Setrock Creek Falls – June Quick Hike

For prints, please click here: Setrock Creek Falls – Fine Art America . 

I visited Setrock Creek Falls recently, on the same deary day that I visited Roaring Fork Falls. These 2 waterfalls are usually always visited together as they are both off the same turnoff from NC Hwy 80. While Setrock Creek Falls is considerably higher at 75 feet than Roaring Fork Falls, which sits around 40 feet, I still consider Roaring Fork Falls to be the main attraction here, due to water flow. The picture above was taken in an ideal situation, on a cloudy, foggy day with a good deal of recent rain. A hike during drier times could leave viewers disappointed. Continue reading “Setrock Creek Falls – June Quick Hike”

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Stone Mountain State Park Winter Hike

Well, if the recent 60’s weren’t enough, today we hit the low 70’s, in February…Crazy! There was no way that I was not going to find a way to get out and enjoy this. My choice today was Stone Mountain State Park. Stone Mountain State Park is one of my favorite places to hike, especially during the week. The location is very close to the triad where I live. The park sits just at the edge of the Blue Ridge escarpment. The elevation at the summit is only 2305, and the temperatures here while a tad cooler than the triad, tend to be similar to that of lower elevations, which makes it a prime hiking spot in the winter. This park was one of the original places that I began hiking so it holds a special place with me. I can not think of another hike that offers more variety in it! Continue reading “Stone Mountain State Park Winter Hike”

Window Falls – Its All About That Ice

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Usually, to see frozen waterfalls in Western NC, one must go further west and up in elevation. However, on our 4th night in a row of temps in the teens and single digits here in the lower elevations, I had a feeling that our small waterfalls at the nearby Hanging Rock State Park might just freeze up. It is a Sunday morning and is the last day of temps this cold, before rain and slightly warmer air moves in. So, I fought all instincts and got out of bed very early on a frigid morning and headed out just after the park opened at 7 am. I wasn’t expecting much company as it was 12 degrees in the visitor center parking lot. Continue reading “Window Falls – Its All About That Ice”

Throwback Thursday – Remembering The Beautiful, Brutal Harper Creek – Raider Camp Trails Loop

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Today is Throwback Thursday.  I am reminiscing a trip I did just over 3 years ago,  on July 30, 2011.  I was a much less experienced hiker.  I really hadn’t got too much into photography just yet, just my cell phone at the time, and a cheap point and shoot camera.  Speaking of cell phones, I used the state of the art Apple Iphone 4 at the time.  I was using an app called Everytrail to map my route, record my mileage, and record photos.  It also had a place for a story on the trip.  It was here that I began blogging, which led me later to WordPress.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – Remembering The Beautiful, Brutal Harper Creek – Raider Camp Trails Loop”

The Waterfalls of Gragg Prong

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I have wanted to visit the waterfalls of Gragg Prong for awhile now.  This hike has been a long time coming! This is my 3rd attempt to drive up to the Wilson Creek Wilderness to hike the waterfalls of Gragg Prong this summer. My first 2 resulted in rain and thunderstorms that were heavy enough to send me off to another location.

Continue reading “The Waterfalls of Gragg Prong”

Hanging Rock State Park’s Waterfalls and the “Wall of Water”

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As I continue to develop  my skills in photography, I have learned and accepted that I must look at rainy, gray days as opportunities…..good things. I am a sunny day hiker by habit, and enjoy being outdoors in good weather. The rainy days are usually spen…well, indoors. Because of the lighting challenges that sunny days present when photographing waterfalls, I have slowly, over time accepted the fact that I must get out on these gray days and take advantage….if I ever want to take better images.

Continue reading “Hanging Rock State Park’s Waterfalls and the “Wall of Water””

Waterfall on Steels Creek

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Pothole City!! The two words that come to mind every time I hear or see this waterfall mentioned. Potholes are round shaped holes sometimes seen on streams that have rapid or turbulent water flowing over exposed bedrock. Over time, sediment collected at the bottom of the pools, or smaller rocks and soil, use the force of the rapidly moving water to “grind” these holes in the rock.

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Window Falls & Hidden Falls – A Nice Short Stroll Through Hanging Rock State Park Along The MST (w/videos)

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It’s a rare Monday off work in January. After a busy weekend hiking, and NFL playoff games, I was feeling a little lazy today. About noon, I decided to get out of the recliner and make sure this nice 50 degree day was not wasted. It’s a good thing that I live within a half hour drive of Hanging Rock State Park.

Continue reading “Window Falls & Hidden Falls – A Nice Short Stroll Through Hanging Rock State Park Along The MST (w/videos)”

An Early Taste of Fall in Far Western NC

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It’s early fall in western NC again!! While we wait here in the piedmont for the leaves to change, the beautiful color transformation is already well underway in the mountains of NC, especially above 5000 ft. As I write this, color is moving down the mountains a little each day. This report is about a day trip taken 10/12/13. Continue reading “An Early Taste of Fall in Far Western NC”

A Winter Stroll Through The Waterfalls of Hanging Rock State Park

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It was a snow flurry filled Saturday and I was itching to get out. I had decided that this day was to be my first hiking trip with waterfall pictures using my tripod and DSLR. I have taken my point and shoot along long enough, and gotten nice waterfall shots, but something is just lacking in them. I had not been producing that silky, white water that better photographers get. I had tried some, but didn’t do this , or didn’t do that, or left the tripod at home, etc. Today, it was overcast, and very cold. I knew I would have some private time at the falls and it was time to set up and experiment until I saw something I liked.

I did not want to go far, so I chose nearby Hanging Rock State Park. It is a wonderful state park loaded with hiking trails, magnificent views from points reaching 2500 feet in elevation, a lake, the Dan River, historical sites such as Tory’s Den, and is also home to 5 waterfalls. On this day I would hike 3 separate trails to get to 4 of these 5. First stop was the waterfall that is located outside the main park, and probably the most picturesque of the group, the 35 foot high “Lower Cascades”

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Getting here requires a drive to Hall Rd, just outside the main park, a well marked parking area is on the right. The trail is about 0.3 miles and starts out as a nice walk in the woods. The descent to the falls is down a series of steps, wooden and stone and is safe. It will likely cause a little huffing and puffing on the way up, but it is not too bad. At the bottom, you will be greeted with a beautiful 35 foot waterfall, steep cliffs on the left, and a beautiful stream that cascades more as it leaves the falls.

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This was a good trip, I was very pleased immediately, so I decided to hike to another one. I drove up the mountain into the main park to the very large parking lot at the visitor center. Here is the access to the Upper Cascades, another 35 foot waterfall on the same creek. The trail is short again, maybe 0.3 miles that descends to the waterfall viewing deck, then down some steep steps to the base.

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Again I was pleased with these shots and on this hike, snow began to fall. It was not too heavy and did not stick so it made the hike even more enjoyable. I decided to do one more trail, on the other side of the parking lot. This one was the Indian Creek Trail, which also runs along the Mountains To Sea Trail. This leads to 2 waterfalls along Indian Creek. While smaller than Cascade Creek, it is still very scenic and the waterfalls are nice. First waterfall is Hidden Falls, a small 13 ft fall that looks very nice when it has water flow.

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Another 0.2 miles down the trail is the more defined Window Falls, a 25 foot waterfall, named for the 3-4 foot hole in the gigantic rock formation at this waterfall. This waterfall requires some steep rock steps to get to as the trail really begins to descend here.

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The last 2 shots are the “Window”. After the return hike, I decided that was enough for this day. I had certainly found what I came up here seeking. Now it’s a whole new world.

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