Friday, June 02, 2006

Raven Cliff Falls

Today we found ourselves with time on our hands in the middle of a bright, sunny day. Not wanting to waste it staring at our television screen, Kelley suggested we take a hike to Raven Cliff Falls. We'd hiked this trail in 2004, but after two years of term papers and homework, he forgot. But this hike and falls are worth the visit, so I didn't argue.

Raven Cliff Falls trail is located just north of Caesars Head, off Hwy 276. The trail is about 2.1 miles one way, and we knew it would take us about forty-five minutes to get to the observation platform where we could view the falls. As mentioned earlier, the day was beautiful, and although the mountains are usually a bit to moderately hazy, we could see a fair distance during our trek.

The trail is shaded by a plethora of branches from tall trees, making it a cool and serene walk. A good portion of the path is carved into the side of the mountain, which means one side gradually slopes upward, and the other side drops down to depths I don't want want to think about. The elevation is somewhere in the vicinity of 3000 feet, so the thought of slipping down the side is somewhat unsettling.

Spring is just coming to the mountains, and mountain laurel was blooming alongside the path. We passed a few hikers along the way, including one fellow who mentioned a "new" observation platform that was supposed to have a better view of the falls. I'd heard about it, but without a map or specific directions, we decided to go with what we know.

We made it to the old observation platform without incident, and after spending a half hour or so gazing at the falls, we turned around and began the journey back. A breathtaking way to spend a day in the glorious SC Upstate.



For more information on Raven Cliff Falls, go to www.ncwaterfalls.com/raven_cliff1.htm.

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