Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

History

Twin Falls at Gorges State Park
Home >> Gorges State Park >> History
Current status of park facilities   

Trails and restrooms are open. The picnic shelters are open and available for reservations; please observe the maximum outdoor gathering limit of 50 people.

The visitor center is open, but the exhibit area, classroom, and auditorium remain closed. A properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the mouth, is required to enter the visitor center.

All campsites are open. Raymond Fisher campsites can be reserved online or campers can bring exact change ($15 per night per site) and register in-person at the trailhead. Other backcountry campsites are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. As of October 3, we are following modified Phase 3.

 Last updated on: Monday, October 5, 2020

High visitation on weekends   

Due to increased visitation, several parks are reaching parking space capacity and are having to close temporarily on weekends to incoming traffic. Gorges State Park is seeing high visitation on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with the park filling up by noon until around 3 p.m. Please visit the park during the week when possible; plan to arrive early morning or late afternoon on weekends; and/or have a backup plan in case the park is full when you arrive.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, September 30, 2020


Map of North Carolina – Gorges State Park


Contact the park
 

828-966-9099

gorges@ncparks.gov
 

Addresses
 

Visitor center

976 Grassy Ridge Road
Sapphire, NC 28774

GPS: 35.0960, -82.9510

 

Frozen Creek access

Frozen Creek Road
Brevard, NC 28712

GPS: 35.1086, -82.8837
 

Hours
 

► 

  • 7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • 8:00am to 6:30pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • Open daily:
    9:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

 

 

 

History highlights

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.