Upper Creek Falls – Pisgah National Forest

u21.jpg

 

Synopsis: Loop hike down into and back out of scenic Upper Creek Gorge to a beautiful 80-foot waterfall, as well as a couple of smaller ones.

Total Mileage: 1.7 miles (possibly more if you explore).

Blaze Color: Yellow/Orange; Blue/Orange ribbons

Hike Rating: Moderate to Strenuous

The Trailhead: The trailhead is located off the right side of NC Highway 181 if you’re coming from Boone, in the Jonas Ridge community. Look for the sign about 5 miles inside Pisgah National Forest, past the Brown Mountain Overlook, and just across the highway from Linville Gorge. Turn right and pull into the gravel parking area. The trailhead will be obvious. You’ll see signs for both upper and lower falls on each side of the parking area. If you like a more challenging hike, start with the upper trailhead.

The Hike: The first thing I noticed was the amount of litter in the parking area and at both trailheads. It wasn’t excessive, but the fact that it was there at all disgusted me. What part of “Leave No Trace” and “Pack In, Pack Out” don’t you understand? End of mini rant.

u1.jpg

 

For this hike, to get the full effect, my suggestion would be to start at the upper trailhead and hiking clockwise through the loop. I say this because at the trail at the base of Upper Creek Falls, there are several heard paths that make holding the main trail difficult. I wouldn’t want to get lost in this area of Pisgah (or any), especially so close to Brown Mountain. That place is creepy.

As you start out at the upper trail, you’ll notice it runs parallel to NC 181. You’ll also be struck at just how beautiful the terrain is here, if not somewhat rocky and rooty. You’ll forget you’re near a major highway for the entire hike.

u5.jpg

The blazes are orange and yellow, with the occasional ribbon marker. The trail descends gently down into the gorge. As you near Upper Creek, you’ll come to a wooden bridge and stairs which allows you to survey a smaller waterfall and swimming hole and get the the creek safely.

u8.jpg

After climbing down, the trail continues on the far side of the creek. Rock hopping is the only way to get across unless you wade. In high water, I wouldn’t attempt it. You’ll want to get pics here before continuing. The waterfall is nice, as is the view of the gorge in the opposite direction.

u11-1.jpg

Please be aware that you are standing directly above a roaring 80-foot waterfall. The rocks are smooth and slick. One slip and there’s no chance you’d live going over the lower falls. Don’t allow children to get too close. People have died here.

u9-1.jpg

 

As you ford the creek and climb up the other side of the bank, the trail is obvious. There is a campsite on the left. Continue down the trail ignoring all the steep herd paths off to your right. A switchback will lead you down to the base of the waterfall. It is slightly off the main trail. Again, ignore the herd paths and phantom trails. I thought it’d be relatively easy for an inexperienced hiker to get lost in this area. There are trails everywhere and not many blazes. Stay on the blazed trail and/or the obvious trail.

u25.jpg

Upper Creek Falls is one of the nicest waterfalls I’ve seen. It tumbles vertically over the cliff and sluices through huge boulders and further down into the gorge below. The rocks here are slick with moisture and algae, so use caution. This area makes for a great picnic and rest spot. We hiked here on a Saturday at about 2:30pm and did not encounter another hiker after leaving the smaller upper falls.

u16.jpg

The trail continues up and out of the gorge on the far side of the creek. You’ll either have to wade or rock hop again. In high water, I wouldn’t risk it.

u31-1.jpg

This part of the trail did not appear to be as heavily used as the upper portion. Maybe because the ascent out seems much longer than a mile.

u29.jpg

Numerous switchbacks will lead you past a huge boulder/overhang where rock climbers had anchored their leads. I stopped and did a little bouldering before continuing on, as a storm was threatening.

u38.jpg

The main trail will also carry you to the top of the boulder where you can get a dizzying winter view of the creek and gorge below.

u45.jpg

Follow the trail back to the parking area to complete this great hike.

u51-1.jpg

See you on the trail!

02/12/2017

Advertisements

Essentials for Your Backpack

Backpack Essentials

What should I pack for a hike? This is one of the best questions any hiker could ask. Everyone has a different opinion, and there are probably a million lists online about which items should be essential pack items. I don’t claim to have THE definitive answer to the question posed, but I do believe there are a few pack essentials that every hiker should carry, regardless if it’s a long or short hike. Obviously, the season, terrain, distance of the trail, etc. will cause you to adjust the contents of your pack to fit the hike. But, here is my list of essentials that I carry in my pack at ALL times, and you should have them in yours, too.

pack-contents-1

A good backpack.

