Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Daniel Ridge Waterfall 5/21/2011

We did the walk to this waterfall between two longer hikes on this beautiful spring day.  The parking is at the trail head for the Daniel Ridge Loop trail up the road from the fish hatchery in Pisgah National Forest.  We need to hike this loop one day but for now we just walked to the waterfall.  The trail head parking was quite full but most of the vehicles seemed to be people camping near the river crossing or playing in the water there.  
We passed through the gate and followed the gravel road a short distance to a nice bridge.  This is not an official camping area but there were a half dozen groups camping in the first quarter mile of so.  The walk to the falls was no more then a half mile.  The first part was on a gravel road that would still be very drivable if the gate were open.  Further up the road was eroded.

Once we got away from the river we left the crowd behind and had a quiet walk.  There were lots of wild flowers and we saw the first wild strawberries of the season.  They weren't quite ripe enough to pick yet but it won't be long.  The poison ivy and oak on both sides of the trail appeared to be on steroids but the trail is wide enough to avoid touching it.  We found two geocaches on this short walk..

Once at the falls there are two ways to view them.   Before the falls there is a short side trail that leads up above the main trail to the edge of the falls.  The picture above was taken from this spot.  The side trail is a bit of a scramble and was muddy in one spot but gave a nice open view of the falls.  You can also view the falls from the main trail.  It is a little further away from the main drop but you can view the whole falls including the cascades at the bottom.   The view is somewhat obscured by vegetation.  This is an easy falls for most anyone to reach since it is a short and mostly level hike.  The river to play in near the beginning  makes this a great walk for children.

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