Sat, Nov 8 2003 - Fall Hike to Gorgeous North Carolina Waterfalls (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Bruce
Participants:Bruce, Michael Aubertine, Epsie Nolan, , Udo Licht, Jim K, Jeffrey Collins, Michelle Gildore, Holland Williams, Sandra Schlosser, James M Storey, Michael Boni, Yuka Fujiu, Lori McCutcheon, Cheryl Sirna, Denine Rowley

Write Up:
We lost several people because of an early start at 7:30 am, but 9 hardy and lively people (or almost alive in a couple of our cases, including the fearless leader) got on the road shortly before 8am on the long drive to North Carolina. Weather that had started out cloudy, gloomy and a little rainy on the highway up - cleared rain wise but remained cloudy and got mountain misty in higher elevations of North Carolina; until we arrived at Gorges State Park shorty after 10:30 am.

We started on the trail to the Horsepasture River, a National Wild and Scenic River, first; and soon found out why it is designated so, as the waterfalls got better and more spectacular. We moved from Drift Falls to Turtleback to the one we hung around the most, Rainbow Falls. The mist thrown up from its gorge is a signature of the power and fury this 150-foot waterfall creates. The mist was refreshing both coming in and especially on the way back, when we all decided to throw in together and travel the extra ¾ mile, more rugged backcountry trek to Stairstep Falls. We all enjoyed lunch there, which was aided by an outbreak of warm, welcome sunshine, and made more interesting by a strangers dog who shook and splashed water on several of us.

After lingering and enjoying Rainbow falls again, including several people venturing to the bottom for a very wet ‘up close and personal’ look at the base, we all walked out and back to the Gorges State Park parking lot, for a brief rest.

Two people stayed behind to enjoy a little rest and seven of us went on to the trail to Upper Bearwallow falls in Gorges State Park. It was a good workout, aided by a deliberate fast pace, with a pretty waterfall at the end, though not nearly comparable to the beautiful backwoods trail the previous Horsepasture River adventure was.

After that hike, around 4:30pm, 4 of the 9 went back to Atlanta; we said our good-byes; and the remaining 5 of us went the back way to Walhalla, SC to enjoy a simple, inexpensive meal at a country, cafeteria type diner in town. Fried chicken, barbecue, Lasagna and several vegetables consumed were a most welcome reward for a hard days hike on one nice trail and the always spectacular Horsepasture River trail.
Written By: Bruce Aldridge
Photos From: none