Thursday, April 21, 2016

2016-04-16 Waterfall Wandering

Falls Creek Falls, Headforemost Falls, and Tankersley Branch
Jones Gap State Park, SC
Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Me and Mark at the base of Headforemost Falls

Several years ago Andy and I did some off trail bushwhacking around Jones Gap State Park.  Our goal was to get to the base of Headforemost Falls without blatantly trespassing across private property.

Trip Report from Andy and My Original Visit to Headforemost Falls

On a separate trip, Andy, Brenda, and I did some off trail exploring of Tankersley Branch.  Both of these trips were a success!

Since posting these trip reports, several of my other hiking buddies have expressed interest in getting to these locations.  So this past Saturday, I led my buddy Mark to Headforemost Falls and to the Lower Waterfall on Tankersley Branch.

Mark and I started out at the Falls Creek Falls Trailhead and hiked the trail up to Falls Creek Falls.

 Falls Creek Falls

This one is spectacular in person, but I don't think it makes for a very good photo.

From there we pretty much followed the path that Andy and I took on our first trip to Headforemost Falls.

Shortly past Falls Creek Falls we left the trail and bushwhacked over to Headforemost Creek.  We pretty much just following the path of least resistance while keeping on a fairly constant elevation.

Mark along the bushwhack portion of our hike

This is definitely not the most difficult bushwhack, but I would not recommend it unless you are experienced with off trail exploring!

It took us a little over an hour to travel approximately one mile.  We arrived at Headforemost Creek a short ways below the main drop at a nice waterfall that Andy and I missed on our initial visit.

Waterfall downstream from Headforemost Falls

From there we worked our way upstream to the base of the main drop of Headforemost Falls.
 Mark and Me at Headforemost Falls

Nice cascade at the base of Headforemost Falls

 Cool Bark!

 Headforemost Falls

 Rhododendron Bloom at Headforemost Falls

Andy and I found several additional drops upstream from the main drop, but I didn't think they were worth the time and significant effort to get to!  Especially since Mark also wanted to get over to Tankersley Branch.  So we were satisfied with just the main drop and a few of the scenic cascades and smaller drops downstream from Headforemost Falls.

near the Falls Creek Falls Trailhead

After returning to the Falls Creek Falls Trailhead, we drove over to the Tankersley Branch parking area described in the post from our original visit to Tankersley Branch

Trip Report from Andy, Brenda, and My original visit to Tankersley Branch

On this trip Mark and I only made it to the Lower Drop of Tankersley branch.

 Lower Waterfall on Tankersley Branch

 Me and Mark at the Lower Waterfall on Tankersley Branch

The bright sun, 70 degree temperatures, and low humidity made for a perfect day of hiking, but not a great day for Waterfall Photography!

My complete set of photos is posted here:

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