Outbound Collective logo

Highlands, North Carolina

The beautiful and picturesque Highlands, North Carolina is an outdoor lover's heaven and a treasure trove of attractions. From awe-inspiring trails with stunning views to must-visit attractions, Highlands has something to offer for everyone - no matter if you're looking for an adventure or just a peaceful getaway. Popular attractions worth visiting include Whiteside Mountain, Dry Falls, and the Highlands Nature Center. To truly explore the beauty of Highlands, don't miss the White Mountain Trail, the Cullasaja Gorge Trail, and the Whiteside Mountain Trail Loop. Experience the breathtaking scenery and all the outdoor activities Highland has to offer.

Top Spots in and near Highlands

  • Cosby, Tennessee

    Hike to the Mount Cammerer Lookout Tower

    10.99 mi / 3040 ft gain
    Most visitors have a vision of how they'd like to see Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it typically involves climbing to the top of a mountain like 4,928-foot Mount Cammerer. This is a very strenuous hike involving a breathtaking amount of elevation gain along the rugged Low Gap and Appal...
    Read more
  • Robbinsville, North Carolina

    Hike Hooper Bald

    1 mi / 250 ft gain
    Hooper bald is one of the highest points in Graham County so the views from the top can be spectacular year round.  The trail-head starts at mile marker 8 on the Cherohala Skyway. From the trail-head you start your accent on a semi-paved trail and walk about a half-mile before reaching the edge o...
    Read more
  • Cosby, Tennessee

    Hike to Hen Wallow Falls in Great Smoky Mountains NP

    4.57 mi
    Start your adventure by parking in the Cosby Picnic Area Parking Lot near the entrance of the Cosby Campground. (127 Cosby Picnic Area Rd, Cosby, TN 37722.) Then backtrack through the parking lot about 100 yards until you see the sign marking the start of Gabes Mountain Trail.  The trek to Hen W...
    Read more
  • Clyde, North Carolina

    Photograph the Smokies from Buzzards Roost

    This is an awesome place to check out if you are driving Interstate 40 or if you are visiting the area for awhile. The access point for Buzzards Roost is located on the same exit as the well known Max Patch Mountain, just in the other direction. Once off the exit, you will travel down a gravel Fo...
    Read more
  • Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, North Carolina

    Backpack Slickrock Creek Trail #42

    30 mi / 3700 ft gain
    8:30 a.m. and we’re winding our way down Highway 129 near Robbinsville, NC. The fog is still thick over the Little Tennessee River as we slow down crossing the bridge into Graham County. “I think we missed it,” I say as we continue onward. Within minutes the Tapoco Lodge comes into view. My pre-h...
    Read more
  • Townsend, Tennessee

    Spruce Flats Falls

    1.64 mi / 495 ft gain
    To get to Spruce Flats Falls, you will want to drive down 2.2 miles down the scenic Tremont Road to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute and park in the visitor center parking area. You will then want to ascend up the gravel road past the sign that says restricted to unrestricted traffic (meaning ...
    Read more
  • Asheville, North Carolina

    Run through Carrier Park

    If you're in Asheville, NC and want a fun place to be outside, buzzing with activity-- you'll need to check out Carrier Park. Here, you can run along the trails, bike in the Velodrome (former race track), launch your kayak or inner tube from one of the free launches, hammock from a tree, do yoga ...
    Read more
  • Cosby, Tennessee

    Maddron Bald - Albright Grove Loop

    6.72 mi / 1500 ft gain
    Hidden in the eastern reaches of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cosby region receives a fraction of the visitation of Gatlinburg or Cherokee. This section of the park preserves some of the best deciduous old-growth forest in the eastern United States. Individual tulip trees and eastern ...
    Read more