The three waterfalls on the East Fork known as Glen Falls, are one of the more popular attractions in the Highlands area. From the parking area, take the trail to the left. The trail to the bottom with views of each of the three falls is steep and the climb back is strenuous. The spur trail to the third falls is marked with a sign which directs hikers to Blue Valley. A short hike to the top of first falls is easy and makes an enjoyable walk. Stay behind guardrails along the trail and avoid shortcuts on switchbacks.
For the Chinquapin Mountain trail, take the trail on the right from the Glen Falls parking area and cross the East Fork on a large log bridge. The trail continues along a tributary, crossing it several times on rocks and logs. This can be wet and slippery.
The second trailhead for Chinquapin Mountain starts on SR 106 and makes a 1/4 mile descent to its junction with the trail from Glen Falls.
After the junction of the two trails, the Chinquapin Trail ascends to the top on a set of ten switchbacks. On the ridge line at the top there are three overlooks with views of Blue Valley. The first two are near the trail, while the third is reached on a steep 1/4 mile trail. Continue on the trail as it begins its descent. Before a "T" intersection there are two additional overlooks which have short trails. At the intersection, turn right on a fairly level trail section to the sixth switchback to Chinquapin. This intersection competes the loop. Backtrack the remainder of the way.
Directions: From Highlands, NC, From the intersection of US 64 and SR 106, drive 1.6 miles southwest on SR 106 to the USFS sign, "Glen Falls Scenic Area" on the left. Turn onto SR 1618 and drive 1 mile to the end and the Glen Falls parking area. For the second trailhead of Chinquapin, stay on SR 106 for 3 miles from US 64 and drive to a pullover on the left side. Look for the large rock in the middle.
Elevation: 4,100 feet
Elevation Gain: 750 feet
Distance: 5 miles
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Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina
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