Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Day of Hiking Pisgah National Forest

After spending a day at Biltmore and the NC Botanical Gardens in Asheville, we needed to get out into the woods for some hiking.  We drove down to Pisgah NF near Brevard, North Carolina.  This is know as "The Land of Waterfalls" for good reason.  Our hiking book lists about two dozen waterfalls within a few miles of Brevard.

Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

We only got to two falls - Looking Glass Falls (left), which is right on the road, and Moore's Cove Falls (right), which is a short hike of 6/10 mile.   Looking Glass Falls is a popular spot, because it is easy to get to, but also because it is a beautiful waterfall.   The best spot to shoot these falls is standing in the middle of the stream.  Since it was still in the low 60's and the water was even colder, I decided to climb out on some old logs for this shot.

Moore's Creek Falls is about 50' high, with not a lot of water flowing over the falls.  The cool part about this one is you can walk behind the falls.

We decided to hike to the top of Looking Glass Rock, which took a few hours to complete.  During the winter, water flowing down the sides of the rock freezes into ice, creating a glistening coating that makes the rock a “looking glass.”   The panoramic view from the top was fantastic.  You get a sense of the beauty in the photo below.   One interesting thing about this hike is the helicopter pad about a mile from the top.  It's a natural smooth rock area that the crews use as a landing spot when they need to rescue injured rock climbers.

The best part of this day of hiking was the wild flowers that were in bloom the third weekend in April.  There were Jack In The Pulpit, Foam Flower, Wild Violet, several varieties of Trillium, and some we couldn't identify.  There were many others that had not bloomed out yet.  We wish we could go back the next two weekends to see what else is blooming.

Several more photos from this day of hiking are available in the Pisgah National Forest Photo Gallery.

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