We drove from Cashiers, turning right onto NC-281 off of US-64. Shortly, we pulled into Gorges State Park. The parking lot to Rainbow Falls was packed... two park rangers were working parking duty...
We kept driving, though, on the Chestnut Mountain Road. And unlike the packed paved parking lot, the dirt mountain road was almost totally empty. Besides one other car, we had the place to ourselves to explore.
The drive isn't a fast one. It's a sit back and enjoy it one. It's about 6 miles, one way, from where the pavement ends to the Horsepasture River. It's a soak in the mountains and the rocks and the trees and the leaves rustling in the wind and the small streams gurgling past.
You'll need a vehicle with a little ground clearance, though you don't need anything too crazy. You may want four wheel drive, though I don't think it's necessary, due to some loose rock and gravel.
You'll drive down the Chestnut Mountain Road in Gorges State Park, and then will enter Toxaway Game Lands and turn right onto Auger Hole Road (marked Cow Trail Hike above).
Unfortunately, the bridge over the Horsepasture River was closed. But we got out and fished a bit in the river. In early September, the Horsepasture seemed a bit warm for trout. At the river were several campsites... I'll definitely try to come back and camp.