Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 11, 2015 - Upper Grassy Falls, DuPont State Forest

Years ago, someone told be about a waterfall in DuPont that wasn't on the map and very few people knew about.  I went to check it out and sure enough, there's a really nice 25' waterfall hidden in plain sight!  I emailed Friends of DuPont and asked about the falls before I added it to my web site.  The guy that answered was really nice and explained that they knew it was there, and asked that I not added it to the site, but said it was OK to post pictures without directions.  They didn't want it ruined by the herding masses if word got out that it was there.  'No problem!' I replied.

After I met Cindy in 2010, we were in DuPont and I asked if she wanted to see a waterfall not too many people knew about.  The trail to the falls was still there, but it was obvious not a lot of people used it.  The problem was that the trail went to the top of the waterfall and it was a scramble through rhododendron thicket and briers to get down to the base.  I kind of forgot that part until we got to the top of the falls.  Not everyone enjoys this type of scramble and Cindy decided to pass, so I saved it for another day.

That was about 3-4 years or so ago, and now that we were in DuPont a lot lately, I wanted to see if that trail was still there.  So today, Cindy and I did our own thing.  I messaged 2 Facebook friends - Emily and Brenda - to see if they wanted to join me.  Both are comfortable off trail and know the value of hidden treasures like this.  It turns out that neither have seen this waterfall and they hadn't met each other - but had planned to - so it worked out good for everyone.  Emily has a blog she's working on here and Brenda has a blog here.  You should really check both of them out!

We met at out rendezvous point, then took 1 vehicle to where we needed to park.  The area where the trail began has changed a little bit, so it took us a minute to pick up the old trail.  It was now covered with fallen leaves, but we were still able to follow it right to the top of the waterfall.  Here are the views looking down the falls, then up creek.

Now, instead of a scramble down to the base of the waterfall, there's a narrow path that looks more like a game trail.  The area at the base of the falls is unusual in that there is a lot of sand.  To get a full view of the waterfall with the water levels like they were today, we had to get our feet wet.  Luckily, it was another very warm day for this time of year and we took turns wading out into the pool to get our shots.

right to left - Emily, Brenda, and me

This will be another waterfall that I'll return to when the leaves are back out for 'greener' shots.  Up creek from the top of the waterfall could also be interesting, as well as down creek.  If you learn how to read topo maps to see where waterfalls might possibly be, you could probably look at a DuPont trail map and figure out where this waterfall is.

We got back to the meeting place and were chatting before we departed ways, when I noticed a couple of guys heading our way from the opposite side of the parking area.  It was Jeff and Dave once again!  In a previous post, I mentioned that Cindy and I met them one day in the Hooker Falls parking area.  Jeff runs Meanderthals: A Hiking Blog and Dave ran  (Remember that from a few years ago??  He should really get that site going again.)   Neither had met Brenda and Emily, but all knew about each other from the blogs and other online stuff.  Another cool 'small world' moment and great way to end the day!

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