Share with your friends!

Located in southwest North Carolina, Jackson County is “quintessential Carolina” — mountains, streams, small towns and stunning scenery. Included in the county are four gorgeous mountain towns: Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva. We’ve written about Cashiers before in this article — “How to Spend 48 Hours in Cashiers, NC.” We’ve also shared a peek at Sylva in this article — “Sylva, NC, for a Peaceful Mountain Retreat.” But there’s still so much more to explore in Jackson County, NC. Here are four destinations to check out — plus a virtual tour worth taking. And once we’re past the pandemic, make plans to check out Jackson County in person.

4 Places to Check Out in Jackson County, NC

Silver Run Falls

It may not be the tallest or largest waterfall in the Smokies, but Silver Run Falls is lovely to look at. With its large, sandy pool, it makes for a great stop on a long hike, or a great place to spend the day. If you’re a photographer looking for the perfect shot, look no further, as this is one of the most photogenic waterfalls you’ll find, from any angle. Tumbling from Silver Run Creek, this combination of free falls and a near-vertical slide reaches a height of around 40 feet.

Silver Run Falls is still open to the public. And it’s as stunning as ever! Image: Robert Stephens

Whiteside Mountain Trail

With sheer, vertical cliffs that tower above the valley below, this trail features one of the county’s most recognizable peaks. Due to erosion, Whiteside Mountain now boasts the highest vertical cliffs in the eastern United States — about 1,800 feet. Whiteside’s 4,930-foot crest can be attained by a loop trail that offers panoramic views. You may glimpse a peregrine falcon soaring overhead or perched on Whiteside’s rocky outcrops during spring or summer visits, but the cliff face is closed to rappelling and climbing during nesting season.

Whiteside Mountain is open to the public. Image: Eric Phommakisone

WCU Mountainbike Trails

With more than 6 miles of multi-use trails with adrenaline-pumping flow, the WCU Multi-Use Trail system is a narrow single-track trail designed for foot traffic and mountain bike use. The trail is intermediate in difficulty with steep mountainside terrain. Riders enjoy a nice flow with multiple jumps, pumps, and berms. Although the elevation change from the trail’s highest to lowest points is just a few hundred feet, there are lots of ups and downs for bikers to enjoy.

The WCU Multi-Use Trail system offers an adrenaline-pumping ride. Image: JCTDA

Guadalupe Cafe

At this time, small, independent restaurants need as much support as we can offer — and that includes Guadalupe Cafe, which is currently open for takeout. After a day of outdoor adventuring, peruse the menu, place your order and take it home to enjoy. And find additional local establishments at, a website dedicated to those providing takeout and curbside dining.

Tantalizing dishes can still be enjoying via takeout at Guadalupe Cafe as well as other Jackson County restaurants. Image: JCTDA

Continue your virtual tour of Jackson County, NC, the county’s website — — or via the video below.



Check out more Southern travel destinations in our archives. Click HERE!

Share with your friends!