Posts Tagged ‘leaf-looing experiences’

Legendary Shadow of the Bear – Cashiers, North Carolina

Monday, September 26th, 2011

On crisp autumn afternoons at just around 5-o’clock, a small crowd begins to gather on the side of  Highway 64 at the Jackson/Macon county line just west of Cashiers.

Tripods, supporting expensive cameras are anchored in place, hand-held digital cameras and camera phones are clutched expectantly – all waiting to capture on film one image: the legendary “Shadow of the Bear” – one of the most unique leaf-looking experiences in the country.

The half-hour show begins when a small dark spot appears at the bottom of the valley. As the crowd on the side of the road marvels, the shadow grows, seemingly evolving from a turtle to a cat to a long-eared dog and finally into The Bear,

A naturally occurring phenomenon that is visible for just a few weeks in the fall and spring, the bear-like shadow makes its appearance on sunny days between 5:30 and 6:00 pm from mid-October through early November as the sun sets behind Whiteside Mountain.

Whiteside Mountain, with an elevation of 4,930 feet, boasts sheer rock cliffs that are among the highest in the eastern United States. It provides a spectacular setting for viewing leaves throughout the autumn, especially during the emergence of the Bear. Adventurous visitors may choose to hike Whiteside (2 miles, strenuous).

The best viewing spot for observing The Bear is right off of Highwy 64 in a place called “Rhodes Big View Overlook”. If yiou are coming from the Lakeside Cottage, the spot is on your left 4.3 miles west (toward Highlands) of the traffic light at the crossroads in Cashiers.