One of our primary reasons for staying in Western NC was the ability to access the very end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the only part we hadn’t driven. Our first visit to the BRP was way back in 2002 and over the years we’ve driven all of the other parts with the exception of the last 30 miles. On this trip we finally completed that section, starting outside Cherokee. The drive was just as great as expected.
Soco Falls is just a few minutes from the BRP, so we also stopped to check out this beautiful double falls.
The day before we left, we ventured to Mingo Falls, a short drive from the start of the BRP. The small parking lot can fill up fast but it’s a short hike up a series of stairs, so the turnover was pretty quick.
On our last day we also drove part of the BRP east of Sylva. Conditions were cloudier, but more color was also visible after a few cooler nights.
There are plenty of other scenic roads that connect to the BRP, and we especially enjoyed Rt 215 both for color and for several new-to-us waterfalls.
Dill Falls is such an easy hike that even Pasha made it! Upper Dill Falls is a little farther up the trail, and quite pretty as well.
Bubbling Spring Branch Falls was a pretty roadside fall and well worth the stop.
Sunburst Falls is a long cascading falls with parts above and below a picturesque bridge.
Finally, Little Bird Falls is a a moss-covered cascading creek accessed by hiking upstream on the right side of the creek about 5 minutes from the road. The pull-off is not very wide and one car actually stopped to ask Leandra if she was okay because she left the hazards on.
For more waterfall photos, check out our waterfall photography page.