Labor Day is the only US holiday dedicated to celebrating the working people, so take advantage of the holiday weekend and treat yourself to a trip to the North Carolina mountain towns of Jackson County! Not only is it conveniently located in the Great Smoky Mountains just a short drive from the Southeast’s major cities, but Jackson County also provides visitors the chance to try many different activities throughout their stay in the area.
Cozied up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and overlaid by the peaks of the Plott Balsam and Great Balsam Mountains, Jackson County is home to a considerable cache of outdoor adventures—perhaps more than any other corner of the state.
As temperatures start to rise, beat the heat and cool off in the picturesque mountain lakes of Jackson County, North Carolina. Home to Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva, Jackson County is 495 square miles of beautiful nature and outdoor fun. Around each corner, the lakes of the county delight with opportunities to view pristine scenery and take a dip into the crisp water to beat the summer temperatures.
You will find no shortage of natural beauty in Jackson County’s small mountain towns. Sweeping views of the mountains and nature surround and challenge you to delve a little deeper to uncover some of the most popular, and more well-hidden waterfalls. Visitors can discover more than two dozen waterfalls in the area ranging from cascading falls, to gentle flows, all which make for one-of-a-kind photo opportunities.
Almost as exhilarating to watch as it is to paddle the Class IV and V rapids, the High Falls whitewater dam releases in Jackson County North Carolina are a must-see outdoor experience.
Although big cats no longer prowl the 6,295-acre swath of the Nantahala National Forest dubbed Panthertown Valley, it’s still easy to imagine the namesake predators roaming the sylvan trails. One of the most stunning and ruggedly wild tracts of the massive national forest is Panthertown Valley—a place that has been referred to as the Yosemite of the East and one that is home to an unimaginably varied backcountry loaded with craggy granite cliffs, plunging ravines, soaring 4,000-foot peaks, and waterfalls spilling into private plunge pools. The recreation area is open to hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, fishing, and horseback riding—and despite increase popularity in recent years, Panthertown’s rugged trails are still steeped in solitude.
Western North Carolina is a land of waterfalls. Countless cascades punctuate the waterways braiding the vast expanses of forest and lofty Appalachian peaks dominating the western corner of the state, lending the landscape an undeniably enchanting quality. Some of the falls are accessible only after delving into wild pockets of backcountry, while others are just steps from the state’s tree-lined byways. With the abundance of waterfalls, narrowing down a short list is a formidable of challenge, but these are among the most stunning cascades adorning the western part of the state.
Countless visitors flock to Jackson County, NC every year to experience the area’s unbeatable hiking trails. Considering the temperate mountain climate, natural beauty and diverse wildlife, it is not hard to see why it is such a popular destination for novice and advanced hikers alike.