Waterfall on East Fork of Fisher Creek November 20, 2012Posted by Jenny in hiking, nature, photography.
Tags: East Fork trail, Fisher Creek, Plott Balsams
In the summer, you can hear the tantalizing roar of this waterfall from the East Fork trail in the Plott Balsams near Sylva, NC—but you can just barely make out its flowing line of water through the trees. Once you scrabble up the last tough little rubbly pitch on the trail’s most demoralizing section (600′ in a third of a mile), you will see a rough, unmarked side path that drops to the stream. But it goes to the top of the waterfall, not the bottom, and what you see is water plunging over an edge. To get even the slightest view of the fall itself from that point, you need to hang onto a tree and lean out. It’s a bit dangerous.
In the winter, you can see more of the falls from the trail. But with the leaves down, it also becomes obvious that you can make a short, painless bushwhack to the bottom. I visited the falls by this route the other day.
I climbed up the trail, passing between what I call the “Rocks of Discouragement.” This is a spot where you’ve just done a steep climb, it almost levels off for a bit and you think life’s about to get easier, and then you look up and see it gets even steeper.
You see the water cascading down for hundreds of feet. This waterfall doesn’t ever really bottom out. Below the biggest drop, there are smaller drops going down and down the stream valley a long ways.
At a shoulder on the slope, you will see a place where you can contour around to the stream through open woods.