Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Waterfall Hideaway: Hays, NC

While most of the waterfalls in North Carolina are on public lands, there are a few that are on private property which makes them a little more difficult to visit.  One of these waterfalls happens to be near Stone Mountain, and is part of the property for a very nice mountain cabin rental.  Unlike most of my entries in this waterfall directory, I will not be providing directions to its location in order to protect the privacy of those who stay there.  However, I will recommend that you pay the Waterfall Hideaway website a visit and consider booking your own trip.

The waterfall itself was not impressive when my wife and I went there in late January 2011.  I was suspecting the water to be flowing a bit more forcefully from all the precipitation that we had been experiencing.  However, that was just not the case.  There was but a trickle coming down over the rocks.  The size of the falls is impressive though.  It is about 70 feet top to bottom and there are several cascades along its path.  I imagine that with proper flow this would be a very nice waterfall to photograph.

The owners of the property have done a great job in showcasing this waterfall.  It is directly behind the cabin, and there is a walkway from the back door right to the base of the falls.  It is quite literally 40 feet or so from the cabin, and you can walk it bare foot if you are so inclined.  They have a nice place to sit by the base as well as a fire pit for warmth or even marshmallows I suppose.  At night the cascade portions of the waterfall are lit so this can be enjoyed 24 hours a day.

Mountain Bungalow

The real story with the Waterfall Hideaway is the cabin itself.  It sets in a large secluded lot with no signs of life anywhere around.  The community where it was built is a gated community with a long winding gravel road.  I would recommend taking a truck or something with good ground clearance in the winter months.  While there was no snow or ice on the roads when we went, the road was very soggy and muddy.  Four wheel drive is probably recommended in inclement weather.  That was actually part of the charm of this quaint cabin, you really get the feeling you are in the middle of nowhere.

Below the cabin you will find a walkway that leads down to a well done man made pond.  This pond is stocked with fish, and has a nice picnic table where you and the family can grab a relaxing lunch.  A little further down is a hammock with another couple of chairs tucked into the woods.  Great place for a nap!  Behind the cabin there is the waterfall which is linked to the pond by a short nature trail.  As you look to the right of the waterfall, there is a continuation of the trail that winds through the trees to an elevated lookout point.  There is a table and two chairs where you can just sit and take in the beauty of the 60 mile view ahead.

While the waterfall might not be the best out there, if you enjoy seeing different cascades, you really should consider staying at the Waterfall Hideaway at least once in your life.  The experience isn't something you will soon forget.  I am planning several return trips and hope to be able to photograph the waterfall in its full grandeur at some point.