Sunday, March 04, 2012

Virgin Falls

This waterfall is neat as hell. Because it emerges from a cave opening, rolls over a cliff face, and then vanishes immediately into the ground without producing a stream either from points above the falls, nor points below it. Where it finally emerges is anyone's guess. It is the centerpiece of the Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness.

The hiking trails around this place are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen anywhere. And I even count Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in that. Why I have only been one time is a mystery. I really need to go back there. Another nice thing about the place is that the Hemlock wooly adelgid has only just arrived in the forests there and so the hemlocks are still alive. I'm not sure how much longer they will be living, so that's another reason for me to return.

Emerging from the cave.

Plummeting into the sinkhole to vanish into the earth.

The day I hiked in was during a horrid drought. One of the worst the South has seen in 100 years. The temperatures were in the mid-90s. But in that sinkhole it was as cool as a crisp Fall evening.


Jack said...

That is probably the neatest waterfalls I have ever been to! Definitely on my list of ones to revisit!

HemlockMan said...

One BIG reason for me to go back (aside from the thriving hemlock forests) is to see the other waterfalls on the way to Virgin Falls. When I went, the drought had been so bad that all of the other waterfalls on the way to Virgin Falls were gone. Completely gone. The creek had no water in it whatsoever. Not even isolated pools.