Transylvania County Library logo

Note: This is part of a history series on popular tourism activities in Transylvania County. A corresponding display is on the second floor of the Transylvania County Library through July.

Connestee Falls group, early 1900s

People play in rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. Guided fly fishing, swimming, tubing, paddling and boating of all varieties, and even sliding down waterfalls are all part of how tourists enjoy the “Land of Waterfalls.”

Transylvania County is the rainiest county in the state with 90 inches of rain annually. It has over 250 waterfalls due to a combination of high levels of precipitation and its location on the Eastern Continental Divide’s Blue Ridge Escarpment. The Eastern Continental Divide snakes along the ridgeline of the Blue Ridge Escarpment and indicates which direction rivers flow – either east towards the Atlantic Ocean, or west and south towards the Gulf of Mexico.

1915 postcard of Fishing in Western NC

The numerous rivers, creeks, and lakes dotted across Transylvania County have provided cool refreshment and recreation for visitors to the mountains. Nature lovers seek out the natural beauty of the many waterways in Transylvania County. Whitewater Falls is the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi.

The French Broad River – the third oldest in the world—provides abundant varieties of fish for anglers, a steady flow for canoeing, tubing, and paddling. Other parts of the county boast the turbulent cascades and falls that provide more adventure for kayakers and rafters. At times, waterskiing has even taken place on one of the manmade lakes.

Marjorie Bryant Pickelsimer, waterskiing at Cascade Lake 1954

Water activities are a popular way to enjoy Transylvania County. This tradition of people taking their recreation to the water continues with events such as the Upper French Broad River Fest which reminds us how central our waterways are to the community and visitors alike.

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. This article was written by Local History Librarian Laura Sperry. Sources available upon request. For more information, comments, or suggestions, contact NC Room staff at [email protected] or 828-884-1820. 

Girl Scouts rafting, 1997
Sliding Rock, 2000

search our catalog

search our events

search our website

search our catalog

search our events

search our website

(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712