This goes without saying. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive or newest model, but starting out with a good pack is a given. I use the Osprey Kestrel 28 most of the time. It’s a smaller, lighter pack, but it’s very durable and has tons of room. The Kestrel 28 is good for a day hike, but it’s sufficient for a three day hike. It comfortably carries all that’s shown in the pic, plus more. Some of the things I suggest looking for in a good, serviceable pack is:

– Correct size. You need to get a pack that can adjust to fit your body size and type. Most outfitters can help you with this, and there are Youtube videos to show you how to properly size a pack. This is important both for personal comfort and to be able to get all you need in it for the hike you’re undertaking.

– Well-made. A durable pack will pay for itself over and over again. The last thing you want is a backpack strap breaking while you’re miles from anywhere, or a zipper breaking so you can’t zip up and protect your gear. Again, it doesn’t have to be the most expensive pack. But it does need to be durable and well-made. Read pack reviews online, or ask a seasoned hiker for his/her recommendations before making your choice. Then you’ll most likely make the right choice.

– Waterproof/resistant. Most good packs come with a rain cover included. Some backpacks are made of waterproof material. This is important if you get caught in a storm and need to keep your supplies dry. Or, you might fall into a stream. Some hikers treat their packs with a water-resistant spray. I know I was once caught coming down Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains when a sudden massive rainstorm blew in. I had a relatively cheap backpack that was not waterproof/resistant, and everything I had in it got soaked. Plus it made the pack heavier, which wasn’t fun, either.

A first-aid kit.

I carry a simple, small kit that’s in a hard case. The inside contents are in a zip-lock bag also to keep everything dry. Some of the things I have in my basic first-aid kit are: band-aids, burn/rash cream, gauze, Advil, iodine, alcohol wipes, and a needle/thread.

Cutting tools.

I have a wilderness knife and a multi-purpose knife. Both are relatively small. The wilderness knife is a Gerber, and its tang (handle) is wrapped in nylon paracord in case I need more rope. It can also be mounted to a stick and used as a spear. I also have a Victorinox “Swiss Army knife” multi-tool that I like to keep with me at all times on a hike. It stays in my pack, while the larger wilderness knife normally stays on my hip. Keep your blades sharp.

Light source.

A small, waterproof flashlight is what I carry. I also have a small LED flashlight. If I knew for certain I’d be hiking at night, I’d take along a headlamp.

Multi-purpose bag.

I pack a small ziplock bag containing toilet paper, lotion, wet wipes, waterproof matches, tinder, water purifying tablets, lighter, a couple of extra zip-lock bags, and an emergency blanket. Plus, I include an extra, cheapie poncho.

Rain gear.

I have a waterproof poncho that packs into itself and becomes a pillow or floatation device. You should always have some type of rain gear, even when the weather forecast is clear. If you’re hiking at higher elevations, storms can form quickly. The last thing you want is to be drenched with miles to go.

Extra rope.

It’s good to have extra rope in case you need to string up your pack, build a shelter, splint a broken bone, etc. I’ll carry about 4 feet of utility rope in my pack at all times.

Tape.

I get laughed at about this. I never go on a hike without some kind of durable duct tape or packaging tape in my backpack. It’s amazing how it’ll repair gear, dress wounds, or help hold together a shelter in a pinch. I once saw a guy on the trail whose boot sole had ripped off, and he had secured it back on with duct tape!

Extra socks.

This is another one I get laughed at. But, have you ever tried to complete a hike with wet socks? Blister city. Very uncomfortable. Walking in wet socks will blister your feet and incapacitate you, and I’m not carrying you out. I always keep a durable pair of Columbia weatherproof socks in my pack just in case. You should, too.

Extra water + food.

I don’t use a pack bladder because I don’t like the bulge it creates in my back. If you do, that’s fine. I carry an extra water bottle. My bottle is sturdy enough that water can be boiled or food can be heated in it if need be. You can never have too much water on a hike. And having a way to boil water if needed is an added bonus. I also keep a couple of calorie dense protein bars in my pack. I like the ProBar peanut butter and chocolate bars.

Compass/Map.

