Friday, February 25, 2011

The Power of Water

When we got to the Blackwater Falls area they were experiencing some warm weather after a long period of very heavy snowfall. So there was a tremendous amount of snow melt going on, even though I had to hike through places where the snow was about two feet deep. I could only imagine how deep the snow must have been before the thaw.

Because of this, the streams and rivers were bursting their banks. Thus, the waterfalls were about as powerful as you could ever hope to see them. In fact, the trail down to the Blackwater Falls had been put off limits because the flow was so great and the ice cover was so treacherous that the park officials felt the need to keep people away. So I was not able to hike all the way down to the base of the falls where the best photo opportunities were to be had. I was able to get a look at the viewing platform from above, and it was coated in what appeared to be five feet of solid ice. I decided to obey the signs and not venture beyond the barriers the park rangers had erected.

Here then are some videos and images that I took of the rivers and waterfalls that we encountered in West Virginia and Maryland.

This falls in Swallow Falls State Park reminded me of Hooker Falls at Du Pont State Forest here in North Carolina.

The namesake falls of Swallow Falls State Park.

The river was actually kind of frightening with the elevated levels and the constant steaming of sublimating snow and ice.

This was the best view I could get of Blackwater Falls due to the closure of the main trail. If you look to the left side of the photo you can see the dwarfed viewing platform almost filled with snow and ice. The staircase leading down to it was so packed with ice that the stairs were completely hidden.

The Blackwater River just above the falls.


Fieldstone Families said...

Those are fantastic photos. Really impressive. That looks like a decent place to check out.

HemlockMan said...

Thanks! I highly recommend that park, and every other park I've visited in West Virginia. It really is a beautiful area.

Kent Tankersley said...

Great photos! Looks like a really beautiful area to visit.

HemlockMan said...

Carole and I dearly love West Virginia. There is some amazing scenery there.