Be Waterfall Safe

According to the North Carolina State Parks organization, safety is critical when viewing the many waterfalls in and around Jackson County. They offer these safety tips when visiting. Remember, it’s your responsibility to be as safe and considerate as possible when enjoying these beautiful natural sights.

Waterfall Safety Sign (1)

  • Stay on developed trails and don’t stray from observation decks and platforms.
  • Pay attention to the warning signs and rules you see posted near waterfalls.
  • Never climb on or around waterfalls. Rocks are more slippery than they look.
  •  Never jump off waterfalls or dive into plunge pools. Rocks and logs are often beneath the surface of the water but difficult to see. Currents caused by a waterfall can drag and keep you underwater.
  •  Watch children carefully. Children should always be under the immediate supervision of adults when visiting any waterfalls. Pets should also be supervised. They can easily underestimate the slickness of rocks and the flow of water.
  • Never play in the stream or river above a waterfall. You can easily be swept over the falls by currents. Do not try to take photos or selfies at the top of a waterfall! People lose their footing while paying attention to their photo set-up and fall over.
  • Slippery rocks and mud are common along trails as you near waterfalls. Use extra caution on the trail as you approach waterfalls.
  • Since many waterfalls are in remote areas, a medical rescue could take hours.
  • Wear hiking shoes with a good grip. Flip flops and sandals make you particularly vulnerable to slipping or injuring yourself.
  • Bring a picnic and plenty of water. Reaching some waterfalls in our state parks require a challenging hike!
  • Winter is an exceptional time to visit waterfalls in North Carolina state parks, as trees drop their leaves and reveal sweeping views. Watch for icy patches along the trail and on decks and overlook areas from the mist of the waterfalls.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as Creative Resources Manager for RTX, based in Asheville, NC. You can find him hiking the mountains of Asheville, gardening, traveling, and hanging with his growing family. His favorite RTX exchange destinations are Rangeley, Maine, Lake Tahoe, Banff, Canada, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Cape Cod, and Orange Beach, Alabama. .

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