🚘🌄Do GO Chasing Waterfalls! 🌄🚘

Hello everyone! A special warm welcome to many of you who are new to receiving my newsletter. I hope you find joy and inspiration from the stories and tips I share about travel.

October 1st has ushered in the embrace of fall, with leaves starting to change into an array of colors, the cool breeze introducing a gentle chill, and the spirit of football uniting communities. Time surely flies, doesn’t it?

As the summer adventures wrap up, the quest for weekend getaways to keep the spirit of exploration alive is on the rise. There are many hidden gems awaiting your discovery close to where you live.

The phrase ‘don’t go chasing waterfalls’ might ring a bell, but here in North Carolina, it’s a tradition worth breaking. With an abundance of waterfalls and accompanying hikes varying from towering falls to tranquil cascades, the state is a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Our slice of North Carolina is particularly rich in this natural beauty. The spectacle of a waterfall, often the cherry on top after a scenic mountain drive or a rewarding hike, is indeed a sight to behold.

Asheville, NC and the encompassing Blue Ridge Mountains are a hotspot for waterfall chasers. Whether along hiking trails, beside the road, or visible from the comfort of your car, the waterfalls here are as diverse as they are beautiful.

Recently, we stumbled upon 10 treasures in the Western Carolinas. Sometimes, the most enchanting spots are nestled in our backyards. Take a moment to revel in the natural beauty surrounding you—it’s truly everywhere!


There are two spectacular waterfalls on the Cherokee Indian Reservation!!

Double waterfalls are a rarity and this one is a hidden gem. Soco Falls (above left), located just a short walk off the main road, is a perfect way to start your scenic adventure. The falls sit right in between Maggie Valley and the Cherokee Indian Reservation.

Mingo Falls (above right) – meaning “Big Bear” in the Cherokee Language is located in the Big Cove community just north of Cherokee. A hidden gem hiding in the Smokies, the beautiful Mingo Falls is accessed by a short and brisk 0.4-mile hike inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. The 120-foot fall is always impressive, but especially after a large rainfall which causes the cascade to flow in full force.


The Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is known for its streams, hiking trails and waterfalls and is a beautiful area of the park. It is home to 3 waterfalls – Juney Whank, Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls. There are two loop trails that take you to all three: Three Waterfalls Loop (2.4 miles) and Deep Creek-Indian Creek Loop (5 miles).  This is a popular area for tubing and gets quite busy during the summer months.

Tom Branch (above left) is located in the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is a simple, but gorgeous waterfall, that gently falls into the famous Deep Creek.  It’s the first waterfall you will encounter on the loop.  It is enjoyable to watch tubers go past the bottom of the falls.  You have a good view from across the creek. 

Juney Whank Falls (above center) is divided into an upper and lower section. Both can be viewed from the footbridge which crosses Juney Whank Branch at the falls. Together they drop 90 feet from top to bottom. The stream and falls are said to be named after a Mr. Junaluska “Juney” Whank, who may be buried in the area.

Indian Creek Falls (above right) is the largest of the three waterfalls in the Deep Creek section of Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  The trail to the falls is wide, paved and mostly flat. You may want to sit for a while and enjoy the sound of the rushing water!


Cullasaja Falls can be seen from the roadside on US Highway 64 (called Mountain Waters Scenic Highway & Waterfall Byway), 8.8 miles west of Highlands, along a very narrow, curvy stretch of highway through the the Cullasaja River Gorge in Nantahala National Forest. What a beautiful cliffside drive!


On the way to the Highlands, we spotted at beautiful sight, Bridal Veil Falls.  It has been famous for generations as the only waterfall in North Carolina you can drive behind. However, the section of road behind the falls is now blocked off from automobiles for safety. This allows you to walk behind and enjoy it more. (The picture on the left was taken when I stood underneath the falls.) The 60-ft. waterfall in Nantahala National Forest doesn’t have a large volume of water unless it is right after a big rain. Therefore, it is safe and fun to stand behind it!


Dry Falls, a popular waterfall located a few miles outside of Highlands, gives you the rare treat of walking safely behind a waterfall. This 75-ft. tall waterfall in the Nantahala National Forest, flows over a cliff, allowing you to walk behind the falls and stay dry (hence the name). During rainy spells when the water volume is higher, the spray will prevent you from staying totally dry.

GLEN FALLS (a triple waterfall)

What a gorgeous place to view! Glen Falls is a triple waterfall near Highlands with 4 scenic stops along a 2-mile hike. The upper and middle cascades are the most beautiful. These falls are a great way to spend time in the woods relaxing and taking in the views!

If you love to find waterfalls, then Western North Carolina is the place for you!!  Travel still remains one of the BEST ways to feel a global interconnectedness with humanity and in this case…nature!

Now, for those with a desire for an international adventure, may I entice you with the beauty of Icelandic waterfalls? Iceland, with its surreal landscapes and exquisite falls like Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, offers quite an experience for waterfall aficionados. The land of fire and ice, while known for its geysers and glaciers, houses cascades that are nothing short of magical.

So whether it’s the local scenic beauties or the majestic falls of Iceland, the world is brimming with places that await your discovery. Let’s keep the spirit of exploration aflame, and when you’re ready for your next adventure, whether local or beyond, I’m here to help guide your journey.

If you enjoy these weekly doses of travel inspiration, feel free to share this newsletter with fellow wanderlust hearts. They can subscribe and join us on this exciting journey by clicking the link below. And don’t forget to connect with me on social media (links are listed at the very bottom) for daily snippets of travel inspiration.

Enjoy your explorations, and until next time, take care and keep wandering!

Your Travel Enthusiast,


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Hi I'm Lisa, founder of XOOM Tours

And I believe, whole-heartedly, that YOU deserve a travel journey that wows you every step of the way. I’m here to design just that, just for you.


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