Get ready for crowds in October in western North Carolina; leaf-peepers from all over the Southeast converge in these mountains, when the Blue Ridge erupts into red and gold...Come during the week, though, and you won't have to fight for a parking space near the waterfalls.
The stretch of U.S. highway 64 between Franklin and Highlands is known as the "Mountain Waters Scenic Byway." Be content to drive slowly on its winding path, and just a few miles north of Highlands (one of the highest towns east of the Mississippi), you'll see a sign for "Dry Falls."
Don't worry--it's not a dry ditch that you're pulling off for. Look down into the gorge formed by the Cullasaja River and you'll see the six-story-tall cascade. It owes its name to the fact that the river shoots off an overhang, leaving just enough space behind the waterfall for a trail--you can stay relatively dry as you walk behind Dry Falls. During periods of high flow, though, you WILL get wet; cover your camera as you walk behind the roaring water.