This year’s birthday trip was a hot one. The first day wasn’t so bad because all the waterfalls we saw were roadside or just a short walk. The first one we came to was on private property in Rosman, NC. They graciously let people park behind their house in a designated area and walk to the falls. You can see the falls from the parking area, so it’s not a long walk. There are rumors afloat that they are thinking of closing it off to the public now. After visiting, we could see why. There were people in their swimwear, hanging out and digging around with plastic shovels in the falls. This is disrespectful to the land owners and the critters that make the waterfall their home. A short walk, some pictures, and a walk back to leave is what they accommodate, not swimming (and being parked in their backyard) for hours and disturbing the salamanders (some are endangered in the area, called hellbenders), and the other small water critters. We recommend this falls for sure, but please be respectful of the landowners and their generosity. Maybe they won’t close it to the public before others get to enjoy it. You will travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway some of the time, so be sure to take time and enjoy the overlooks. The GPS got us there just fine, but some people may not know which side road to take. It’s called Mountain Meadow. Follow the signs to the parking area and walk the short distance to the falls. From there we went to Brevard, our destination for the next couple of days. We stopped at Looking Glass Falls first. It was giving that name because of the way it looks in winter when it freezes. It’s pretty in the summer too. There’s a small area for parallel parking. There is a picnic table and viewing platform. The way down to get a close up view of the falls is made of several steps, but they are not steep. It was rather warm that day and there were several people wading around in the little “pool” beneath the falls. This waterfall is one of the prettiest on our list. From Looking Glass Falls, we followed the signs to Sliding Rock. It was the day after Labor Day, so it was good and bad. The good was the fee period for this park was over, but the bad was the concession stand/information booth was closed for the season. There were several people here, all lined up to slide down this rock. It’s a great looking natural water slide, and on a 90 degree day, the 55 degree water would be refreshing. I’m not sure when the lines are no longer forming, but that day was not one of them. We didn’t wait our turn in line because we had other places to go and camp to check in to. I sure would like to go back a “go for it” though. From Sliding Rock we went on to Slick Rock Falls. (All of these waterfalls are in the same general area, and we found out later, there was a couple that we missed). Slick Rock is up from Looking Glass Falls on a Forest Service Road. It is easy to see from the road, but there’s just a couple of large rocks to climb over to reach the bottom of the falls. If you want to hike, there is a short trail that goes around the large rocks. There is also another waterfall on this road, about a quarter mile away called Jackson Falls. It has several other names, but that’s the most common. You can see it from the road through foliage, but there is a trail that leads to it. We didn’t learn of the trail until we had left to go to camp, so we only had pictures through the trees. There are designated camping areas along this road, but we are not sure for how much longer due to people leaving trash in the area. Everyone, please remember to pack in and pack out. On our way to camp we stopped in at the Pisgah Ranger Station/Visitor Center. They have a lot of good information about all the waterfalls and hiking trails in the area. Brevard is known as The Land of the Waterfalls, and we can see why that’s true. There are several we have seen and blogged about over the last couple of years (like Whitewater Falls and Courthouse, etc.), but there are many we have yet to see. There is also a nice little gift shop here with many books, maps, stickers, t-shirts, and more. We did not have time to visit the Cradle of Forestry here, but we will go back to see it. It’s a $6 fee to get in, but there are a lot of interesting things to see.
Our campground for the night was called Ash Grove Mountain Cabins and Camping. It was a very nice, quiet place. Our quarters were called the Elf Shelf. It’s basically a 3 sided shelter like you might see on the AT. There is a platform that you can lower down from the rear wall that gives you a raised area to sleep. You will probable want to bring an air mattress unless you have a good sleep pad because the surface is just plywood. There is a privacy curtain, but it won’t keep out the critters of the night, so if you have food, leave it in your car or have a bear canister. They do not have a bear issue here, but they do have raccoons. We didn’t see any because we have a bear canister for our food, but we did hear some owls “fussing” at each other. It was a neat experience, as I have never heard owls “argue” before. It was quite humorous. After that, there was only a lone “hoot” every now and then. But we love those woodland sounds. The bath house here is very clean and had a really large shower area. The owners of the campground are very friendly and we liked it so much we will go back. We may stay in one of their cabins the next time, or the little hut known as the “Gnome Home”. They have a laundry area, a place to wash your dishes and some hiking trails that are like strolls through the woods, nothing strenuous. If you like quite little campgrounds, we certainly recommend this place. They also have places for RV hook-ups. There is no cell service, but the office has a courtesy phone and wifi. Check them out at the link below (you may need to copy and paste it):
After a decent night’s sleep, we checked out and started out for our main event. We drove to the High Falls Visitor Center to hike to Bridal Veil Falls. You may recognize that name from the Highlands waterfalls, but this one is in the Dupont Forest. There is another place to hike to it at the Fawn Lake Access area, but the High Falls trail is all flat. The down side is there is zero shade on this trail because it’s a gravel road all the way. It was way too hot to go on this hike, but we sweated through it. It’s 2.2 miles one way, so 4.4 miles round trip. It would have been much better if we had went in the fall. It was a 90 degree day. Whew! There are other waterfalls here such as High Falls, Triple Falls, and Hooker Falls a little further out. You can walk 7 miles round trip if you want to hit High Falls and Triple Falls if you were up for the challenge. Hooker Falls is another trail altogether. There is also an old Airstrip you can take a trail to and a barn trail. The barn is on the Bridal Veil Falls road as you get closer to the falls where you can refill your water bottles. There is also a 3 Lakes Trail that takes you to 3 hidden lakes. I guess they call them hidden because they are in the middle of the forest. We had planned on taking this trail but thanks to the supreme heat, we only saw the biggest of the 3, Lake Julia. It would have been wonderful if we could have went for a dip, but we were on a bit of a time schedule. I would recommend taking some swim clothes to take time to cool off here if you do go when it’s hot weather. The sun beaming down just wears you out faster and it’s good to relax.
You may remember these falls from the movie The Last of the Mohicans and also from the Hunger Games. Both were filmed here. The movie showed a wall of water, so it may have been filmed from the upper section. The bottom section of the falls is made up of several “trickles” over the rock. After a good rain storm, the entire rock might become a larger falls, but it would take a big storm for sure. It was an interesting experience, and the hike is not strenuous, but just watch out for the heat. It was a struggle for me to finish, but I made it. Hubs didn’t have any trouble, but he works in the heat. We are planning on going back to hike to the other falls, but in cooler weather. It was an interesting but hot birthday trip, but we had fun and we hope you had fun reading about it. Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel. There will be more videos coming soon.