From NC 106 in Highlands, drive 2.3 miles west on US 64. You can’t miss it.
You’ve heard of walking behind a waterfall, right? Well, how would you like to drive behind one? At Bridal Veil Falls, you can do just that. The road that goes behind the falls—the original route of US 64—was engineered to take advantage of the unique opportunity. What the highway engineers didn’t account for was the freezing of the falls each winter. Ice on the road and icicles hitting cars created a nightmare for travelers and road crews, so in 1959, some 30 years after the road opened, the state built a bypass around the falls.
Bridal Veil Falls is not a scenic waterfall and has a low flow that can dry to a trickle in summer. The novelty of driving behind it makes it appealing. However, in winter, it can be exciting. After a week or so of below-freezing temperatures, large icicles hang from the bluff and a volcano of ice begins to form at the base. If the weather remains cold long enough, the ice volcano reaches the bluff and totally conceals the waterfall inside. I’ve seen it like this on a couple of occasions.