidepocket Falls
When you enter into Gorges State Park make sure to stop in the visitor’s center before you head to the trails. It is a beautiful place with loads of information about the park and the surrounding area. You can also grab a trail map while you’re there. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a map and knowing where you’re going in Gorges. If you’re traveling with younger children who are into the outdoors, ask about the junior ranger program. This is something you can do at any of the North Carolina State Parks. Your child will get an activity book that they can work on during your stay. Check in before you leave with the completed activities and one of the park rangers will issue your child a patch with the logo for that particular park. This was my daughter’s fourth patch earned in 2015. Her goal is to get one from each of the state parks, all 40 of them, which mean a lot of driving for me! It’s a great program that teaches children about nature and how to take care of our parks.