Lower Catawba Falls (Under Construction)
Hiking the two miles up the gorge to experience the Lower Catawba Falls today, I was struck by the amount of heavy equipment that is being employed to completely remake the old trail and the woods that surround it. Back hoes were lifting large boulders, Bobcats were pushing around dirt, and new metal bridges were resting in the public parking area, awaiting their move up the mountain that would remake the hiking experience. A new pedestrian bridge over the creek has eliminated the risky crossing that usually meant wet feet, especially after a big rain. All the same, people were there, trudging up the uneven trail, knowing the dramatic reward that awaited at the other end.
Even before you get to the falls, giant boulders, brought down from the walls of the gorge, clog a side creek that runs into the main stream.
Even with the sound of bulldozers echoing through the narrow gorge, you know that your efforts will be rewarded if you just keep climbing. Here are a few images that I captured after climbing the steep cliff alongside the high falls. From this spot, the sound of falling water drowns out the man made competition. There is not one large falls, but a series of small rivulets cascading down a sheer rock and plant covered wall over 150 feet high. It has that “Shangri-La” paradise feeling about it.
This is an image that I made three years ago showing the entire falls after more rain.
Yours truly in one of his favorite spots…