Sunday, November 21, 2010

Falls Creek Falls, Veteran's Day Hike, 2010

What a wonderful way to spend Veteran's Day, hiking with a bunch of Veterans! We had a great trip to Falls Creek Falls, but of course missed two of our regulars, Jerry and Deanna.
Living up to the descriptions I had read about the Falls Creek Falls trail, it was certainly an uphill hike to the falls. It was well worth the effort, with beautiful scenery and breath-taking views along the way. Falls Creek Falls certainly deserves the rating of spectacular! The weather was gorgeous, the sky was a deep blue, as you can see in the pictures, the color of the leaves was magnificent and there was a lot of water coming over the falls. We couldn't have ordered a more perfect day. Heading back, we met a gentleman that had volunteered at Jones Gap during the summer, working on the Hospital Rock Trail. He informed us the trail was a ridge trail, beginning at Jones Gap State Park, leading to Falls Creek Falls. We could actually see that the trail continued on the other side of the falls and could easily walk across the bottom of the waterfall. Per his instructions, if you park a car at the Falls Creek Falls Trail head, then drive to Jones Gap, you can hike the Hospital Rock trail in its entirety, back to the Falls Creek trail head. Total hike length is 6 ¼ miles, with the end of a strenuous hike being all down hill. If you don't want to take 2 cars, you can hike from the Falls Creek trail head via the paved road, back to the ranger station at Jones Gap, adding an additional 3 miles to your hike. I think we will take 2 cars when we do this hike. As always, we had a wonderful time with great friends, and of course keeping true to our values, “Take nothing but pictures, harvest only memories, and leave nothing but footprints.”

Yellow Branch Falls

Our second hike of the fall took us to Yellow Branch Falls, once again in Oconee County. A beautiful hike, occasionally a challenging hill or two, but everyone made it without any problems. I would certainly agree with the waterfall guides and rate this waterfall as spectacular. The size and width of the falls can only be appreciated in person. Pictures just don't do this waterfall justice. There were also some magnificently huge trees along the hike as you can see in the pictures. If anyone can identify this little white flower, please let me know. I am searching, but I haven't been able to identify it yet. The appreciation of nature, the beautiful scenery and the fellowship of great friends is such a wonderful blessing we are all able to enjoy on these hikes.

Kings Creek Falls and Spoonauger Falls

I must appologize to my fellow hikers for not updating the blog earlier. As the saying goes, life comes at you fast, and 2010 has been a busy year. Our group had a very uneventful hiking spring, as we were all busy doing other things, getting children graduated from high school and college, taking care of parents, dealing with a raging bout of mononucleosis (my poor daughter) and the like. As fall approached however, we found ourselves feeling better than ever and anxious to get in the woods. We have had several wonderful hikes, the first being to Kings Creek and Spoonaugher Falls. Beautiful hikes, beautiful waterfalls, and not terribly challenging for an inagural fall hike. I would like to add a note of thanks to someone I have never met, but have used his waterfall website extensively, Allen Easler. His directions, trail guides and ratings of the waterfalls has always been spot on. Much easier to follow than a lot of the other guides I have used. I will have to email him and let him know he got kudos in my blog. I hope you enjoy the pictures and have an opportunity to experience the beautiful scenery of Upstate South Carolina.