Friday, September 15, 2006

Tory's Falls: Hanging Rock State Park

New Life

You will have to travel a little bit around the boundaries of Hanging Rock State Park to view this waterfall, but it is well worth the trip (depending on the recent rains). The park itself is located off of NC 8 North of Hwy 52 in Danbury, NC. A complete set of directions and a map can be found on their website. Once to the park, you will turn onto Moore's Spring Rd which is right before the entry gate to the park. You will continue a short distance until you reach Hall Rd. Take the left and follow Hall Rd for a little over two miles until you come to Mickey Rd. Turn left onto Mickey Rd, and then left again on Charlie Young Rd. You will see a parking area on your left.

There are two trail heads in this parking area. To view Tory's Falls, take the upper trail for approximately 300 yards. You will come to a split in the trail that is marked with a sign. Follow the sign to Tory's falls. The observation area is an outcropping of rocks just off of the trail. You can work your way to the edge of the rocks to get a decent view of the tallest falls in the park. The top section is about 50 feet tall, but it has a very long trail of cascades below that run an addition 150 feet or so. You will be tempted to venture to the forest floor to find a better vantage point to see the lower sections of the falls. If you are able to do so, please let me know. I have looked and looked for a way to get down there. Actually, I have found lots of ways down, but could not see a way back up. Everything I have read says that it is not possible to venture lower in safety without proper climbing gear.

Tory's Falls

In order to really see Tory's Falls at its best, you must go shortly after a heavy rainfall. Otherwise, you will only see a trickle flowing over the rocks. This is an impressive waterfall if only for its shear length. The route the water takes is incredible.

For those that wish to photograph this waterfall, you will have two choices available to you...first, you can pick out isolated sections of this waterfall with a telephoto lens. This works well as there are many portions of this waterfall that make great compositions. Your other choice is to use a wide angle lens which will allow you to capture much more of the falls. Trust me, you will never capture the entire waterfall with one shot. It actually goes further than you can see through the trees below. Again, it is important that there be lots of rain in the days preceding your shoot, or you will likely be very disappointed.

This is another waterfall that benefits from the chill of winter.  There are lots of chances for shots of the frozen mist, as well as icicles coming off of the rocks.  These are best done through isolation shots because of the size and distance of the waterfall.  If you have the ability to shoot up to 200mm you should be fine.  There is much more to be found in the 300-600mm range as well.


rickardfoghorn said...

Hey Greg those pix are beautiful so peaceful looking although i can hear the water hitting of the rocks... Helen

rap4143 said...

Greg do you use tripod and what speed?

radar446 said...


I do use a tripod on these shots.  The shutter speeds are anywhere from 1-5 seconds for moving water shots.  I think that for these, the speeds were around 2-2.5 seconds.

Thanks for all the kind words.


inafrnz247 said...

Thank you for taking us along in spirit, Greg... maybe after I find all those bridges I can do some traveling south!!  
These waterfalls are truly stunning...   Michelle