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Outdoor Recreation

Surrender to the lure of trails, rivers, waterfalls, and mountain adventures

The locals say there’s something healing about these mountains, a palpable energy that can only be felt but not described. You’ll feel it for yourself as soon as you crest the mountain. And it continues to unfold as you set out to create your own personal story in this magical place.

A temperate rainforest and part of the Nantahala National Forest, the Highlands Plateau’s crystal headwaters form rivers, lakes and waterfalls, providing endless year-round opportunities for pristine mountain adventure for those who venture up.

Mountain Adventures and Recreation

Since its earliest days, Highlands has promoted itself as a healthy escape from the stresses of the rest of the world.  Dr. Mary Lapham’s pioneering medical work here in Highlands during that latter part of the 1800s was predicated upon this nugget of wisdom, “Get up and get busy!”  It’s clear that this tiny community has taken the Good Doctor’s advice to heart.

You’ll find an abundance of things to do that’ll ensure that you’re following in this cherished Highlands tradition. Be inspired to make the most of every moment with recreation and adventure on our mountains.

For trail maps and guidebooks visit the Welcome Center, 108 Main Street, Highlands, NC or view our guide to mountain adventures here