Thursday, October 15, 2009

MP 305, Drainage Waterfall: Blue Ridge Parkway

Rocky Runoff

It's rare that I will include a waterfall such as this one in this directory.  It does not have a name, and is not listed as a waterfall in any documentation that I have found.  However, I think that under the right circumstances this is one that is worthy of a little attention....and I think that opinion is shared by several people that I saw slam on brakes as they came passed it.  You can find this small cascading waterfall right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Linn Cove Viaduct.  The exact mile marker is 305, but the cascade is a little past it, but not beyond the intersection with Hwy 221.

While you will not be able to find this waterfall for most of the year, if the conditions are right with a lot of rainfall, you will be richly rewarded from driving past this falls.  You can see it from the road, and there is sufficient shoulder room to pull off of the Parkway so you can view it up close.  I would recommend pulling off of the road to avoid any rear end collisions.  There is no trail to get to this waterfall as it is maybe 20 feet from the roadway.

The one negative to this waterfall is that there is a drainage culvert at the base that collects the water from the waterfall, as well as drainage from the roadway.  This is a necessary evil and helps to keep the Parkway safe to travel on by redirecting the water that flows on and around it during the rain.

What makes this waterfall so interesting is that it is full of sediment and minerals from the rocky face of the mountain.  This introduces a wonderful brown tint to the water which really is an eye catcher.  There is very little interest in the base of this waterfall, so those that choose to photograph it might have a difficult time composing something other than a frame filling shot. That is ok though because there is a lot of visual interest just in the patterns of the water itself.

While this is not a named waterfall, and will likely not even be visible for much of the year, if you happen to be around the area of Rough Ridge and the Linn Cove Viaduct this is worth looking for.  There are many of these little falls sporadically placed along the Parkway, but this one is the best one that I have seen.  It does need lots of recent rains, and will likely only be active for a few days here and there.

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