I realize many people don’t know how to read a compass and map, but it’s definitely something a hiker will want to learn to do before he or she begins longer, more challenging hikes. Knowing how to use a map and compass is a non-negotiable. Even if I’m going on a short hike, I will at least carry a photocopy of the trail route (in a ziplock bag) and a copy downloaded on my phone. My compass is built into a nifty bear whistle. That way I can scare off a bear, signal for help, or find my way out. I like items that serve more than one purpose.

Cell phone.

This is a given. Have a charged phone with you. Granted, I’m usually somewhere with no signal, but even if I can’t make a call, my cellphone has a compass, extra copy of a map downloaded, and a homing device. The screen can also be used as a signal or a mirror to start a fire.

So, that was my non-exhaustive list of backpack packing essentials. Again, this is not a be-all/end-all list. But, in my experience, I won’t hike without them. I know some people might laugh and say it’s just a day hike, but too many day hikes have turned into cold nights alone in the wilderness when a hiker took a wrong turn or broke an ankle. You never know what the wilderness will throw at you. We must always remember that any time we’re in nature, we’re at a disadvantage. It’s best to try and even the odds as much as we can. I think you’d be surprised at how light these items turn out to be also. I can get them all in my backpack with room for extra clothes, hammock, etc.

What are some things you might add or subtract to your essential backpack gear?

Let me know. See you on the trail!

Dead River Falls Trail (And Other Great North Woods Adventures)

Dead River Falls Trailhead

My family and I took our annual vacation in late July. We’d long wanted to see the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, Michigan, which is located along the shores of Lake Superior. The multi-colored cliffs were a thing to behold, as well as the multi-hued refractions in the water from which they rose. Here’s a pic:

Miners Castle, a cliff formation on Lake SuperiorI’ll include a few more pics in the gallery at the end of this post.

As expected, The Upper Peninsula is home to some nice hiking trails. We had the kids with us, so we knew we’d have to stay on more family-friendly trails. Family-friendly does not have to equal boring, as you’ll soon see.

I’m not going to include my usual detailed “finding the trailhead” information, but I will include links to help you find each trail’s location along with more information.

We lodged in picturesque Marquette, Michigan. The drive to Munising was about 45 minutes, but it was a very scenic drive, so we drove it daily.

Miners Falls

The first trail we hit was Miners Falls. It was a 1.5 mile round-trip trail located off the road to the more popular Miners Castle trail (Miners Castle is pictured above). A unique feature is the trail includes 77 steps down to a falls viewing area.

The trail was relatively level, and the breeze off Lake Superior made it a relaxing walk. The 50 ft. waterfall was a good payoff on this for-the-whole-family trail.

Dead River Falls Trail

This trail is located back in Marquette. It wasn’t mentioned on any of the literature we had, we ran across it on the internet searching for hiking trails closer to where we were staying.

The falls themselves are located off an unpaved county road. Here are directions to the trailhead (plus some good pictures).

Once you get to the trail’s beginning, you have to walk up a steep, winding gravel service road which is tricky because of the loose stone. Once you get to the top, there is a set of wooden stairs on the left that is clearly marked.

150At the base of the stairs is a short level section, then a sandy, rooty drop-off. Be careful here.

152At the bottom is an open area with the Dead River on the left. There is a nice big rock to sit on, as well as a cascade to admire.

156As you continue on the trail, you’ll come to a small creek which splits the trail, but there is a primitive log crossing. To your left you’ll notice the dark, jagged walls of a gorge that the locals call “The Barricade”. The falls are hidden behind this.

The BarricadeThe trail technically continues up a sandy embankment. Let me issue a word of caution here: If you have children, or if you are afraid of heights, or if you are not in good shape, don’t even attempt it. The reason is the hill is badly eroded and sandy, and footing is unstable. If you do scramble to the top of it, a sheer 20 ft. cliff awaits you on the left. This is where my wife and kids waited and sent me on to get pics. The trail hugged the cliff, and it seemed every step was a step away from sliding off the edge. It’s a mess.

So, I climbed down to the river’s edge – which seemed the easier route. I rock-hopped up to The Barricade. The Barricade is a small, narrow canyon of sharp, jagged rock.

You’ll have to have sure footing here and some basic rock climbing skills.

I made it to the top and the falls are on the other side. There are also a couple of cascades and sluices leading up to the main falls.

After admiring the nice and roaring 15 ft. double falls for a little while and snapping some pics, I carefully climbed back down.

