Shunkawauken Falls


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Shunkawauken Falls are nearly one continuous cascade from the summit of Columbus, North Carolina's White Oak Mountain to its base.  The upper portion is visible after a white-knuckle drive up the hairpin White Oak Mountain Road.  Formerly known as Horse Creek Falls, the name was changed in 1891 in honor of an Indian chief.  During one of my visits, I passed a bicyclist climbing up White Oak Mountain Road.  He passed me at the pull-off a short time later, made it to the summit and then flew back down the mountain.  Drive the road, then you'll know why I was impressed.  The top photo is the upper cascade before it flows under the road.  The bottom photo is a glimpse of the lower cascade through the woods.

Directions: From I-26 @ NC 108, drive east toward Columbus (not Tryon) for .4 mile.  This intersection has been re-worked and features traffic circles on each end of the bridge over the interstate. Take NC 108 toward Columbus and turn left onto Houston Road for .5 mile (red light after passing Food Lion).  Bear right to stay on Houston Road another .6 mile and then turn left onto White Oak Mountain Road.  It's two miles to the upper portion of the falls, which will be on the right.  A pull-off will be on the left just before the falls.

All photos Allen Easler.