Thursday, May 24, 2012

Laurel Falls 4/14/2012

We have passed this trail head many times without stopping.  The parking area was always packed and the idea of a paved trail didn't much appeal to us.  This 2.3 mile round trip hike turned out to be a better experience then we had expected.  It is an uphill hike and although not steep there are few level areas.  There are drop  offs beside the trail especially near the end so children needed to be closely supervised.

The trail winds around the side of the hill.  There were a variety of flowers along the way including the first flame azaleas that we had seen blooming this year.  We watched several chipmunks playing past the first turn in the trail.  Further up we saw a number of small birds in the rocks on the high side of the trail.

As we reached the higher parts of the trail there were some nice views of the mountains.  These views should still be good after the trees are fully green.  A ranger passed us carrying a bag of litter that he had collected.  Why can't people be more careful with their trash!.  The ranger cautions everyone that he passes on the trail that the big rock at the falls is slippery.

The creek is way below us when we first spot it.  The surprise is that we are so close to the falls.  There is a large series of cascades just below the main falls causing the creek to drop very quickly.  A small corner in the trail and we are there.  The trail crosses the creek on a small bridge  and continues.  We sat on the bench past the bridge to relax and listen to the falls.

We watched two groups with children go out on the rock that the ranger had cautioned about being slippery.  One wrong step could have been disastrous.  Maybe I am overly cautious but they make me nervous.  This is a good place to bring children and possibly even strollers if you don't mind pushing uphill but please be careful.

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