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Hiking Trails

There are endless hiking trails in and around Highlands from short strolls perfect for a family outing to strenuous trails into the mountains. It’s wildflowers and waterfalls all the way!

Sunset Rocks

1.2 miles (round trip). Trail head: Horse Cove Rd., across from the Highlands Nature Center. Features: A rock outcropping overlooking Highlands and Horse Cove; trees marked and identified as part of the Town of Highlands “Highlands Trees” project.
Location: Highlands, NC

Satulah Mountain Summit

The trail is a short hike down an old road bed to the summit, which is 4543 ft. Excellent panoramic views. Distance Aprox. 1/2 mile one way.
Location: Highlands, NC

Whiteside Mountain

2 miles (round trip). Trail Head: Whiteside Mt. parking area. Features: This moderate loop trail offers spectacular views from a high ridge top, 2,100` above the valley floor. Whiteside Mt. (4900`) has the highest sheer cliffs in the Eastern US (400 – 750`).
Location: Highlands, NC

Devil`s Courthouse

Accessed from the Whiteside Mountain Trail.
Location: Highlands, NC

Horse Cove Poplar Tree

100 yards from the Trail Head off Rich Gap Rd. Features: Large yellow tulip popular, the second largest tree in the state and third largest in the East.
Location: Highlands, NC

Chinquapin Mountain

3.2 miles (round trip). Trail head: Glen Falls parking area. Features: Numerous stream crossings and several views from Chinquapin Mt. (4,160`) into Blue Valley at vistas along the trail. Access also available off of NC106 approximately 3 miles from Highlands.
Location: Highlands, NC

Cliffside Lake Recreation Area

There are numerous hiking trails in this area, including an interpretive loop trail describing shrubs and trees along the Cliffside Vista Trail. The half-mile loop around the lake offers hikers an easy walk that is quite level.
Location: Highlands, NC

Chattooga Loop Trail

2 miles (round trip). Trail head: Horse Cove Rd. Features: A pleasant walk through the woods and then along the river, ending with a spectacular view of rock formations from the Bull Pen Rd. Bridge, known as “The Iron Bridge.”
Location: Highlands, NC

Highlands Nature Center

Trails with interpretive arboretum features located across the street from Sunset Rocks in Highlands.
Location: 930 Horse Cove Rd, Highlands, NC 28741
Phone: (828) 526-2623

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Rabun Bald Area

Peak 4,696 – This trail provides a spectacular view of the tri-state area from an observation deck atop Rabun Bald, Georgia`s second highest point. The deck is constructed from remnants of an old fire tower built in the 1930s. One of Georgia`s rarest birds, the raven, is frequently sighted. The ascent is extremely steep. 2 miles one way. Directions: From Highlands to Scaly Mtn., then just past the post office take a left turn on Hale Ridge Rd. then a right on Bald Mtn. Rd. & look for a US Forestry sign that indicates a left on Kelsey Mtn. Rd. to the Trailhead.
Location: Highlands, NC

Highland Hiker

Location: 601 Main St, Highlands, NC 28741
Phone: (828) 526-5298


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