Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Setrock Creek Falls, Pisgah National Forest

Setrock Creek Falls Photo Copyright © 2007 G. Kiser

Setrock Creek Falls is not what I would consider a must see waterfall, however, if you are in the area it is worth a look. For those of you visiting the Roaring Fork Falls, this is a great secondary destination as it is just a few miles down the road. All this is not to say it is not a very pretty waterfall, just not spectacular. The waterfall itself is primarily a waterslide with a small cascade at the bottom. It is about 50 feet high, so its not that large of a waterfall either.

The directions to this waterfall are a bit involved, but it is not too difficult to get to. As with the Roaring Fork Falls, you will need to exit off of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 344 in Little Switzerland. You will turn North on NC 80 toward the Mount Mitchell Golf Course. Turn left on County Rd 1205 (South Toe River Rd), which will become Forest Road 472. You will follow this road for approximately 0.8 mile where it turns into gravel. Four wheel drive is not needed unless there has been a lot of rain recently which I am sure would wreak havoc with the road bed. At 1.5 miles, you will see picnic tables on the right of the road, and in an additional half mile, you will come to an intersection. You will turn right, which is almost a "U"turn pointing you in the direction you came from. After another half mile or so, you will come to the Black Mountain campground. There is parking for hikers on the left by the information board.

Once you have parked, the directions become kind of involved, so I will try to simplify what I had. You will cross the bridge into the campground and continue until you see a sign for the Briar Bottom Bike Trail. You will follow this trail along the bank of the South Toe River for approximately 0.2 mile. I caution you not to pay attention to the blazes, as they will change color without warning. After you cross a fairly long wooden bridge, you will come to a "T" intersection. You will turn right and continue on that trail for a little over 200 yards and you will be at Setrock Creek Falls.

I am not sure how popular this waterfall is with the campers, but none were at the falls when I visited. It is a rather remote waterfall and is a nice place to collect your thoughts. There are lots of ways one can photograph this waterfall, but I chose to concentrate on the cascade at the bottom. I was surprised at how little water there was flowing considering how much rain we have had lately. I imagine that in a drought (even a minor one), this waterfall would be nearly non-existent.

One positive to this waterfall is that the trees provide a nice closed canopy over the falls. That makes for much easier photography. However, toward the top of the waterslide, you will need to watch for highlights as any sun will hit the top sections.


rbrown6172 said...

the colors are so warm and is very pretty. being quiet and secluded would indeed provide a perfect place to just sit and reflect.

bgilmore725 said...

I would love to visit this one for the solitude you described. bea

inafrnz247 said...

Yeah, I see myself sitting there on that rock...  Just allowing myself to slip away for a while....  WITHOUT my thoughts!  ; p  

Very lovely photo, Greg.


jlocorriere05 said...

It's beautiful Greg! The water looks so clear too, you can see every rock in the stream. Jeannette xx