Once down, I climbed out of the canyon, retrieved my family, and got them the heck back to solid ground!

This was a rewarding and strenuous hike to have been so short. The canyon section wasn’t very family-friendly, but for those who can, if you ever visit Marquette, Michigan, put Dead River Falls on your “must hike” list.

Sable Falls Trail

Sable Falls is a 75 ft. multi-level waterfall on Sable Creek that tumbles down into a canyon and empties into Lake Superior.

Sable Creek FallsThe first section of the trail leads down 169 steps onto a viewing platform. Remember, if you have to go down the steps, you have to eventually go back up. 169 steps isn’t a cakewalk. Follow a sand covered boardwalk after the viewing platform.

After exiting off the boardwalk, follow the sandy trail that winds through a deciduous and hardwood forest with Sable Creek to the left. We took our shoes off here and enjoyed the cool sand and the natural padding it provided.
I estimate the trail is around 1 – 1.5 miles in length. Sable Falls Trail ends on a densely pebbled section of shoreline along Lake Superior. There were just a few people here, and the area was generally secluded.

You can admire the high dunes on the left. There are warnings to stay off, as the dunes are extremely unstable and prone to landslides. The dunes are peppered with every size rock imaginable and climbing on them is an easy way to get hurt or killed. They, like waterfalls, are best admired from the base.

This section of beach is a great place to rest, picnic, and look for agate and other stones. After we played here for a while, we hiked back up to the parking lot — barefoot, of course.

We also “hiked” (It was more of a stroll) up to see Munising Falls and the interesting cliffs around them, as well as a couple more lesser trails.

In addition to the hiking, we were able to eat a local favorite pasty (pronounced “pass-tee”), tour the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, see a few of the Lake Superior shipwrecks, and swim in the beautiful (and chilly) waters of the Great Lake.

I really liked my first trip to the Upper Peninsula, Lake Superior, and the North Woods. It’s an area I wouldn’t mind returning to and hiking more of this area’s scenic and seemingly endless trails.

Little Bradley Falls

56

Quiet, sometimes challenging hike to a beautiful waterfall tucked back into a mountain cove near Saluda, North Carolina.

I’d attempted to find Little Bradley Falls a couple of times in the past, but gave up. The first time we couldn’t determine exactly what was the trailhead. Once we thought we’d found it, we also found the trail to be poorly marked with several “phantom trails” that forked off the main trail. The second time, it’d snowed and though the trail was now marked by red (actually, maroon) blazes, when we came to Bradley Creek (I’ve also heard it called Cove Creek), which the trail crosses, it was partially frozen and raging, so we turned back. This go-round I did a little more research and several fine folks had made more accurate trail info available on their blogs (Thank You!). This time, I wasn’t disappointed.

