Saturday, June 5, 2010

Courthouse Falls

Cascade Lake CG site #P4
Pisgah Forest, NC

Over the river…

…and through the woods…

…to Courthouse Falls we go!


We packed a picnic lunch Friday and took the Scenic Byway through Brevard and up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It’s a 65 mile loop by way of Hwy 64W, right onto Hwy 215(very curvy), right onto the BRP, and right onto Hwy 276(curvy) to Hwy 64 again.  We wanted to find a beautiful, remote, yet fairly easy to view waterfall.  Courthouse Falls fit  the plan perfectly.  From Hwy 215 you turn onto FR140 and go about 3 miles.  It’s a gravel road with potholes.  After all the rain we’ve had, it was quite bumpy but there were spontaneous small falls and seeping rocks right beside the road.

IMG_0754 IMG_0712

After parking at a pullout next to the fourth bridge, we got on the Summey Cove trailhead and followed it for about half a mile.  This was a beautiful but wet hike with Courthouse Creek flowing right beside us.  We had to stop a few times just to enjoy the view.

IMG_0716 IMG_0720

Gin got this salamander on a rock but I was too mesmerized by the flowing water to notice it.

IMG_0721 IMG_0722

The switchback part of the trail to get to a clear view of the falls was a bit tricky and wet.  I know why it is so lush and green…it rains a little every day in the mountains.  We made it down to get some good shots but we didn’t try the very steep steps to get to the very bottom of the falls.  There was a young couple down there enjoying a picnic and we didn’t want to land on them if we fell.  :)

IMG_0732 IMG_0728 IMG_0741

Yes, I carried Smudge the whole way.  She weighs 10 pounds so I switched arms once in a while.  She is 13 years old and she has aged a lot in the past couple of years.  As I stood next to the sheer rock with the water seeping out of it, I felt like I was so far away from the rest of the world.  The rock wall circles this 45 foot waterfall.
We started working our way back to the Suki.  She handled this road pretty good but I wouldn’t bring a small sedan back there into the woods.  This is what the trails looked like for the most part and another view of the creek.

IMG_0750 IMG_0767

After the bumpy ride out of the woods, we were very happy to get on smooth pavement.  We soon got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and saw some beautiful rhododendron blooming.  I don’t know what the orange flowering bush is, but it was sprinkled along the roadside also.

IMG_0783  IMG_0778

We stopped for lunch at one of the first overlooks we got to on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It was a nice little picnic table there and a view of the Devils Courthouse which feeds the creek that forms the falls.  Click on the information sign to get some background info.  It’s kinda interesting.

IMG_0784 IMG_0786

The fog moved in.  It was, of course, more rain clouds.  We could no longer see the huge rock of Devils Courthouse which was right in front of us.


After putting our trash in the bear-proof trashcan, we hit the road again.  It is about 10 degrees cooler up here than it is at camp.  I just love the weeping rock right next to the road.  It was easier to see inside the tunnel than it was in the thick fog.

IMG_0776 IMG_0793

We were both tired so we didn’t make any stops along Hwy 276.  We got back to camp and took naps.  The invasion of the week-end warriors began in earnest.  The only plans for Saturday are to relax, fill the hummingbird feeder, and cook a steak on the grill.  We need a day or two off to recharge.  It should be nice weather Monday so I feel another waterfall trip coming on. :)  There’s just so much to do in this area.  We could spend all summer here and still not run out of adventures.

No comments: