Saturday, October 20, 2012

2012-10-14 Secret Falls, Brooks Creek Falls, and Picklemiester Falls

Day 3
Camping and Waterfall Wandering Weekend
Secret Falls, Brooks Creek Falls, and Picklemiester Falls
Near Highlands, NC
Sunday, October 14th, 2012

An amazing thing happened this camping weekend!  For the first time ever, I found out what it is like to pack up dry camping gear!  It hadn't rained a drop during my two night stay at the Ammons Branch Campground.

After packing up camp, Andy and I decided to check out a few more nearby waterfalls.

First up would be Secret Falls.  We followed the directions in Kevin Adam's "North Carolina Waterfalls" book and discovered a rare error in Kevin's directions.  We drove up Walkingstick Road and Turned right at 2.5 miles.  From there the directions say to go an additional 2.95 miles, but after some trial and error, we realized that it is actually only a half mile further until the next right turn onto FR 4567.

Once we realized that Kevin meant a total of 2.95 miles and not an additional 2.95 miles, we had no additional problems finding the trailhead.

It appears that there have been some major improvements to this trail as it is now a much easier hike than described.  Although this one is no longer a secret, the much improved trail makes it a very easy hike of a little over a half mile to the base of this beautiful waterfall!

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Secret Falls

Me at Secret Falls

Next up would be Picklesimer Rock House Falls, which I like to call Picklemiester Falls.  But first we decided to make a short detour to a roadside waterfall on Brooks Creek.  This one is mentioned in Kevin's book, but he also mentions that at the time the book was published the road was closed due to flood damage from Hurricanes Frances and Ivan.

Fortunately the road is now open again and the Waterfall on Brooks Creek turned out to be nicer than either of us was expecting.

Waterfall on Brooks Creek

We backtracked a bit and continued on the the Picklemiester Trailhead.  A short easy hike of about a half mile took us to a very small stream which we followed up to the base of the waterfall.

This one looks exactly like the more well known Moore Cove Falls in Pisgah National Forest.  However, I think the cave that Picklemiester flows over is a bit more impressive.

Picklemiester Falls

While it didn't rain while we were camping, a light rain did start falling during our Picklemiester visit which officially extended my streak of at least some rain during my camping weekends!

Although this is not the most photogenic waterfall, we did spend a good bit of time here snapping shots from all different vantage points and angles.

Me and Kona at Picklemiester Falls

It was still early enough in the day to get a good bit more hiking in, but I decided to head on home to watch my Virginia Tech Hokie game from the previous day on DVR.  Apparently Andy decided to call it a day as well, because he followed me all the way to I-85, bypassing all the stops that he was considering.

This was a very enjoyable camping and waterfall wandering weekend.

For the complete photo sets, you will have to visit my Facebook page as it appears that Webshots is no more!  It looks like I will have to start looking for a different photo sharing website to use!

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