Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Waterfall on Little Branch, Pisgah National Forest

Waterfall on Little Branch

Located in the Pisgah National Forest, along the French Broad River Basin, in Harmon County, this waterfall seems to spring up from nowhere. This 40' waterfall can be found along the Little Fall Branch stream near the Harmon Den Horse Camp. Locating this waterfall is very easy to do, but you need to pay particular attention to the details as there are no actual trails that lead to the falls.

To get to the trail head, you will need to come from I-40 in North Carolina near the Tennessee boarder. From either direction, you will exit at Exit 7 and head north toward a gravel road. This gravel road is called Cold Springs Creek Road, and is also listed as FR 148. You can't miss it, as it is visible from the exit ramp from the interstate. After traveling approximately 3.7 miles, you will come across a picnic area and horse camp. There will be a sign for FR 3526 which you will turn right on. Stay on this road for about three or four tenths of a mile until you come across a gate on the left and one ahead. There is a pull out by the second gate on the right side of the road where you can park. Take care not to block the gates.

Here is where things get interesting. While the hike is no more than 0.3 mile, there is no trail. I'm not an advocate of off-trail hiking, and would not have proceeded here except that there seems to be a clear path that has been used before. As you came past the first gate, you saw a stream crossing which is Fall Branch. It is actually the second one, Little Fall Branch, that you are wanting to find. It crosses right at the gate. You will want to follow this upstream to find the falls. I found that a path of sorts has been cleared along the right side of the stream which is the route I would recommend. Keep sight of the stream so you reach your destination, more importantly....so you can get back to your vehicle.

As you walk along the stream, you will find yourself wondering about this waterfall. The hike is relatively flat, and the stream only has a few elevation drops here and there. I thought I was on the wrong path. However, in a matter of minutes you will find yourself face to face with a near vertical wall with an impressive waterfall. While this is a very pretty waterfall, photography is limited because of all the surface clutter. It is not uncommon to find large tree trunks at the base of the falls which will restrict any close-up photography. However, good compositions can be found by stepping back from the falls.

Stream Observation

Also, the stream itself introduces a few nice little jewels for the photographer. With several little cascades here and there, you can find lots of opportunities to trip the shutter. While this is not a great waterfall, it is really worth a stop if you find yourself in the area. The hike is very easy and doesn't take long at all.

1 comment:

inafrnz247 said...

Greg,

Do you research the whereabouts of these waterfalls beforehand?  Or do you simple set out in search, hoping for the best?  Maybe a little of both?  I am in awe of all the beautiful falls you capture.  I wish I knew better, where to find them around here because I know they're around....

These are so simply elegant.  Love, love, love them!

Chelle