5 Unforgettable Ways To Spend The Day In Lake Toxaway
Lake Toxaway is a glistening lake that sits at just over 3,000 feet of elevation in Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Fed by crystal-clear streams stemming from high in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, you’d be hard pressed to find a cleaner lake anywhere in the United States. Lake Toxaway also happens to be the largest private lake in North Carolina, boasting approximately 14 miles of shoreline.
Since the turn of the century, names such as Ford, Edison and Rockefeller have been drawn to the beauty of Lake Toxaway. Today, those who appreciate the great outdoors and prefer enjoying it unspoiled, with just the right amount whistles and bells, continue to flock to this lovely corner of Western Carolina.
Because the lake is private, the community surrounding it enjoys a tranquil lifestyle amid the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In fact, it’s become a favorite destination for Class A motorcoach enthusiasts who find their Lake Toxaway escape at Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort, as well as for nature buffs who seek a quiet getaway that brings them uniquely close to Mother Nature.
Still, don’t let Lake Toxaway’s tranquility fool you. There are plenty of fun, exciting, and interesting things to do around these parts. Here are 7 of our favorites.
This historic inn, built in 1915, is a sight to behold and a wonderful place to spend the day (if not a few) in Lake Toxaway. There are only 30 guestrooms at the resort for truly cozy accommodations, however, you don’t have to stay here to play here. The Restaurant at The Greystone Inn is a local legend for its fresh seasonal cuisine and breathtaking views of the lake and mountains. The spa welcomes day visitors and is a wonderland of wellness for the body and soul with a menu of massage therapy, skin care and body treatments. Then, there’s the Miss Lucy, a gorgeous wooden boat that will cruise you along the lake and past its many waterfront estates. Don’t forget to grab a cocktail at the Mansion Bar before boarding!
- Hike to a Waterfall
This corner of Western North Carolina is called “The Land of Waterfalls” for good reason – there are lots of them! Where you should go depends on how far you want to trek and how hard you’re willing to work to get there. For instance, you can grab a pretty great view of the 150-foot Toxaway Falls from the roadside walkway along US Highway 64. That’s an easy one. If you’re looking for something a bit more arduous, check out Rainbow Falls. To get there, you’ll hike about 1.5 miles from the trailhead in Gorges State Park. Once at Rainbow Falls, you’ll get nice and close to the 150-foot cascade, but don’t forget it’s also about 1.5 miles back to the car! You can also try Whitewater Falls, the largest cascade east of the Rockies, falling a total of 811 feet! The upper falls drop about half that distance and you can get to them via a paved quarter-mile walkway. If you have the gumption, climb down 154 steps for an incredible view of the full falls! Of course, you’ll have to climb those 154 steps to get back up, too.
- Head Out Onto The Lake
Lake Toxaway is a private lake, so you’re not allowed to bring your own boat even if you have one. What’s funny is this is exactly why a day on the lake can be so uniquely enjoyable.
You won’t find a lot of boat traffic on Lake Toxaway, so you’ll spend more time enjoying being on the water and less time dodging wakes. The low traffic level also makes Lake Toxaway a great place to kayak, paddleboard and canoe. Fishing fanatics can cast for rainbow trout, catfish, and walleye. Waterskiing, tubing, and wakeboarding are also popular. You can rent boats and all the accessories you need at the Lake Toxaway Marina.
- Hike Panthertown Valley
The rugged landscape of this backcountry wilderness is part of the Nantahala National Forest and is often called the “Yosemite of the East”. Why? Because as you hike through this territory, you’ll come across some incredible formations and views, including granite domes, deep gorges, trout streams, bogs, valleys, rare plants, and, as you might expect, waterfalls.
There are about 30 miles of marked trails running through Panthertown Valley, many of which follow an old logging road with spectacular overlooks. One popular trail is to Schoolhouse Falls, a 5-mile loop hike that winds past spectacular views from atop Little Green Mountain and Greenland Creek Falls. It’s a good idea to take a trail map and avoid any of the offshoot trails as it’s easy to get lost out there.
For something on the easier side, check out the Panthertown Valley Main Trail, which runs about 3.3 miles from the park’s Cold Mountain east entrance to the Salt Rock west entrance. This route features relatively gentle climbs on the way to Salt Rock Gap where sweeping panoramas of Panthertown Valley will be waiting.
- Explore Nearby Towns
You’ll find some of the most welcoming small towns in North Carolina just a stone’s throw from Lake Toxaway, and two favorites are Cashiers and Brevard, both of which are less than 25 minutes away by car. Pop into either of these local charmers to find inviting streets lined with art galleries, craft shops, local boutiques, markets, antique shops, breweries, eateries, and more. Don’t be surprised if you get caught up in a local musician or band playing at one of the town’s pubs or outdoors at a café. It happens a lot. When you get hungry, the food tends to be made with a touch of southern flair and feature uncomplicated farm-to-table ingredients. Shopping, dining, gallery hopping – If you’ve got a little free time, Cashiers and Brevard are always happy to see you.
Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort is a Class A-only motorcoach resort in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. To learn more about our community, vacation bookings and ownership opportunities, visit mtn-falls.com.