Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Woodfin Cascades

Woodfin Cascades are best viewed in the winter from Mount Lynn Lowry Overlook at mm 445 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From Balsam Gap head toward the Smokies to the pullout on your left. As shown in the photo below all that can be seen in summer is a treeless diagonal line. In winter, with binoculars the view of the cascades is great. The falls is about 235 feet high with 300 feet of run not counting the smaller cascades upstream of the main drop.

The NPS property boundary extends below the overlook to the brink of the falls offering a view down the cascade and a small drop above.

 The brink of  the drop may be reached by following an overgrown trail from the southeast corner of the overlook. There are other trails dropping from the top but this is least weedy and easiest to follow. It is a moderately steep quarter mile hike to the falls, making the round trip 1/2 mile. 150 feet into the hike the other trails converge, stay to the left and resist the urge to drop to the creek just yet. Follow the gully that remains of the old trail down to a crossing of a small branch at 0.1m. From here the trail mellows out for a while. It is a bit overgrown but still easy to follow. At 2 tenths into the hike a trail drops down to the right. It comes out at the top of the cascade shown below.
 This small falls drops about 10 feet and is very nice looking. It is easier accessed by skipping the side trail, going to the brink of the main falls and coming back up from below. Continue past the side trail to a spot about 20 yards past a muddy spot in the trail. Drop down the bank to the right for a view off into the valley and the large house below.

 There is also a small upper cascade upstream of the Parkway. It is close enough to be visible from the road. There is a scramble path down the bank to the base. It is a very nice setting to be so close to the road.

View waterfalls in a larger map

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