|The Hidden Falls|
I'll have to admit, that the first time I visited the Hidden Falls located at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, NC, I was not that impressed. The second time I visited, I was less impressed. So why did I go back for a third time? Well...you see, it is directly off of the path that leads you to the Window Falls which I have attempted to photograph many times. I can never convince myself to save the few steps and bypass the Hidden Falls. I'm glad I didn't. I've since changed my mind about this particular waterfall.
Hanging Rock State Park is located off of NC 8 North of Hwy 52. For a map and directions, visit their web site where you can download a map in either JPEG or PDF format. Once in the park, you will park at the visitor's center and proceed along the hiking trail by the picnic shelters. This hike is an easy 0.4 mile from the pavement. Just 0.2 of a mile more, and you will be at the Window Falls.
At the Hidden Falls, you will pretty much be at the end of a short trail. It is a very secluded location, and I have seen only a few people here in the times I have visited. This is not a grand and powerful waterfall, and only stands about 40-45 feet tall. The beauty of this fall is more tied up in the atmosphere of the location rather than the spectacle. Each time I visit, I am reminded of those water trickling decorations that you find on office desks and home corner tables. It is just enough noise to drown out the white noise around you, but still quite enough that you can hear the inhabitants of the woods around you. It can be extremely relaxing to just sit with your eyes closed and to listen.
I really think the season plays a large part in the beauty of this particular waterfall. I had been in Fall and Winter previously. The colors were drab, and lifeless. On the third trip, I chose to visit in the Summer. This is not normally a good time for waterfalls as the water levels are low. The Hidden Falls does not really have a large amount of water flowing over it's rocks to begin with, so the lower water levels didn't really affect the look of the falls. However, the color in the surrounding vegetation really brought the scene to life for this photographer and elevated it to one of my favorites falls in the park.
There is a lot to this waterfall, and I do plan on returning to it several more times. I think that working on some isolations will provide some great images, asd something a bit different than the normal full shot. I would also like to mention that because of the slow waterflow here it makes for a great icy winterscape when the temperatures drop below freezing for long enough.
Cascade on the Rocks