Cullasaja Falls are some of the more beautiful falls in our area and some of the easiest to see. The easiest access would be traveling to Highlands from Franklin. This puts you in a better position to access the very narrow pull-off parking area (only room for about 2-3 medium-sized cars). However, if you are coming from Highlands, it would be better for you to go past the gorge and turn around at the first Right at "Highland's Gate" private community and come back up the gorge to access the Right hand side parking area. Otherwise you would have to dart across a very busy hwy in a blind curve.
If you are physically fit, in good health and want a different perspective/view of the falls, then take the VERY steep trail down to the gorge floor. To access the trail, go to the lower end of the parking area and look over the guard rail to pick up the trail. Again, this trail is very steep and you'll need to make sure you have on proper apparel to attempt it. Use your best judgement here. Our recommendation would be to make sure the water level isn't too high before going to the bottom, because if it's too high your exploration options will be limited once you get down to the river and gorge floor, making your effort wasted. The way to check the water level is to view the falls from the roadside, and if you can see "breaks" in the flow over the bottom half of the falls, then you're OK. If the flow over the falls is one solid wall of water, then the water is too high. You'll want to avoid the upper scramble trail, this one will be covered with vegetation in the summer months (poison ivy, etc.). I have not attempted the upper trail, but have successfully made it down the lower trail to the gorge floor. You'll have an awesome view back up at the falls and rock cliffs above. We strongly recommend taking a hiking buddy along with you or at least let someone know where you are and when you'll be back.
From the intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 East and U.S. Hwy-23/441 North in Franklin take Hwy-64 East towards Highlands, NC for approx.. 8 miles until you see signs for the Cullasaja Gorge. The road will narrow and on one the Left side will be a rock wall and on the Right will be the gorge below. Continue for another 0.3 of a mile to a narrow pull-off on the Right hand side. This is the viewing area of the falls. To get to the bottom, follow the guard rail downhill to where the parking pull-out ends and meets the white line of the highway. Here, look over the rail and you should see a predominant but steep trail. If coming from Highlands, take U.S. 64 West from red light @ intersection of U.S. 64/N.C. 28 in Highlands for 8.8 miles and the falls on your Left.