The Perfect Mountain Getaway
Saluda is a small mountain town with a big personality. From the historic downtown to the vast Green River Gamelands, there is plenty of charm and excitement to keep even the most adventurous visitors happy.
The Green River is world-famous amongst the whitewater kayaking community. It is truly unique in that it has something for every type of kayaker (from class I – V+), flows through a pristine and protected canyon, runs 300+ days per year due to the Northbrook dam upstream, and in its tightest and steepest section flows through a rumbling granite amphitheater. Generally speaking, the river is divided into three sections. The Upper Green’s class III-IV whitewater is great for intermediate kayakers, beginners will enjoy the Class I-II shoals of the Lower Green, and the middle section (the Narrows) is a cornerstone for expert and elite kayakers.
In spite of its ~18,000 acres of wilderness, the Green River Gamelands is less frequented by mountain bikers than its big brothers, Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest. In spite of this under-the-radar vibe, the 15+ mile trail system features stunning views, lung-busting climbs, beautiful stream crossings, and rock gardens, drops, and off-camber sections that will challenge even the best riders.
DuPont is a fantastic natural resource to hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and others, and offers some of the most user-friendly beginner and intermediate mountain biking in the Carolinas. No matter which combination of the 10,000 acres of trails you choose, the miles will melt away, and the terrain will constantly vary.
The Nantahala, or “land of the noonday sun,” is a beautiful river corridor close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is in fact one of the best beginner / intermediate kayaking rivers in the world due to its easy roadside access, lively class I-III rapids, fantastic instruction program at Nantahala Outdoor Center, and long paddling season. Nearby Bryson City also has a vibrant mountain town vibe.
In spite of its ~18,000 acres of wilderness, the Green River Gamelands is less frequented by hikers than its big brothers, Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest, Nantahala National Forest, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In spite of this under-the-radar reputation, the 15+ mile trail system features stunning views, lung-busting climbs, tranquil campsites, and access to the granite cathedral that is the Green River Narrows.
Triple Falls, High Falls, and Hooker Falls nip at the heels of Looking Glass Falls for the mantle of classic and most popular Western North Carolina waterfalls to visit. Due to their convenient access and aesthetic beauty, these cascades have been featured by Hollywood in movies like Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans, and these sections of the Little River remain popular destinations for anglers, hikers, swimmers, and kayakers. Triple Falls and High Falls in particular are breathtakingly beautiful. Please use caution (and common sense) as the smooth wet granite rocks slope into the river and a fall can be very dangerous.
Is there anything more invigorating and fun than floating down a sparkling mountain stream with friends and family? With a long season, clean and warm water, easy logistics, beautiful mountain views, and just the right amount of excitement, the Lower Green River will have you giggling, splashing, and leaving the stresses of day-to-day life in your wake.
Saluda Whistle Stop is a family-owned and operated restaurant that prioritizes fresh ingredients and a family-friendly atmosphere. With indoor and outdoor seating, delicious fare, and generous draft / canned / bottled beverage selection, this is no doubt a staple for our staff and guests.
This is your best bet for a great breakfast, coffee, smoothie, or all of the above before heading off for the day’s adventures. Located on a quaint side street in downtown Saluda, a meal at Wakey Monkey is accompanied by good music vibes, complimentary WiFi, and a very pleasant staff led by proprietor Matthew Noller.