My husband and I had the priviledge of visiting two waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest on Saturday, accompanied by fellow CarolinasAdventure member, Waterfall Rich.
You may not have heard of Rich, but you may have seen his website. He owns and maintains http://www.ncwaterfalls.com/, an exhaustive compilation of North Carolina waterfalls that includes descriptions, photos, and directions. Rich is also a wonderful photographer. His photos have been featured in several magazines and at least one billboard.
We met Rich at the Moore Cove trailhead on Hwy 276 thirty minutes past our appointed meeting time. After apologizing, I slipped on the fleece jacket we keep in the car--it was still chilly at that elevation, especially in the shade--and we headed up the trail.
The walk to Moore Cove isn't long--only about .7 miles. The walk to Little Moore Cove is just about the same distance. Just short of Moore Cove, we cut to the left, onto a trail that lead down into the brush and made our way up wet rocks and tree roots, and over a fallen trunk and a narrow creek to a beautiful waterfall that looked almost delicate as it fell over the cliff and onto black stumps. As Rich did a good job of not laughing at our method of taking photos, ("umm, you're welcome to use the tripod") we shot pictures and marveled at the veins of quartz squeezed between layers of rock. Few people know about this falls, so we had the entire place to ourselves.
After leaving Little Moore Cove, we played follow the leader to the Fish Hatchery where we parked and then hiked the short trail to Cedar Rock Falls. This is nice little hike, and should be picturesque in the autumn. The sun shone brightly, so taking photos of the falls proved difficult, but we enjoyed the solitude, the abundance of water roaring over the rocks, the green muck sliming over the rock ledge along with the red berries of a Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and the conversation. On the return hike, Rich pointed out the yellow jackets which nest in the ground and often beseige hikers. I have to admit I hiked with a little more caution after finally seeing these aggressive stingers than I had on our previous outings.
Information on Cedar Rock falls is on Rich's site at http://www.ncwaterfalls.com/cedar_rock1.htm. If you're interested in seeing Little Moore Cove, I recommend that you find a guide. While this falls isn't far from Moore Cove, it is in the woods on a trail that's often difficult to see. With bears, snakes, and miles of woods surrounding you, it's best to be safe.
Our photos of both falls are at carolinians.smugmug.com