Thanksgiving in North Carolina

The wife and I packed up the dogs and a weeks worth and went down to Hot Springs, N.C. area for a week.  We stayed up on Max Patch Mountain at a favorite retreat owned by my friend Lori Kincaid.  Max Patch is accessed from N.C. Exit 7 on Interstate 40.  It’s the Harmon Den Wildlife Management Area.  It’s all gravel road, but not too bad.

It runs along Cold Spring Creek.   Here’s a few shots from along the way.

Further on up the road is the waterfall on Little Fall Branch.  It’s back off the road several hundred yards.  There’s another very impressive waterfall right close by, but it’s so covered up in fallen trees, it not worth the hike.  Here’s a link to a page with directions on

On up to the top of the hill, we pulled into Wiley’s Place.  I love this place.  It’s not a breeze or short drive to get here, but, then, that’s one of the charms of the place.  Nice 4 BR house with a wrap around deck and a hot tub on top of a mountain.  Great place.

Nearby and way back up in the woods (so to speak) is Wolf Creek Falls.  If you locate a town called Wasp, TN.  That’s where it is.  A very cool place with no people.  By the way the town of Wasp does not exist.  I couldn’t even find an old building foundation, but it’s still on the map.  If you can’t find it on your own, email me and I’ll send you directions.  Cool open camping and party spot with a real nice waterfall.All this stuff is way back in the woods on dirt roads that most people would be afraid to travel on, but it’s not that bad.  It’s just that, even if you’ve been there a few time, it’s always a guess as to which way to turn. LOL

Wolf Creek is actually in Tennessee, though it might be on the state line.  Marguarite Falls is also in Tennessee.  It’s a nice, no beautiful falls, and the trail up to it is great and not hard.  You will find a nice paved parking space at the trailhead.  It’s pretty big.  In fall, this place can be full of hunters with pick up trucks full of dogs and shotguns, so, make sure it’s not bear hunting season when you go here.  Anyway, the trail is really pretty easy and walks right along the creek for about a mile until you come to the amphitheater of Marguarite.  A stunning place, and if you climb the wall and go up stream, you will find the equally stunning, Bailey Falls.

Back at the house we had a couple of sit around days and one was because it just got too damn cold to go out so we just sat around.  I took a couple shots from the house.

In the ensuing days, we visited a number of other locations around Waynesville.  Besides munching on some bad ass NC grits and shrimp dishes at a new restaurant in Waynesville and trying to hawk my new book, West Virginia Waterfalls, at Mast General Store, which is a really cool place, by itself, we visited a bunch of falls on NC 215 and the Blue Grass Parkway.  One that I liked a lot was Big Beartrap Falls.  It’s awful nice, even though the water was too high to cross the creek and the sun was just ablazin’.  It was a pleasant walk with another nice trail side fall along the way. After that we visited Skinny Dip Falls, which is a short walk off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Not a bad walk at all, but it seems to be fairly popular.  Had to wait for people to get out of the way to take pics.

One day, I ventured off to north of Hot Springs to see a couple falls.  West Prong Hickey Fork was about a mile hike and mostly level and uphill going out.  Kind of strenuous in spots and the scramble down into the creek was kind of iffy with camera gear, but, as always, doable.  A nice fall, but wish it had more water on my visit. After that, I drove up the road a piece to see Trillium Falls, which is roadside on a decent dirt road, but turning a truck around, well, it’s kind of narrow.  This road looks like a private area, but it is National Forest Access road, though, not numbered as I can tell.