Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wilson Creek, Grandfather Mountain

Wilson Creek starts out as a small creek running down the back side of Grandfather Mountain through the tiny town of Mortimer and onto Morganton. The Wilson Creek area is part of the Grandfather District of the Pisgah National Forest. Looking at a map, the area is just south of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain and east of NC 181, north of Morganton. Wilson Creek was added to the National Wild and Scenic River System on August 18, 2000. The headwaters are below Calloway Peak and the creek stretches over 23 miles before emptying into John's River.






Wilson Creek has a full and vibrant history. The area was once used as summer hunting grounds for the Cherokee Indians. Shortly after 1750, pioneers settled here and began logging the dense forests. Mortimer, the largest community, was the site of the Ritter Lumber Company sawmill and a small textile mill, which provided jobs for the community’s 800 residents. Substantial logging took place between Wilson and Steel Creeks, and the trees were hauled to the mill via narrow-gauge railroad.

In 1916, a fire burned from Grandfather Mountain to Wilson Creek, and was immediately followed by a flood, which destroyed the logging railroad. In 1925, a second fire swept through, this time from Upper Creek to the south. The railroad, which had been rebuilt, was lost again. When a second flood hit the area in 1940, it washed away both the sawmill and the textile mill. The foundation of the textile mill can still be seen from the road. This was all a great loss for the people of the area but a gain for Wilson Creek and the surrounding forests. Now this area is preserved and offers hiking trails and a great river for white water rafting and kayaking.


As you can see the creek widens up here and lots of kayakers are running the rapids. It is great to drive along the river from the tiny headwaters to the wide open rafting river.





 

We are joining with My World Tuesday, Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday this week.  Please stop by our hosts.

20 comments:

Sylvia K said...

What a lovely place! And such great captures! Fall seems to be putting in an appearance there! Thanks, too, for the history, very interesting! Hope you have a great week, Cheri!

Sylvia

Odie Langley said...

Cheri these are absolutely beautiful. As much as I love the mountains it makes me want to be there even more. thanks.
Odie

Kea said...

What a lovely spot! Looking at your photos makes me miss the mountains (grew up in the province of Quebec). Here, the terrain is quite flat, unless you drive north.

Wilson Creek could be somewhere along the Gaspé Peninsula.... :-)

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

What a beautiful wild and rugged landscape to live in. I enjoyed reading about it and looking at the photos.

Jan
(Milo and Alfie's mom)

Old Kitty said...

Oh now this is brilliant! What an amazing and resilient creek with its surrounding forests and of course the ever looming presence of wonderful Grandfather Mountain! I'm glad that the history of the creek was in being able to provide for the people who lived near and with it but I'm super duper glad that it's now used recreationally allowing for the trees and forests to recover! I think they deserve to after being so helpful to people!

Take care
x

ewok1993 said...

what a beautiful landscape.

chubskulit said...

Beautiful photos!

My water Wednesday post

Vernz said...

another unspoiled nature... beautiful...

Watery Wednesday here

Shirley said...

What a beautiful creek. I'd love one running through my property!

Marguerite said...

Gorgeous pics and area! Makes me want to visit friends that live nearby. So nice that it's been preserved for all to enjoy. Interesting history, too.

Luna Miranda said...

the floods and fire were nature's way of saying, "enough!" floods and landslides are happening in my part of the world every rainy season. but i guess people never learn.

this is a beautiful place...i hope the tragic events here are not forgotten.

Coffeeveggie addict. said...

w0nderful sh0ts,and history...i enj0yed them all.
visit my waterfalls

eileeninmd said...

Great watery shots. My favorite is the last one with the kayakers.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

You've taken us on a beautiful outing without leaving our chairs!!! And the history lesson was an added plus.

My Wednesday Photo Link

I do hope you stop by for a visit if time allows!! Have a wonderful wednesday!

Mary said...

We haven't been to Grandfather Mountain in ages~ I'd love to visit this fall! Loved the history & beauty of Wilson Creek :-)

EG Wow said...

Ah, a great place to hike and enjoy the outdoors. I'm breathing in the fresh air. (OK, I'm imagining I'm breathing in the fresh air,)

Tricia said...

I didn't really see how big the river was til I saw the boaters - Very nice scenery!

Donnie said...

I'm near Asheville, NC. I love to be so close to the Blue Ridge Parkway where we can get on it and discover so much with a short drive. Lovely article about Wilson Creek.

Kate said...

My favorite kind of place. Nothing is beter than the sound of water running down the creek. Great photographs.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

These shots are so tantalizing. You've captured such raw beauty in these photos. How I would love to explore there.

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