Wednesday, 18 December 2019 16:57

Turtleback Falls

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Turtleback Falls Turtleback Falls

This fantastic swimming hole and natural water slide deep in Pisgah National Forest is just a quarter-mile upstream from the 150-foot Rainbow Falls. It's a 3.5-mile roundtrip hike from Gorges State Park. Also known as Umbrella Falls, it even has a rope to help you climb the small cliff to the top of the falls for a thrilling slide over the 20-foot drop of the curved rock face (recommended for only strong swimmers).

Turtleback Falls has been a local's favorite swimming hole for many years. In 2009, a new trail was built from Gorges State Park so it's safer to reach. There are several great vantage points on boulders to enjoy the view of the falls. If you want to ride down the falls, you should be an experienced swimmer. There are no lifeguards, and the pool is deep. The slippery rocks and currents can make it dangerous, so be extra careful. Do not attempt to slide when water is high since the rushing water can take you down river over Rainbow Falls (this caused a fatality in 2013). But according to park rangers, more injuries are caused by heat exhaustion. So take plenty of water and snacks especially on hot summer days


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