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Whiteside Mountain

Whiteside Mountain

Length and difficulty: 2 mile loop, moderate

Whiteside Mountain is located midway between Cashiers and Highlands on Highway 64; on the Jackson/Macon county line known as the: "big view" overlook. You will see a large Green State Sign showing you the way to the majestic mountain. Just west of the Jackson/Macon County line, turn onto Whiteside Mountain Road (SR #1690). Go 1 mile to the well-marked parking area on the left. You will notice first thing that this is a fee area with the National Forest Service. The charge is $2.00. There is also a restroom facility located in the parking area.

Perhaps one of the best trails in the area for a panoramic view is the Whiteside Mountain Trail. Beautiful views of the surrounding area can be seen from vantage points all along the trail. To the north Shortoff and Yellow Mountain are prominent. Chimneytop Mountain rises to the east. To the south the foothills and Piedmont, including Lake Keowee, are visible. On the western horizon rises the Nantahala Mountains where the Appalachian Trail meanders. The summit of the mountain reaches an elevation of almost 4900 ft., about 2000 ft. above Whiteside Cove to the south. Rock outcrops and cliffs are numerous.

The trail is a 2-mile loop that goes around the back or north side of the mountain and then along the ridge. The total climb is approximately 500 ft. The trail can be walked in an hour but you will want to allow plenty of time to take in the vistas. USGS Quad-Highlands.

Devil's Courthouse Devil's Courthouse

To reach Devil's Courthouse follow the Whiteside Mtn. trail to the left up the old jeep trail to the clearing at the top (approx. one mile from parking lot). At the clearing, the Whiteside Mtn. trail goes to the right. The Devil's Courthouse trail begins across the clearing to the left. The trail is less traveled than Whiteside trail and is more rugged. As it winds down the side of the mountain, do not take the spur trail to the right, but stay straight on the main trail. At approximately 1/2 mile the trail will open into a clearing and arrive at a "saddle". Trails descend from the saddle to the left and the right. Continue straight along the ridge. Just past the saddle the trail ascends and bears to the right. The trail follows the left side of the ridge and ends at the Devil's Courthouse. This is a beautiful view, however, you should use caution (especially with children) due to the sheer cliffs on three sides.

USGS Quad-Highlands.

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