On June 27, Duke Energy will begin repairing the Toxaway River pedestrian bridge located on the Foothills Trail between the Laurel Fork and Cane Brake trail heads. While the upgrades and repairs are underway, the bridge may experience temporary closures during daylight hours. Known full day (approx. 8am – 4pm) bridge closures will be posted below. Additionally, the bridge will be limited to no more than 20 people crossing at one time. The upgrades and repairs to the bridge are scheduled to be complete by the end of September.Last updated on: Thursday, June 27, 2019
A section of the Auger Hole trail is closed to all traffic until further notice due to a massive landslide that has taken out all access not only to the public but to park staff.
The Auger Hole is open from the parking lot at Frozen Creek Entrance to where the Wintergreen trail breaks off Auger Hole Trail to the right. From that point on to Turkeypen Gap, the trail is closed and will remain closed until the trail is fixed.
The trail closure will be lengthy as park staff are evaluating and developing options to resolve the closure. For more information or updates call the park office at (828) 966-9099.
Last updated on: Thursday, May 9, 2019
Although you might feel removed from civilization while walking deep into the Gorges wilderness, evidence of past human interference with the environment surrounds you.
One of the most damaging interferences to the Gorges environment occurred in 1916 when the dam containing Lake Toxaway - the largest private lake in the state - broke. Record amounts of water gushed southward down the river, destroying the communities in its path, scouring the gorges and leaving piles of debris 15 to 20 feet high. These debris piles still remain.
After the flood, local citizens eventually sold large land tracts in the Gorges to Singer Sewing Machine Company, which logged most of the land. Then, in the 1940s and 1950s, Singer sold the land to Duke Energy Corporation. The corporation purchased the land for its steep topography and high rainfall, which offered opportunities for development of hydropower projects. Crescent Land and Timber Corporation, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, managed the land, closing some roads and limiting human access to protect the environment.
Conservation studies began in the area in the late 1970s, and in 1982 nearly 275 acres of land that is currently in the park was placed on the NC Registry of Natural Heritage Areas because of the numerous rare species. In the late 1990s, Duke Energy determined that it no longer needed large portions of the Gorges for future hydropower and offered the land for sale to natural resources agencies in North and South Carolina. The NC Division of Parks and Recreation stepped up to create, with the support of local citizens and the General Assembly, a very exciting state park.