Gorges State Park

Gorges State Park Is One Of The Newest Of The North Carolina State Parks

Covering 7,641 acres of forested land in Transylvania County, this is one of the newest of the state parks in North Carolina. It is in a region known as the Jocassee Gorges and the southern boundary of the park is the state line with South Carolina. 

Admiring visitors to the park, enjoying the pristine scenery, would think that the influence of man had never touched this idyllic spot.

However, in 1916 the largest privately owned lake in the state, which was Lake Toxaway, burst its dam sending walls of water downhill and leaving rocks and debris piled as high as 20 feet. Although nobody was killed in the deluge the debris can still be seen to this day.

After this disaster much of the land in the Jocassee Gorges was bought up by the Singer Sewing Machine Company. After intensive logging they then sold the land to Duke Energy.

In the 1990`s Duke Energy offered the land to North Carolina and thus the decision to create Gorges State Park was made.

Opened in 1999, the facilities in the park are still being developed but the land itself is a place of river gorges, dramatic waterfalls, pretty creeks and beautiful forests.

In 1982 the North Carolina Registry designated 275 acres of land, which is now part of Gorges State Park, as a Natural Heritage Area.

This is because over 125 rare or endangered plant and animal species have been identified within the area.

One of the highlights of the park is Upper Bearwallow Falls where visitors can view an 80 foot cascade tumbling down the hillside.

Upper Bearwallow Falls At Gorges State Park

These are the only falls within the park that can be viewed. However,the Horsepasture River, which is a National Wild and Scenic River, runs through the nearby Pisgah National Forest. has a number of other falls.

Many visitors park at Gorges S.P. before hiking into the forest to admire the Rainbow Falls, Drift Falls and Turtleback Falls which are located on this stunning river.   

Part Of Lake Jocassee

Much of the southern border of the park is formed by the man-made Lake Jocassee which stretches into neighboring South Carolina. There is another small campground on its shores and the lake is a great place to fish for bass and trout.

Summary Of Facilities

Visitor Center

Auditorium for up to 75 people

Classroom for up to 40 people

Scenic viewing decks

2 Picnic shelters with restrooms

6 Primitive campsites with table and fire rings (these are walk-in sites and all supplies should be carried in)

Hiking, biking and horseback riding trails

Summary Of Activities



Mountain Biking

Horseback Riding




Contact Details

Gorges State Park

976 Grassy Ridge Road


NC 28774-0100

GPS - 35.0412   82.5516

Telephone - (828) 966-9099

Email - gorges@ncparks.gov 

 Mountain Creek Through The Woods

Rainbow Falls In The Pisgah National Forest Close To Gorges S.P.

This is the position of Gorges S.P. marked with a star on a county map of North Carolina.