Mini NC Adventure: Upper Creek Falls

This spring break lead me to a wonderful new hike to another gorgeous waterfall in North Carolina. After two long months in Raleigh, I was ready to get outdoors, in the mountains, and surround myself with nature for a bit. After searching around the interwebs for some new hikes, I found this hike and immediately had the urge to go. The hike in and out wasn’t long and I can’t wait to go back in the summer and possibly swim in the smaller falls.

The falls are located in the Pisgah National Forest along NC Highway 181 near the small community of Jonas Ridge. I was driving to the falls from Pineola and found the trailhead on my left after driving for about 7.5 miles. You can see a Pisgah National Forest sign from the road, that leads you to a pretty decent size parking lot.

 

The hike was a loop hike, and you could choose to see the lower or the upper falls individually as well. I started with the upper falls, (although, for a less strenuous hike, I would recommend starting with the lower falls). The hike down to the upper falls was not too bad. Despite it being so close to the highway, I found that after a few minutes of hiking, you felt completely immersed in the Pisgah National Forest. The trail is full of rocks and roots, so be careful of your footing on your way down.

Once you have made it down to Upper Creek, you will find a wooden bridge that leads you down to creek. I wandered around for a bit trying to see what I could at the upper falls. To get across the creek you have to rock hop, but I found that the hop-able rocks were easy to get across. When you get to the other side you can walk out to the top of the falls and try to get a glimpse over the falls. I would not suggest getting too close to the edge, especially if the rocks are wet or you don’t feel sturdy on your own two feet. One slip, and the fall would be lethal. But the large open rocks would be perfect picnic spots on a sunny afternoon.

After crossing the creek, you will find a campsite with a trail leading you to the lower falls. There are a few other herd paths that lead you further up the creek, but it is obvious which one leads you to the bottom of the falls. There are several different herd paths that lead to the bottom of the falls, and after viewing several other photos from the falls, I’m not sure if I took the right one, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

After spending a few minutes chilling at the bottom of the falls, I hiked back up and out of the gorge. Again, you have to rock hop across the creek, but then its up, up, up to the parking lot. I am not the biggest fan of switchbacks, and found the hike out tiresome, but well worth the waterfall. As you hike back up to the parking lot, you will find a large boulder jutting out of the ground and it looked like climbers had already put anchors on the rock. If I could boulder, I definitely would have stopped here and had a little climb before finishing the hike out. You can also climb onto the top of the boulder from the back and find a slightly terrifying view of the creek below.

The hike was not too long, about 1.7 miles, and perfect for a warm afternoon. Since you’re hiking down a gorge to the waterfall there is a loss (then gain) of about 500 feet.  The majority hike consists of switchbacks so its not too steep, but your calfs will still be burning on the way up. I can’t wait to go back and visit in the summer months and hopefully take a dip in the upper falls.

Crazy Weekend!

So, another week down and only one week away from Fall Family Weekend!!! WOOO! 

This weekend was crazy and I actually got off campus both Saturday AND Sunday! Lets start with Friday though, because all good things start with Friday. Okay, so on Friday Andy Suzuki & The Method came to Miss Hall’s and had a special performance just for us. Now, I had never heard of this band before Friday night, and I now proudly have every single song of theirs on my iTunes. They were great. If you want to check them out (which I strongly encourage) here is their website: http://andysuzukimusic.com/. 

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So, that was Friday. Now onto Saturday. Saturday morning was very much a chill day. I got some of my homework done, watched YouTube videos, and listened to music (mostly Andy Suzuki & The Method). Saturday night I went to the town of Great Barrington and saw Pilobolus perform. They were amazing. For anyone who doesn’t know, Pilobolus is a modern dance company who perform all over the world. One interesting thing about them is that Pilobolus is named after a phototropic fungus. The second half of their performance was some of the original company’s pieces. I don’t have many pictures of this just because “photography is strictly prohibited during the performance,” but you can google them or look on their website: http://www.pilobolus.com/home.jsp.

Sunday… Today… I went apple picking! Now, I didn’t actually pick apples, because why go to an apple orchard and actually pick apples! Nope. I got out my camera and my new macro lens and shot until I dropped (not literally of course). I got tons of pictures and why not. I’ll share them with you 😛

 

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