The Trailhead. Take Exit 59 off I-26 in Saluda, NC onto Holbert Cove Road. If you’re coming from Spartanburg, SC, you’ll bear right onto Holbert Cove Road. Drive around 2.5 miles down a twisty road until you come to the creek (it has no bridge, but runs under the road via an aqueduct) and you’ll see what is plainly a gravel pull-off on the left shoulder of the road. You can park here, or across the road is another smaller pull-off on the right. The pull-off on the RIGHT side of the road (if coming from -26) is the trailhead for Little Bradley Falls. NOTE: There is no sign designating this as a trail. I know several hikers who’ve gotten confused here, including myself. There is nothing that says “Little Bradley Falls”, nor is there a trail kiosk to indicate this is an “official” trail. But, rest assured, this is the trailhead. 01 The Hike. Once you’ve located the trailhead, you’ll see two distinct trails. One on the right runs along the creek. This is NOT the trail to Little Bradley Falls. However, it is a nice walk along the creek after you’ve hiked to the falls. The trail on the LEFT is the trail to Little Bradley Falls. It’s rooty and somewhat indistinct to start off. Look for the RED blazes (they’re actually maroon) and follow them and you’ll be okay. 02I’ve seen Little Bradley Falls Trail estimated to be 2 miles round-trip. I estimated it at around 4 miles r/t. So, expect somewhere in the neighborhood of a moderate 4 mile hike. The trail begins a gentle ascent along the side of the mountain. It’s rooty in some spots, but overall a level walk. After you reach the obvious crest, you’ll see the creek a good ways down on your right. On the day I hiked this trail (04.30.2015), the rhododendron was in bloom along with several species of wildflowers along this part of the trail. 09Once reaching the crest, keep right on the trail. (There is a phantom trail that forks to the left, don’t follow it.) The trail ascends into a gully, crosses a small creek, then ascends back up. Here the trail levels out for a ways and you’ll ford another side creek and then walk alongside Bradley Creek and through lush ferns and other plants and flowers. There were several downed trees across the trail, but they were easy to cross. Suddenly the trail seems to end at Bradley Creek. You’ll have to cross here and pick up the trail on the far side of the creek. You have a these options: Take off your shoes and socks and wade across (best option), or you can carefully rock-hop in a couple of places. Be careful here, because the rocks are very slick and unstable. Either way you slice it, your feet will get wet! 29bAfter crossing the creek and putting your shoes and socks back on, pick up the trail. Holbert Cove Road will now be above you on the right above you. You can hear the cars passing. The trail then begins an ascent and away from the road. You’ll come to a wash-out area with several large boulders you’ll have to cross. After crossing, the trail ascends down and back up. There are ruins to an old cabin on your left. 36After one last easy ascent, the trail descends and you’ll hear Little Bradley Falls in the distance. Follow the blazes and the sound and within a short time the falls come into view. Around the falls are several large rocks on which to sit and enjoy the view. There is a pool at the base of the falls. Several primitive campsites are around the area. On the day I hiked the trail, Little Bradley Falls was magnificent. It is a multi-tiered falls. Recent rains ensured it was full and flowing. I’ve seen it estimated at 35-50 feet. I sat here and rested and had a snack. I didn’t see another person on the entire trail, which was nice. The solitude was welcomed.

After resting and enjoying the falls, I then hiked my way back out. Little Bradley Falls was definitely worth the hike. Overall, I’d rate this hike at moderate, because of the condition of the trail (rooty, rocky, downed trees), a boulder field, a couple of steep scrambles… and those creek crossings. Hopefully someone comes in and builds proper footbridges. I’d also be hesitant to take children on this hike because there are a couple of very high and steep drop-offs and the trail along these places is quite narrow. But, this was a nice hike, the trail packed a nice punch for such a short trail, and the serenity, the wildflowers, and the scenery made Little Bradley Falls worth every step.

See you on the trail!

04 05 07c 08 9b 10b 15 17 (2) 18 19 40b 53 55 34 37 32 07b

Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls is a nice 70 foot waterfall located off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail is not very long – it is a 2 mile loop – however, it is moderate to strenuous, especially depending on the weather conditions. The trailhead. The trailhead is located at mile marker 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is located in the Crabtree Meadows recreational area. Simply pull into the area and look for the trail on the upper right corner of the parking lot. I’m sure trail maps are available inside the center, but I’ve never seen it actually open! The first section of trail leads you to the campground, then to the main trailhead. The hike. The trail is sometimes gated. On the day we visited in April, the gate was closed. It’s easy to walk around. The first few hundred yards are pebbled and level. You’ll pass an amphitheater on the right, and under some power lines. Continue up to the campground area and locate the trailhead at the far end of the campground. The first thing you’ll notice is that the trail has a gradual descent. You are hiking down the side of a ridge, after all. There are plenty of logs and steps to keep your footing. 04 On the day we hiked this trail, it had been raining and once we made it closer to the falls, the trail became very rocky, slick and boggy, so take the weather into consideration before hiking – trail conditions can change, especially when it’s a rocky, descending trail like Crabtree Falls. We also had to contend with a couple of downed trees that looked like a fresh washout. 33After around .75 of a mile, you’ll come to a set of stone stairs. After the stairs, the Crabtree Falls comes into view in the distance, but the trail also becomes even more rocky and steep. Climb down the rocky trail to a nice observation bridge. You can continue on around the trail to complete the loop, or you can backtrack to the trailhead. Either way, be sure to spend some time taking in the beauty of this nice waterfall! See you on the trail!

Courthouse Falls

Courthouse Falls is a relatively short and easy/moderate hike off Summey Cove Trail in the Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, North Carolina. This is a great hike for the whole family to a beautiful waterfall.

