Plan this nearby outdoor adventure for water sports next summer or enjoy the leaves this fall. Know before you go: North Carolina’s reopening affects openings. Visit for details. For more information, visit

Lake Glenville, near Cashiers, NC is a haven for boaters, and I’ve seen three of the four waterfalls on the water’s edge by boat. 

What I didn’t know is that there was also access for non-boaters to enjoy the area in camping and swimming. Two parks lie on either side of the dam – R.J. Andrews Campground and The Pines Recreation Area. 

The campground offers tent sites as well as a parking area for RVs. Near the RV camping area, there is a great overlook of the lake.

Of the 24 sites for RVs, six are full-hookup, while the remaining 18 are 50-amp electric and water sites. 

The tent sites appealed to me more, with an unobstructed view of the lake. Several campers were swimming while others were grilling when I visited. The restrooms were conveniently just a few steps away. The campground has 11 tent sites and one group site. There is also a playground and three bathhouses.

The Pines was more crowded, as it doesn’t cater to campers. There is a sandy beach and access for swimmers. There are also picnic tables and a grassy area. When I was there, young people practiced diving skills by jumping from the pier. A small handful used the fishing pier for fishing. There is even spot where patrons may borrow life jackets for a moment and return after use.

From the parking lot at The Pines opposite the lake, you’ll find the trailhead to a man-made waterfall, High Falls, also called Cullowhee Falls. The flow fluctuates according to how much water is released from the dam for whitewater kayakers. Dates when the water is released are online. 

If you go, don’t make the mistake I did – I brought flip-flops to enjoy the lake, and then I found myself without appropriate footwear to hike the falls. 

Kayakers enjoy the big water days, and they will put their boats in at the end of the trail. This is not an activity recommended for families with small children or inexperienced kayakers, as many of the rapids are rated class III, while others are as high as IV/V.

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