Travel Tips for Cashiers
In Cashiers, Your Senses Come Alive!
In 2004, Outside Magazine selected Cashiers, North Carolina, as one of the BEST towns for 2004! That is saying a great deal because the actual town is not much...it is really a crossroads at the junction of U.S. 64 and North Carolina 107. There are a few antique shops, a few fine restaurants, several "second-home clusters that are tucked away in the woods", and two or three resorts. It's the scenery, the location, the affordability.
The location in the Blue Ridge Mountains provides incredible "eye candy" such as granite dropoffs, gorgeous trees, hiking trails, serene lakes, and lovely cascading streams. Because Cashiers (pronounced CASH-ers) is perched about 3,500 feet on the Eastern Continental Divide, and because the area has more than 80 inches of rain a year, there are waterfalls everywhere! Some are mere tiny cliffside seeps, but others are 400-foot "cataracts that roar into deep gorges." It's like seeing Niagra Falls without all the tackiness.
Some of the scenes are astonishing such as tranquil lakes which mirror majestic mountain scenery; some are old Appalachian cabins nestled in low tree hallows; some are crystal-clear streams with one lone fly fisherman. Sometimes it feels as though time has stood still and always will here in this western part of North Carolina. It's hard to put into words the gut feeling I had while visiting this area...it's a combination of all the senses uniting....the smell of pine trees in the early morning mist, the feel of frigid water as you dip your toes into a mountain stream; the sight of the stone-faced Yellow Mountain, Rock Mountain, Chimney Top, and Whiteside standing like stoic sentinels; the sound of thunder as the tallest waterfall in the Eastern United States plunges 4,000 feet downward; and the taste of southern fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, fresh mountain trout, corn on the cob, and fresh blueberries and strawberries...(real Southern treats)...it's all these senses coming alive at once!
The Beautiful Blue Haze of the Appalachians
Cashiers, North Carolina, is located in the westernmost eighth of the state and lies within the Appalachian Mountains.
These are some of the oldest mountain ranges of the entire world. Cashiers is in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. This mountain range runs parallel to the coast (northeast to southwest). The Great Smoky Mountains are parallel to the Blue Ridge. Both of these mountain ranges got their names because of the blue-grey haze veil that always seems to hover over them.
What really put this area "on the map" so-to-speak was the Blue Ridge Parkway, which took actually 52 years to complete! It took so long because workers had to chisel roads through mountainsides.Today this Parkway is the most popular scenic drive in America. In NC, the Blue Ridge Parkway meanders from the Virginia border to Asheville and then swerves west to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The only reason the Parkway was built was because of FDR's insistence to connect Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee borders. In addition, President Roosevelt needed to put people to work I thought, like many other Americans, that the Appalachians were just mountains where poor, uneducated people lived.
Oh, how misled I was...yes, there is poverty; yes, there are uneducated people. So what? Beauty does not require wealth and/or intelligence. Beauty lies within the people and within the beautiful landscape.
Besides, the Appalachian area is a cross-section of the entire state...it has it all...mountains, forests, waterfalls, lakes, cities, farms...it's all there with all kinds of people.
To Appreciate Cashiers, You Need to Know NC
Please Click to See the Map Clearly
North Carolina is a state of modest means. Almost 13% of the people live in poverty, and the state ranks 44th nationally in cost of living. Education is a glaring weakness in the state with only 79.2% with high school diplomas. Of the 50 states in America, North Carolina usually ranks about 46th.
Ironically, North Carolina still is known for its excellent universities which include Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, and NC State University in Raleigh.
People from North Carolina still eat plenty of BBQ (shredded pork), grits, and collard greens. Fried chicken is still a Sunday dinner "must", but in the sizeable cities, all kinds of cuisine are available.
NASCAR RACING is still the sport of choice in North Carolina. After all, it is the sport that was founded by North Carolina "moonshiners" who raced up and down the Eastern Seaboard with their bootleg liquor.
The native North Carolinians say "hey" instead of "hi" or "hello"; they also say, as do most Southerners, "y'all" to mean two or more people. But, the greatest Tar Heel compliment is to say "Good people"
It's not said too often, but if it is said, listen carefully because it is only said about the people who are trusted and who are valued.
A man I met there knew my father and said, "he's goooood people", which meant he was the best! I agree.
Of the two Carolina states, North Carolina, in my estimation, is more "civilized" concerning intergration and civil rights. I did not feel the tension here that I felt in South Carolina. I hope I'm right.
What A Scenic Golfing Experience!
Click to see the beautiful 8th hole at High Hampton Golf Course & Country Club
My husband Allan and I went to High Hampton Inn and Country Club in 1997 to experience a week's special golfing tournament. It was a fantastic experience that we both enjoyed.
This course plays at 6,012 yards from the back tees. The greens are bent grass, and all tees, fairways, and greens are lined by tall trees that offer scenic vistas. The course architect, the late George W. Cobb, once said of the High Hampton course, "I have yet to see a course--designed by me or by others--with greater natural beauty or one more enjoyable to play."
After playing this course every day for one week, I have to agree with him.
The number 8 hole that I photographed from the tee is the famous par 3, 137 yard hole that Golf Digest called, "One of America's Great Golf Holes". All 18 holes are just as beautiful, and some are more challenging but not as frustrating. On this 8th hole, you have to hit the ball perfectly, making sure that it does not roll because you go over water, and the green sticks out into the lake.
From the 7th tee, you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains and Hampton Lake, and Rock Mountain overlooks the 12th hole.
Besides the lovely course, there are two putting greens and a practice range. This practice range is covered for protection from occasional rains. You need:
Golf balls and tees
Golf shoes without metal spikes
Shirt with a collar
By the way, both Allan and I won prizes during the tournament. With the gift certificate that I won, I purchased a great golf jacket (which I still use)!
Land of the Waterfalls
While in Cashiers, we explored & discovered that Cashiers is part of Land of The Waterfalls.
The town next to Cashiers,Highlands, is the center of N C waterfall country. From Franklin to Highlands, U.S. 64 follows the Cullasaja River, offering the most falls: Lower Cullasaja Falls is a cascade), Dry Falls ( visitors can walk behind the deluge & view the backside without getting wet), & Bridal Veil Falls (which splashes down 120 feet & is a lacy cascade).
There is also popular Sliding Rock where you can slide along a 60-foot natural waterslide & then plung into a cold, cold pool below.
From Highlands, take N.C. 106 south for two miles to the Glen Falls Scenic Area, (here the water plummets 50 feet. If you go through Cashiers, take State Road 107 south into South Carolina. Turn left on Wigington Road (S.C. 37/413) & after 2 miles turn left on S.C. 130 (called N.C. 281 on the other side of the line.) Now, keep an eye open on your right for the area of Whitewater Falls, the tallest waterfall in the eastern U.S. Actually, it's a pair of falls that fall sequentially on either side of the NC/SC state line!
This is a dangerous area with slippery rocks & very long drops. No kidding, people have died here from falling!
There are more than 250 spectacular waterfalls within Transylvania County's Parkway & Off-Parkway drives.
There are two reasons why there are so many waterfalls in the area:
1. The mountains are the 1st to get heavy rain clouds rolling north from the Gulf of Mexico. The mountains trap the clouds (dropping about 100 inches of rain per yr).
2. This "flood" splashes down on mountains that rise nearly 5,000 feet from one side of the county to the other. " From upland coves water rushes in leaps to splash to the valley floor, creating cascades, chutes, cataracts, falls, jumps, shoals, slides, slips, % spills." (quoted from The Land of the Waterfalls" by Jim Bob Tinsley.