Shunkawauken Falls is a beautiful and tall waterfall in Polk County that you can view from the comfort of your car.
Located just outside the Western North Carolina town of Columbus sits the beautiful 150 foot Shunkawauken falls. It is perhaps the easiest falls to get to as it must be viewed from your car as you drive up the curvy mountainside.
Shunkawauken Falls is located where Interstate 26 and Highway 74 intersect in Columbus North Carolina which is about 45 minutes away from both Asheville North Carolina or Greenville South Carolina. If you are approaching on Interstate 26 you take the Highway 108 exit which is exit 67 and head East into downtown Columbus. If you are approaching from the East on Highway 74, you take exit 161 and also head East into downtown Columbus. Turn left at the first stoplight, Houston Road. Stay on Houston Road for about 1 mile and turn left on White Oak Mountain Drive. Continue up the steep curvy road for 1.8 miles to reach the falls.
If you are not paying attention, you may drive right past the falls. while the falls are beautiful and worth viewing, it is literally right off the road and there isn’t anywhere to park or safely view the falls on foot. However, the road is usually not that busy and, if conditions allow, stop and get a good look at the falls. The intensity of the falls can vary greatly depending on the season and the amount of recent rainfall. The falls can also be seen from Interstate 26 if you look know to look up the mountain.
After you have viewed the falls, continue up the mountain another 1/2 mile for a safe turnaround spot. There are also several overlooks at the top of the mountain that are worth stopping at before turning around and heading back down the mountain. On a good clear day, you can get fantastic views of the surrounding valleys. Be safe as you head down the mountain.