Courthouse Falls
The trailhead

We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville and exited onto NC Highway 215. After driving about 7 miles, we turned left onto Forest Road (FR) 140 directly after crossing the bridge over Courthouse Creek. FR140 is single lane and unpaved and quite bumpy. After driving for 3 miles, cross the bridge and you’ll see an obvious pull-off for parking on the right.
The trailhead is located on the left side of the road. You’ll see a sign that looks like this:
The hike

Even though the hike to Courthouse Falls is relatively short (about .75 miles round trip), it does have several boggy and slick spots, so wear good shoes.

After beginning the hike, you will be on Summey Cove Trail. After hiking through a lush forest alongside Courthouse Creek, you’ll see a sign carved into a downed tree toward the falls:

After hiking a short distance, you’ll come upon a set of wooden stairs. On the day we hiked this trail (November 2013), the stairs were wet and slick and creaky. (I heard they’ve been rebuilt, but I cannot confirm this.) You’ll see the falls on your right, you can’t miss them. There is a nice resting area to take in the beauty of the falls. Courthouse Falls is 45 ft. high with a picturesque pool at its base. Courthouse Creek is known for garnet, and we found several.

Again, even though Courthouse Falls is a shorter hike, use caution on the rocks. The spray off the falls make for slick footing in places. This is a good hike for a beginner, or for families with smaller children, or simply for those who want to see a beautiful waterfall!

There are several other nice falls in the area also.

See you on the trail!

Daniel Ridge / Slick Rock Falls

I was off work this past Saturday, so on the spur my family and I decided to go do a little playing in the Pisgah National Forest. We thought our children (ages 3 and 11) would appreciate a shorter trail with waterfalls, of which Pisgah has plenty.

We settled on Slick Rock Falls and Daniel Ridge Falls. Since both of these are in close proximity, I’m going to include them as one. For fun we also took the kids to see Looking Glass Falls. I used to climb down the then-wooden steps with my son (age 11) and play in the stream at the base of the falls when he was a toddler. It was fun to share this with him again.

SLICK ROCK FALLS

The trailhead.

Enter Pisgah National Forest near Brevard at US Highway 276. Drive until you see the a split in the road at around 5 miles. You’ll veer left towards the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and the State Fish Hatchery. This is FR (Forest Road) 475. Immediately after passing the center, you’ll see FR475B on the right. Take this road. It is a one-lane unpaved road. Drive just over a mile and on the right is a pull-off for Slick Rock Falls. There will be a bulletin board and the trailhead for Slick Rock Trail. There is a “can’t miss” sign for the falls.
01The hike to the falls is less than .25 miles.

Slick Rock Falls was partially frozen on the day we visited (January 31). It was still nice. Be careful around the falls, because after all, they don’t call it “slick rock” for nothing.

04On the far side of the falls was an interesting cave. If you wish, you can also take the .75 mile trail up to the base of Slick Rock.

DANIEL RIDGE FALLS

The trail head.

Drive back onto FS475 from FS475B and go right. (If you’re already on 475 simply go straight.) Drive for 2.5 miles until you come to the Cove Creek Group Campground area. The paved road ends here. Drive onto the unpaved road until you pass a one-lane bridge over the Davidson River. There will be a parking area on the right just after the bridge. Park here. The trailhead is at the far end of the parking lot past the brown gate.

The hike.

This is an easy hike on a well-marked trail. The trail itself is a 4+ mile loop. If you hike just to the falls, it’s about .5 miles. One thing to be aware of is Daniel Ridge Loop Trail is popular with mountain bikers. We encountered several groups on our hike, but they were all courteous. You might also find it interesting that Daniel Ridge Falls goes by the names Tom’s Spring Branch Falls and Jackson Falls.

Shortly after beginning the hike, you’ll come upon a nice bridge over the Davidson River. On either side of the bridge are some nice primitive camp sites.

Shortly after the bridge, there will be a sign for the falls on the right. Follow it.

32You will ascend an easily graded trail to the base of the falls. The falls themselves are impressive by height alone at 150 feet. We stopped at the base and the kids threw stones in the creek.

We then hiked back and played and skipped rocks on the pebbled beaches of the Davidson River. The water was crystal clear and cold and we saw several trout swimming by.

Afterwards, we stopped by and checked out Looking Glass Falls (Take a left onto 276 off FS475 – can’t miss it), which is essential if you’re in the area of the Pisgah National Forest!

58Overall, this was an enjoyable little day trip. Not a ton of hardcore hiking, but being able to spend time in nature with my family and simply enjoy it was worth it. Try it sometime.

See you on the trail!