With the winter being so mild this year, my husband and I have been trying to take hikes once a week. A few weeks back we went to Catawba River Falls in Old Fort, just a 20 minute drive from our house along scenic back roads. The trail starts next to someone's house with roadside parking.
The trail follows the river up to the falls and there are three low water crossings. Apparently the water was very low earlier that day but as the rain from the night before seeped into the river, the water rose by the time we got there. I am not very coordinated and have poor distance judgement - making for a nervous crossing. Don took my camera and I took the walking stick for balance. The worst that could happen was to step in icy cold water and have wet feet for the rest of the hike!
I crossed the creek safely and the hike was lovely. As we ascended, the river was below us, accompanying us with its burbling, splashing voice. A very soothing sound to me.
|Don at the second crossing.|
Further up there is a large dam that is no longer used. The water flows through the holes and down into the gorge. People are warned not to climb the wall! A final crossing sits just below the falls with a tumble of boulders to pick our way through. The trail is clearly marked but here the markers are painted on the rocks.
It was well worth the 1.5 miles in to see this. The falls is a 340 foot cascade to a pool below. With naked trees we had a perfect view to the top. The trail does go on up to the 70 foot drop of upper falls but a very muddy trail was closed off with a sign Hazardous Hiking! Some people did go up but ended up sliding back down the slippery trail on their bottoms!
|Another couple making the final crossing below the falls.|
|Me, on the final crossing at the end of the 3 mile trail.|