Monday, July 22, 2013

Pisgah National Forest: Waterfall Tour

Grady's mom and two of his aunts drove from NJ to spend the night at our house before joining other extended family from NJ, FL, and GA for a weekend family reunion. Together, we spent all afternoon Thursday exploring several waterfalls in the Pisgah National Forest, just outside of Asheville, NC where the family reunion was being held. The day couldn't have offered better summer weather - warm but not hot, breezy but not windy, partial clouds but not gray. 
Little Annalyse was a trooper and did her fair share of walking. When she whined over mud or wanted a lift, however, she had plenty of willing arms to carry her. The boys were thrilled to wade in the water, jump in mud puddles, and explore the large rocks. They even had a chance or two to use their new Swiss Army Knives Grady brought back from Switzerland for them.
Our first hike brought us to the Daniel Ridge Falls. A short one mile hike along a bubbling river brought us to these beautiful, cascading falls. The summer leaves completely blocked our view of the falls until we were right in front of them, though we could hear the water crashing long before we saw them.
Lucky for us, we were the only family there and were able to enjoy the scene and space alone. We stayed for a while and Grady helped the boys get fairly close to the falls so they could feel the spray of the water.
Our next stop was Slick Rock Falls, and it was just that: slick! The short quarter-mile walk to the falls was muddy and slippery... and the walk behind the falls was even more so. In typical form, Micah wiped out and was covered in mud and water in no time. The rest of us moved slowly and did our best to find sure footing before taking steps to get behind the falls. It wasn't dangerous, per se, just slippery. The view was fun and the cool water felt great.
When we arrived at Looking Glass Falls, we were greeted with two buses loaded with loud and happy summer campers. We cut our visit to these falls short since we were overwhelmed with junior highers surrounding us. From what I saw, this would have been a great place to wear a swim suit to wade and swim in an area just beyond the falls. Maybe next time.
Our final one and a half mile hike brought us back to Moore Cove Falls. The walk was enjoyable - completely in the shade of thick trees so the air felt somewhat cool. This was our last stop of the day, though there were several falls we could have visited yet that day. This area is full of hiking options - easy to difficult - with many other falls to see. We even discovered Sliding Rock - a natural rock slide that sends you crashing into an eight-foot deep pool of water below. Another fun discovery for our To Do List next summer.
After getting wet and talking our time here, we walked back to the car and called it a day. For the record, my boys had plenty of energy to keep going, but this 4 1/2 month pregnant momma was feeling the burn!
After a short 40-minute drive, it was time to join the rest of our extended family for dinner and the weekend kick-off to the family reunion. More on that soon...


  1. a little piece of heaven. this place looks amazing and so do you mama!

  2. Wow, looks like Grady planned the perfect waterfall sight-seeing day! And I have been wanting to do a waterfall trip for our family, so thanks for this great info...I think I will just copy your plan exactly! Awesome pics!!