Waterfalls in the Autumn Mountains

I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze.
The sweet chill of pumpkin
and crisp sunburnt leaves.
~Ann Drake, 2013

I found this quote recently, and had to share it with you.  It was the perfect opening to a picture heavy post from our hiking over the weekend with friends here from out of state.  They wanted to see some waterfalls, so we took them to a few lesser known areas of Transylvania county, knowing that the Blue Ridge Parkway would be overcrowded this weekend.  It wasn’t their first visit to local waterfalls, so we could go a bit farther off the main roads. We were all hoping to see more brilliant color, but this year it just isn’t to be.  It has been too warm and too dry.  The drought has made it hard for the leaves to stay on the trees long enough to have pretty color before falling off.  The warmth has delayed the change in color, which needs a good cold snap to make that change. You can see that in dramatic detail with these 100-ft trees next to our home, some that are bare too early and more that have yet to change color.

Leaves 2016 3

On the road, the color is sporadic like this spot, but it won’t be the brilliant color of past years.  A brisk wind over the past few days brought down a lot of leaves just turning brown.

Leaves 2016 5

Still, nothing beats a walk in the woods no matter what the season. This is the path to the first waterfall view of the day. It was chilly, we had to wear jeans and sweaters, but it was worth it. It was one mile to the waterfall.

Log Hollow Falls 2

The first waterfall we hiked to was Log Hollow Falls.  It is way off the beaten path of the Blue Ridge Parkway or DuPont Forest. Small (only 25 feet high) and tucked away, we had the place to ourselves to listen to the gentle running stream, hear a rustle of leaves, and marvel at the quiet beauty.

Log Hollow Falls 7

Back to the car, we drove over to Whitewater Falls near the SC border. This park is more of a draw, with a nice parking lot, a paved walk to the observation point, then 154 wooden steps down to the bottom. Going down is easy, coming back up is a bit hard on the knees. This picture is from the observation point, some color in the trees but still a lot of green. Whitewater Falls is the tallest in the eastern US, falling a total of 811 feet. This is the upper section, 411 feet.

Whitewater Falls 3

Whitewater Falls bottom section falls another 400 feet.

Whitewater Falls 5

From the bottom, you can get a view of both sections.

Whitewater Falls 11

Another view of the upper falls.

Whitewater Falls 10

While we were in that area, I was able to take a picture of Lake Toxaway.  This area is still mostly green, and probably won’t reach peak color until mid-November.

Lake Toxaway

I did find this tree with beautiful color, lovely red leaves against an azure blue sky.

Leaves 2016 7

Another short drive south of Rosman, there is a privately held property with a waterfall. They allow visitors to respectfully visit on their property. The falls drop 60 feet down a rock face, lovely and a bit unusual in the rock formations.

Eastatoe Falls 1

The rock at the top has a curve to the right, which makes an interesting pattern to the falling water.

Eastatoe Falls 13

Lovely, isn’t it? The leaves are scattered around the moss covered rocks.

Eastatoe Falls 16

Downstream a bit, there is a little bridge that leads to a small raised platform with a couple of chairs to sit and enjoy nature in all her glory.

Eastatoe Falls 28

Moss covered rocks channel the water between creating a calming environment, a perfect way to relax.

Eastatoe Falls 29

Here and there, brilliant color can be found. This scarlet red and orange with some gold was all on the same tree.

Fall 2016 trees

If you love that first quote as much as I did, there is a free printable on Ann Drake’s website with a lovely image – HERE.

I’ll leave you with this lovely thought.

When autumn dulls the summer skies,
And paler sunshine softly lies
Upon the brown and fallow lands:—
As fairy artists come in bands
To paint with brushes dipped with frost:—
They pay with gold, for verdure lost…
~V.O. Wallingford (b.1876), “The Cottonwood Trees”

How are the views at your place?


