Category:Waterfalls

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Views of cascading water through green valleys or off rocky cliffs are the rewards for many hikes in the TN/VA/NC region. Below are links to hikes categorized as having a waterfall feature.


Favorite hikes can be found in the ClubWIKI:TopsList.


WARNING!!! Please be cautious around waterfalls as the rocks and footpaths are very slippery. People have fallen to their deaths from waterfalls.
Do not climb rocks around the waterfalls.
Do not cross a stream or swim at the top of a waterfall.
Also be careful swimming at the bottom of plunge waters as the currents can drag you under.
These warnings are not casual as the last two played role in this July 2011 death.


Let's learn a bit about these geological beauties.
Types of Waterfalls.jpg

The types are classified by how the water decends and contacts the underlying rock.
Block: Water descends from a relatively wide stream or river. Water descends a series of rock steps.
Fan: Water spreads horizontally as it descends while remaining in contact with bedrock.
Horsetail: Descending water maintains some contact with bedrock.
Plunge: Water descends vertically, losing contact with the bedrock surface.
Punchbowl: Water descends in a constricted form, then spreads out in a wider pool.
Segmented: Distinctly separate flows of water form as it descends.
Tiered: Water drops in a series of distinct steps or falls.


In this region, the best time of the year to view waterfalls depends on what you want to see. Spring is good for heavy flows after rain. Summer will have the forest in full leaf. Winter is great for frozen cascades.


Many of the hikes are up into the creek gorges, so you need a water crossing strategy. Barefoot is generally NOT a good idea due to sharp rocks and unfortunately some broken glass, thus water shoes that you can quickly change into are needed. A small towel is then nice to dry off before switching back to your normal day hiking shoes. A hiking stick or trekking poles are good for stability in the stream. (And watch for snakes!)


Other websites to reference for area waterfalls:
Rich Stevenson's NC Waterfalls [ncwaterfalls]
Randy Gardner's waterfall photo site [waterfall picture guide] which also has recommendations picture taking