Ramble On

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lands Run Falls: An Easy SNP Day Hike

During the holidays, I talked Mary into getting out on two of the Easy Day Hikes.  We actually did them one after another; Lands Run Falls was the second one of the day.  I'll post on the other, Snead Farm, on Monday.

I found Lands Run Falls in the Best Easy Day Hikes (Amazon link below) book.  It truly qualifies as an easy hike because it is only 1.2 miles round trip, descends about 300 feet total (remember, you'll be climbing on the way back), and it follows a paved fire road for some of the way before it transitions into packed gravel.

Most of the route is through a mature forest with oaks and hickories - the book says that there was some significant damage to the woods here during a tropical storm in 1996, but you'd be hard pressed to notice during the summer when the leaves are up.  There is also a lot of greenstone, one of the Park's ubiquitous igneous rock types, along the way.

The two photos are of the falls themselves, which you really can't get down to - they're observed from a safe spot at the top of the cascade, and it's really not advisable to climb down into the gorge.  I also took a photo of the upstream view of the stream, which spills over little cascades on its way down to the plunge.  To get to the falls, you walk to the spot where the stream crosses under the fire road, and take a little spru trail on the right about a 100 yards. 

There are a couple of twists and turns in the route as you approach the falls, and I've found that disorienting before, since it makes the route seem longer than it really is.  But you start hearing the falls from about a quarter mile away, which reassures that you are approaching your goal.

The book calls it "a nice leg stretcher"...I agree.

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