Trip Planner: USA / North Carolina / North Carolina Mountains / Jackson County / Sapphire / Gorges State Park
Gorges State Park is a 7709acre North Carolina state park in Transylvania County, North Carolina in the United States. The land, along Jocassee Gorges, was purchased by the state from Duke Energy Corporation in 1999. It is North Carolina's westernmost state park and one of the state's newest. The park is adjacent to part of the Pisgah National Forest and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's Toxaway Game Land. Gorges State Park provides the principle access to the Horsepasture River on these adjoining public lands.Use our Sapphire tour itinerary planner to arrange your visit to Gorges State Park and other attractions in Sapphire.
The land of Gorges State Park is a thriving second growth forest. It has recovered from the interference of man to provide a thriving and unique habitat.
One of the most damaging interferences to the Gorges environment occurred in 1916 when the dam containing Lake Toxaway broke. Record amounts of water gushed southward down the Toxaway River, destroying the communities in its path, scouring the gorges and leaving piles of debris 15 to 20ft high.
Following the flood, local citizens eventually sold large land tracts in the Gorges to Singer Sewing Machine Company, which logged most of the land. Then, in the 1940s and 1950s, Singer sold the land to Duke Energy Corporation. The corporation purchased the land for its steep topography and high rainfall, which offered opportunities for development of hydropower projects.
Gorges State Park Reviews
We had limited time our first day there so did a couple of short hikes at Bearwallow. Nice, not strenuous. The second day we hiked to Rainbow Falls and Turtleback. Both are worth seeing. We were... more »
It is a long and fairly strenuous hike through deep forests, but well worth the hike to see the first of two falls. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to hike one way, but it is worth the... more »
Gorges State Park in North Carolina is a great park to get outside and be with nature in a great environment. The park is very well maintained and cared for as you can witness all of the work that went into making this magical place so accessible and easy to get to and navigate. The visitor center at this park is awesome and has many features including nice bathrooms, educational exhibits, beautiful views, and rocking chairs among many other cool things. I really like the trails at this park as they are somewhat challenging, but keep you going with all that they have to offer and have really good payoffs at the end. The Rainbow Falls one is great and well worth the trip and getting wet to get close to it and witness it.
This is a very nice State Park with a good sized visitor center with a lot of useful information about the local area and trails. A short drive from the visitor center is a pretty popular trail (Rainbow Falls) that takes you to a couple great waterfalls. Be careful if you are not a strong hiker because the trail is mostly downhill on the way to the falls which means uphill most of the way back when you are already tired so it can get pretty strenuous. However if you can handle the hike the destination is definitely worth it.
Plan your trip to Sapphire
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Sapphire
Plans to Gorges State Park by other users
15 days in Smoky Mountains & Cherokee BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in North Carolina Mountains BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, hidden gems Preferences: October Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 7 days in Smoky Mountains & Cherokee BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, teens, popular sights Preferences: August, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 31 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 15 days in North Carolina Mountains BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, historic sites, slow & easy, popular sights Preferences: June, historic sites Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Slow & easy 60 days in South Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium