I had it all planned out! A cloudy forecasted Saturday in the high country with showers around meant that I was going to get some wonderful photographs of waterfalls on this day. I headed west into the clouds with great anticipation.
After a sensational hike into the Linville Gorge this morning, I had lunch on my mind, a little shopping in Little Switzerland, followed by hiking an afternoon loop along the Crabtree Falls Trail. Everything was going according to plan except while eating lunch at the Mountain View restaurant, the afternoon thunderstorm machine cranked up. And wow, did it crank up! As it turns out, we passed through 7 storms from this one at 1pm until reaching the triad at 6:30 pm. In and out, in and out, sunshine then blinding rain, sunshine again. My car’s thermometer would show 70 then 88, then 68, then 90.
Anyway, while in Little Switzerland, I got word that a waterfall named Grassy Creek Falls was just around the corner. Having already hiked Crabtree at least 5 times now, I opted to try Grassy Creek Falls. I am always excited to see a new one, or should i say “one that is new to me!!
The one note everyone should take on Grassy Creek Falls is that it is on private property. There are signs along the road, though welcoming people to view the falls, to keep their cars off the private road. This means that the 1/2 mile trail, now includes 1/2 mile dirt road and 1/2 mile trail. This dirt road, which is Grassy Creek Falls Road turns off of Chestnut Grove Rd. in Little Switerland, Chestnut Grove Rd, connects NC 226A to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is where you get off the parkway, take a right, go under the parkway, then just on the other side is Grassy Creek Falls Rd. Park at the top, take the dirt road for 1/2 mile or so. This road is all down hill. There will be a sign that says Falls, turn right here and head down what is now a nice path, but was once the main road between Little Swizerland and Spruce Pine. After 1/2 mile, a creek crossing, and a downed tree or two, this down hill route will bring you to the top of Grassy Creek Falls. There is a rather steep scramble path to the base down the bank. Use caution, take your time, and watch your footing. Enoy, you are now in front of Grassy Creek Falls. The wet rocks are very slippery!
I mentioned that this road and trail were all downhill, this means that the return trip will be all uphill. After the huffing and puffing, I made it back to my car just in time before mother nature had another car wash rain storm waiting.