Wednesday, August 10, 2016

July 18 & 28, 2016 - Bennett Cove Falls, No Name Falls, and Poundingmill Branch Falls - Pisgah National Forest

Back in 2007, my friend Bernie Boyer spent a lot of time exploring the creeks coming off the south and east sides of the Pisgah Ridge. Some of the creeks already had named waterfalls that were nice, but there was no documentation on what was on the other creeks. It turns out that there was a lot to be seen. Bernie was retired at the time - and I wasn't - so he would go out looking during the week, then take me to what he found on the week ends. I added the pictures to my PBase galleries, but didn't add the waterfalls to my main site since they were all off trail. Now that Kevin has added these waterfalls to his new book, I'm going to revisit them so I can add them to the site. If you have Kevin's book, these waterfalls are listed on page 185.

On the 18th, I set out Bennett Cove and Cherry Cove Falls. Unfortunately, this area has been in severe drought lately and the small volume creek in Bennett Cove was really low. Bennett Cove Falls was still very pretty and serene, but nothing like when I was there in 2007. Directions to the creek and waterfall are on my site here. Most of the hike to this waterfall is along a gated grassy forest road, then a lesser foot path to the creek, but getting to the waterfall requires off trail traveling.  This isn't for everyone, but if you want to really increase the number of waterfalls you visit, you have to do it. There are some really beautiful waterfalls to be seen.

There are a couple of smaller sliding waterfalls on the way up the creek to the main one, but nothing worth showing with puny water flow. Bennett Cove Falls is about 25' high in 2 sections and sits in a beautiful little cove. I shot some video, but there really isn't enough for a full video, so I'm saving it until I can get back to some of the other waterfalls in the area and combine the footage into one video. For now, here are a couple of shots. If you click the link above, you can see photos from 2007 when the creek had more water in it.

Bennett Cove Falls

After leaving this waterfall, I headed over to the unnamed creek in Cherry Cove. This is one that I didn't get to when Bernie did his recon in 2007. Unfortunately, fallen trees now cover the waterfalls and I didn't even take any pictures.

July 28 - I decided to head back to this area today since there's been more rain. I messaged my friend Brenda Wiley to see if she wanted to join me and she happily accepted my invitation. Brenda has a great web site where she chronicles her adventures. I had asked if she had anyone else she wanted to invite and she mentioned a hiking companion of hers - Mark. He was also excited about going and we all met at the Pisgah visitor center and left from there. I had planned to hit Poundingmill Branch Falls first, so that's where we headed. Unfortunately, the rain we got wasn't enough to help the creeks out, but the waterfall was still nice anyway.

Poundingmill Branch Falls

Both Brenda and Mark were excited to have seen it. It's hard to tell from this photo, but it's about 40' high. Directions to this waterfall are here and you can also see a picture of the waterfall from years ago. From here we headed over to what Kevin is calling No Name Falls in his book. The creek that the 2 waterfalls are on doesn't have a name and either does the cove that's they are in. Directions to the creek and waterfalls are here, but I don't have any pictures from this day to show you because I didn't take any. There was barely a trickle coming over the waterfall. There are pictures from my 2 previous visits at that link, however. When we where walking through one of the fields to get to the creek, there were sunflowers in bloom. I had never seen one in the wild, so I had to snap a picture.

Common Sunflower

Neither Brenda or Mark had been to Bennett Cove Falls, so I took them back up there while we were in the area. The waterfall looked the same, so I skipped pictures and just enjoyed the scenery and the company. It was a real steamy day, so we all got soaked in the falls before heading back to the vehicle.

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