Blackwater Falls

I’ve wanted to visit Blackwater Falls….for years now.  The problem is that it has always been “just out of reach”. I reside in central NC, and I make trips into central and southern West Virginia several times a year.  Northern West Virginia doubles the 2 1/2 hour ride I normally set aside for West Virginia explorations.  The main reason I was headed to West Virginia in the first place was to find water.  Western NC, SC and eastern TN have been suffering abnormally dry starts to the summer of 2016, but not the Virginias.  Facebook photos of favorite NC waterfalls were displaying pitifully low waterflows, rendering rivers into trickling creeks.  On the Saturday of my departure, WV had just suffered 8-10 inches of rain in places two days prior, and there were reports of flooding in areas.   This was where I would find water.   Read more

Elakala Falls #1 on Shays Run

Blackwater Falls was my main destination when traveling into northern West Virginia in June.  I had ideas further south, closer to home, but due to the devastating floods that central West Virginia was suffering,  I had to either alter my destination or go home.  I had no idea how serious the floods were until I was actually in West Virginia, listening to the special news reports on the radio.  It all happened so fast, and the rapidly rising waters unfortunately caught many by surprise.  My heart truly goes out for the all those affected by this tragedy.  It was said that 8-10 inches of rain fell in 24 hours.  This was a text book flash flood of historical proportions.  With many roads washed out, traffic at a standstill backed up for hours, and rescue & recover operations still in place, I decided to remain on the main highways and travel out of the area into northern West Virginia.  I could tell by the lower levels of the streams up here that although the rains were still torrential, they were not as bad.

I have been wanting to come to this region for several years now and see the crown jewel Blackwater Falls.  I’ve always considered it a tad to far, certainly for a day trip.  After my first initial visit to Blackwater Falls, along with 100-200 others, I decided to stay right in the park at the very nice Blackwater Falls Lodge.  This place was quite a nice surprise for me.  Along with being a nice place to stay, with a nice restaurant, gift shop, conference center, right along the Blackwater Canyon, it has another waterfall trail to some waterfalls along Shays Run that begins right in the parking lot…I love this place! Read more