In my own experience, I have yet to find a spot with as many waterfalls per square mile as this part of Nantahala National Forest. It's hard to fathom just how many there are in this patch of land on the eastern facing slopes of these mountains.
The reason for this is, of course, geology. The rocks here are very tough and unyielding, mainly in the form of granite and gneiss. In addition, there was some relatively recent mountain building going on in this compact geography. The current explanation for this is that about eight million years ago the mantle extended a region of hot material upwards, forcing the otherwise dormant and eroded range here to be in turn pushed up, resulting in very steep slopes that, in conjunction with the toughness of the rocks, created many, many hundreds of waterfalls.
Here are three that we visited on this latest trip.
|Dry Falls, which I covered a couple of days ago. Easily one of the most impressive waterfalls I have seen in the southeastern USA.|