Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hiking Waterfalls Park in Newland

This is a hidden gem of a walk that outsiders know little about. I like to head here for a quiet walk to get away from it all and on most days you will not see anyone on the trail.
It is located on Rte 19 heading towards Tennessee across the road from Ingles Shopping center. I liked to take my elderly mother there to picnic at the tables just off the road at the base of the waterfalls with a great view of the triple falls up above.
It can be quite dramatic in rainy season but most days there is a good amount of water flowing down the falls. I believe it is maintained by the Newland Fire Department. The trail heads up the steps to the top of the falls. Most people stay in this area but the best is further up.
Once at the top, follow the trail which criss crosses back and forth over the creek into a wonderful secluded cove. Rhododendrons line the path and hardwood trees climb the ridge line. The further in you go the more the world slips away and all you hear is the wind, the babbling stream and birds. It is very sheltered in here and even on winter days, the cove is protected from winds, making it quite comfortable to hike.
The path crosses back and heads down to the top of the falls again. At this point there are some huge trees, one with a notch in the trunk big enough to fit me in a stooped position. I love to look for wildflowers especially in spring.
Be careful of your step when the ground is soft from rain or melting snow. It can get mucky and slippery then.
Enjoy this quiet hideaway!

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