North Carolina Waterfalls and Fall Color Trip 2012 (Part 2)

If you haven’t read part one of this adventure, go here.

After Dupont, we traveled over to Pisgah and Looking Glass Falls and lunch before heading off into the forest on one of the service roads.  I had heard of a falls there that actually turned out to be a hike to disappointment.  Even though it’s never a disappointment to be in the mountains, I was led to believe there was something there, other than what I found.  So, I did some macro work on the trail back.

Close in at the bottom.

To finish out the day, and there is no better way to finish the day, we drove over to Eastatoe Falls, which just happened to be on the way home.  This place has got to be my favorite of them all.  There are many great ones, but this place is very serene and usually I am all alone here.  This waterfall is 80 feet of splendor and magic, and is right in some guy’s back yard.  He has to be a cool guy to allow tourists and he does.  Thanks to him.  I’ve met him once but never even got his name, and somehow, that seems appropriate, as I just love the beauty and magic of this place.  Two shots from Eastatoe.  The small one is a close cropped section from the bottom of the falls and the second is an overall view from the pool at the base.  There is another view from further down the creek as well, but I think these two will suffice to show the beauty of this place.  So quiet and peaceful.  Just the water and you.

From the main pool.

The next day took us to a couple of falls I had not visited yet.  I had seen pictures and I wanted to go, so go, we did.  First up was Secret Falls.  It was not that hard to get to, but the trail head was not so obvious and it was a bit arduous.  Some pretty steep uphill climbs in both directions, but mostly coming back.  Not for the faint of heart, but worth the trip for sure.

Secret Falls

After that, another very hard hike.  Really easy going down into this 500-600 foot deep gorge.  Not so easy coming out.  It’s only 3/4 of a mile one way, but you will feel it.  Despite the burning muscle tissue, an all in all rewarding hike, as we visited three falls in one plunge.  This is Glen Falls and it starts out as a long cascade at the top and then there is a big falls in the middle and another at the bottom.

Glen Falls Middle Falls
Glen Falls – Lower Section

After Glen Falls, we decided to go on down the road (U.S. 64) a bit further, as there are a number of falls right on the side of the road.  We passed by Bridalveil Falls, an interesting place but not much for photography, and pulled in at Dry Falls, which has a newly reconfigured parking area and concrete sidewalks and railings going down into the gorge.  This place is really cool.  Lots of good angles to shoot and walking behind the falls leads you to more at the end of the trail.

 These two images are from the approach (left) and then from the end of the trail, where there is a viewing area.


Then there’s the view looking down the gorge with mountains in the distance as you are leaving.

Looking down the valley from Dry Falls.

After leaving Dry Falls, it was time for the grand daddy of them all, however, it proved not to be, as nightfall was swiftly setting in on us. We would never make it in time, and decided to try for first thing in the morning, prior to heading to Maggie Valley. See part one of our adventure here.
See part three here.