Gorges State Park, Sapphire

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State Park · Nature / Park
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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.
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. Use our Sapphire tour itinerary planner to arrange your visit to Gorges State Park and other attractions in Sapphire.
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Gorges State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
319 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We visited the Gorges State Park this weekend and the leaves were spectacular. Lots of nice views. Enjoyable 
    We visited the Gorges State Park this weekend and the leaves were spectacular. Lots of nice views. Enjoyable  more »
  • Rainbow Falls alone is awesome and worth visiting the park. The best waterfall we have encountered in the south that we could get close to. Add to that a shiny new visitor center and numerous... 
    Rainbow Falls alone is awesome and worth visiting the park. The best waterfall we have encountered in the south that we could get close to. Add to that a shiny new visitor center and numerous...  more »
Google
  • The trail is clear with orange blaze on the trees on our way to Rainbow Falls.
  • Park is beautiful. The trails have a lot of elevation change but they are wide and relatively easy to traverse. Overall a great hikes. Besides the connection to foot hills trail, there are very few hikes in the park. Almost everything within the park can be done in a long day.

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