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22 thoughts on “Waterfalls in the Autumn Mountains

  1. Carol Preston

    Carole thank YOU for the interesting info on your water fall tour and the beautiful pics!!
    The views are BEAUTIFUL from our place, Pisgah Forest, NC!! However the drought is leaving our waterfall without much water. It’s always a mystery… every time I look out there. Seasonal changes are interesting, but also going from a trickle to a gushing waterfall (during rainstorms) is exciting too. I’ve sent two pics to Flickr. Enjoy!!

  2. Rosemaryflower

    Here and there, we have some colorful orange and yellow leaves.
    Lately, my dad likes going on really long walks around the neighborhood. That is great but I worry. First, he crosses big busy roads, he is very hard of hearing. Second: he often goes on his own.
    He drives me crazy with worry, but I already warned him about various dangers, and I can’t keep repeating that
    He has his huge iPhone and I encouraged him to call me if he ventures out on his own, which he does!!!

    We have gone on many long walks together.

  3. Carol Samsel

    Great photos of Natures ART ♥♥♥♥ I need to get out for a long hike in the woods… I’ve been too busy trying to get some major yard work done to enjoy the season.

  4. Myrna

    lovely photos, I enjoy listen to the water fall and the rustling of leaves. I can only imagin the falls after a rain. Thanks for posting..

  5. Betty Jansen

    Thank you for all the beautiful nature pics. Those of us who don’t travel anymore appreciate the vicarious pleasure of seeing the waterfalls. Here in Illinois our good color is coming.

  6. Great waterfalls! As far as stairs go, stepping down is harder on my arthritis-impacted knee than climbing up. No waterfalls nearby and many farther east in the Sierras dry up once the snow melt is over.
    The best leaf color change here in the Bay Area is seen on the Chinese pistachios and sweet gums.

  7. dezertsuz

    How gorgeous, every one! Thank you so much for sharing your pretty views. Things here are not turning very fast. Some trees have lost all their leaves, but there’s a lot of green still on the hills.

  8. Phyllis Smith

    Oh my goodness Carole,

    I wish you could just know a little of the memories you have just brought back to me. I have some pictures of my grandparents and myself on the lower White water Falls that were taken in the 1948-1950’s.

    The falls aren’t there anymore as the dam was opened up and it covered the town but the pictures I have are of us out on some of the bigger boulders and also some pictures of my parents out on the falls as well.

    My dad was raised around the Inman, Greer, Spartanburg and Seneca area. My maiden name was Abbott, and they were quite prominant in the area back then. You have mentioned a lot of places I have been to

    In my childhood so we did have some cousins in the Hendersonville area but I don’t remember their names since they would have been my 3rd cousins and dad didn’t keep in touch with them after my grandmother

    Passed. Went on line a few months back to get a listing of all the water falls in that particular area as I want so much to go back and see some of my child hood places and remember the trips there and stopping

    By a water stream and having a picnic with my loved ones and finishing by eating my favorite-watermelon-that dad would put into the cold mountain water till we were ready for it, what wonderful times we had

    Back then with hardly no money and just good picnic food and fellowship with our loved ones we only go to see when we drove up from Fla. For our yearly vacation.

    Thanks for the reminder of great memories.

    Phyllis, your Ga friend

  9. Judy

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful countryside. I live in Southern California so don’t get the change in seasons like you do so I really enjoyed the pictures and your story.

  10. Beautiful photos, Carole. We don’t ever have bright Autumn colours. I knew it had something to do with the temperature, but didn’t realise how dry it is affected the colour too. No Autumn colours here at the moment, though – lots of Spring flowers and new growth.

  11. What beautiful waterfalls! I love the way the water flows to the side in that one. You were able to capture some gorgeous colors despite the less than ideal fall foliage season we have all had. I think everyone up and down the east coast has had the same problem with not enough rain and not enough cool temperatures. Thanks for linking up to Take Me Away again this month. I always love reading your posts! Enjoy your weekend!

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