North Harper Creek Falls 4/12/14 -A Beautiful Hike With A Sad Ending

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After a short rest and some water following my first hike to Hunt-Fish Falls, I proceeded a mile or so along FR 464 to the trailhead for trail 239 North Harper Creek Falls. This is a rather large parking area and is home to not only the 239 trailhead, but also the 271 trailhead for the climb to the Little Lost Cove Cliffs. This part comes into play later….

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Trail 239 is just over 1 mile long and just may be the flattest, most gentle hiking trail in the entire Wilson Creek Wilderness. There are a few gentle climbs, but mostly a flat walk through a wide open forest. At the end of the trail, it links up with trail 266 which is the North Harper Creek Trail. This trail is not gentle and flat and thankfully must only be followed a short distance. The trail descends steeply for 0.1 miles and comes to North Harper Creek Falls. The creek must be crossed just upstream which can be tricky but done dry. After this, you will walk through a large, primitive campsite. There were at least 10 people camping out today here having a blast. After the campsite, there it is, North Harper Creek Falls.

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North Harper Creek Falls is a beautiful 40 Foot drop over an interesting rock cliff. Above this is a much longer cascade that can not be seen from below. After a short visit here I began to make my way back. Here are a few trail shots heading back.

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As I neared the trailhead, I noticed a lot of vehicles, and noise. This did not fit in. I got closer to see what was going on. Apparently a young 21 year old student fell 70 feet off the Little Lost Cove Cliffs while rappelling. When I saw them carrying the body on a stretcher, I feared the worst. I later learned that he had suffered some serious injuries but was going to make it. This is a grim reminder that these forests can be extremely dangerous. Here is a link to one of the local news channels reporting the fall…. http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/asu-student-charlotte-falls-while-repelling-mounta/nfYg6/

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Author: waterfallshiker

I gave up the video game playing, TV watching lifestyle years back now. There just had to be more to life. I discovered a love for waterfalls on Christmas day 2008, at Elk River Falls in Elk Park NC. While not initially realizing it, this opened a whole new world, and lifestyle for me. I now love to spend my free time, hiking to waterfalls, and mountain tops in search of pristine views. This has also led me to a love of photography and blogging. While i am still not an expert at either several years in to this, I love the challenges that both offer me. I see my skills getting better at both as time goes by. Sharing what I see via social media brings me great joy. I love the feedback, good and bad. I love to see what others are able to show as well. I created my blog "WaterfallsHiker", originally to just help myself keep up with my travels, not really with any real purpose in mind. After 2 years on this blog, I see that It has evolved into a combination of an information site, and a place to show off my progress as an amateur photographer. I try to do it all and include some bits of my personality as well. It is something I really enjoy doing. When I am not working on this hobby, I can be found on a golf course, spending time with my beautiful fiance and her daughter, or working my 40 hours a week at Costco.

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