Thursday, July 02, 2009

Hunt Fish Falls

The day that we were leaving I'd promised myself one last, brief hike. Examining my trail map, I knew that there was a trail that led a very brief .7 miles to a waterfall called Hunt Fish Falls. I'd heard that it was a nice place--especially if the water flow was good. So Carole and I got the trailer ready and the campsite 90% packed up to save some time.

After that, I hopped in the truck and drove to the trail head, leaving Carole at the campground to hang out in the trailer to relax while her hiking-mad husband went off for one last walk before heading home. The drive to the trail was short and I soon found that I had the trail to myself. Unlike the hike to Big Lost Cove Cliffs, the distance for this one seemed pretty much right on the money. The trail just heads down into the valley dropping moderately until about a tenth of a mile before the falls. At that point it gets pretty steep and you can hear the crash of water from the various waterfalls.

Surprisingly, I discovered that there is a side, feeder falls to the right as you're walking downhill. This waterfall does not have a tremendous volume, but it's very tall and pretty impressive, when you consider that it's something of a bonus.

There were three people at the falls when I got there. They'd spent the night in tents just above the main waterfall and were packing up as I arrived. While I was scoping out the falls and swimming hole they got their stuff stowed away and were soon gone, leaving the place just to me.

I instantly fell in love with the spot. The area just above the waterfall screams to be used as a campsite. The forest shields you from the sunlight, but the creek is just a few steps away and the sloping and treeless granite bedrock leads easily down to an enormous and deep swimming hole at the base of Hunt Fish Falls.

Once again, within two days, I'd found a second spot that I did not wish to leave. But I had to go. I took as many photos as I fancied, shot some brief video of the falls, and then headed back up the trail to return to pick up Carole and the trailer and head back to Charlotte.

But I'll be heading back. Just as soon as Life allows me to.

Falls and Swimming Hole below.

This low volume but very high waterfall is just beside Hunt Fish Falls. In fact, it's possible to pitch tents in the space between the two falls for a fantastic campsite.

This vast and quite deep swimming hole at the base of Hunt Fish Falls almost demands to be used. However, this was a bonus hike for me. I had to make a quick run of it by hiking down to the falls and then getting back to the campsite to re-attach the trailer to the truck before checkout time. You can better believe I'm going back to try out that swimming hole.

It's possible to stand on the cascade that empties out the swimming hole and look back up at Hunt Fish Falls.

The granite bedrock slopes down to the deep pool to the green-tinted but otherwise clear water. The floor of the pool is pure sand, quite easy on the feet.

If I was going to camp here, I'd pitch my tent just inside the edge of the forest here, above the falls. There's a huge boulder just across the creek and the sound of crashing water would lull me to sleep. And if I wanted a swim, it's a short stroll down the exposed granite to the edge of the pool.

I've found few campsites more inviting than the one above this waterfall.


Michelle A. said...

Loved finding your blog about Huntfish Falls! Just got back from there neighbor, and avid hiker, took my daughter and I there for our first ever hike and we absolutely loved it! (The hike out was a bit of a workout for me, LOL, but I'll build up to it!) Your videos will help me show my family the beauty of the falls. And YES, please do go make a trip back to swim. It was fantastic! We stayed and swam for about 3 hours...a treasure we'll never forget!

Michelle A. said...

I was thrilled to find your blog on Huntfish Falls! My neighbor, an avid hiker, brought my 5 year old daughter and I here for our first ever hike (we are all from Charlotte too by the way)...and it was absolutely amazing! Your videos will be such a help in showing our family members the beauty of the falls. By all means, do find a way to get back..swimming there is absolutely wonderful...a treasure really that we will never forget.

HemlockMan said...

Glad you enjoyed the write-up. It is a great place. There are so many waterfalls in that area. It's one of the best hiking and waterfall spots in North Carolina.

Michelle A. said...

Hey there....I just found out that it is indeed a small neighbor is Andy!! I was relaying your story about hiking to another waterfall only to hear voices and car doors slamming and he said, "That's funny - my buddy Bob had a similar thing happen to him in Virginia." Connection made!

HemlockMan said...

Andy Kunkle's one of the most adventurous guys I've ever met. It's a rare wild place that I can mention to him where he hasn't been.