Last year around this time, I traveled to Nova Scotia. After arriving in Halifax, I headed northeast toward Truro. Truro is a nice, quiet town that’s most likely known for its tidal bore (how the tides come and go). In the town are two waterfalls along the same river, and that’s what I was there to find.
As I mentioned in a post about another waterfall in Nova Scotia, Wentworth Falls, there are many waterfalls in Nova Scotia, but they’re scattered throughout the province. They’re also often out far enough that you’ll spend some time driving from one to the next. I wanted a few quick waterfalls, and Waddell Falls fit the mold. It’s in Victoria Park in Truro. I was able to take a nap after arriving in Truro, and yet still had enough time to drive to the park and hike to the falls.
The hike is mostly level, with only the last portion being a bit uphill. The park was very busy, as the weather was extremely nice on the day I visited. There were a number of different events going on. The trail to the falls was very clearly marked, and I had no difficulty arriving at the falls. There were many others visiting the falls also. You’ll come upon Joseph Howe Falls first, and then a bit upstream (and uphill) is Waddell Falls. The only negative…there wasn’t a lot of water flowing. I’m not sure when would be a better time (obviously after a lot of rain), so I took what I saw. (There was enough water that the mosquitoes were crazy!)
- This is a case where I set my GPS and followed it. Many different roads will lead you to the falls. You will want to turn onto Brunswick Street, as the park is off of Brunswick Street.
- From there, instead of turning right on Park Street, go to Palmer Street. A gravel parking area (with much easier parking) will be at the end of Palmer Street.
- Head south along the trails toward the falls. It works well if you stay on the east side of Lepper Brook. There is great signage to the falls.
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: 0.9 miles round-trip
Waddell Falls in May 2016
Where in the World is Waddell Falls?
I’m struggling a bit with how to describe Upper Sloan Bridge Falls. I rated the hike to this falls just after getting back from the hike, and rated it as a moderate/difficult hike. Considering that the whole hike is only 0.7 miles round trip, you might wonder how it could be difficult.
It’s often easy to focus on length of hike, and not as much on vertical climb. I try to look at both…If you see a hike is 1 mile one-way, but there’s a 600′ elevation gain, you better be ready for a tough hike. In this case, it’s the last hundred feet or so! In that hundred feet, you’re going to descend about 100′. (Don’t quote me on the exact number, but it’s steep.) When I first saw the falls, I couldn’t actually see where the descent “ended”. Only after getting a bit closer did I discover that it was “possible” to get to the base of the falls.
After getting to the base of the falls (which in some ways is more difficult), you have to get back up. I had hiked to a few other waterfalls earlier that day, and to come to this steep descent and return, I wore myself out. Since I was so close to the Lower Falls and Hiker’s Peril, I went further, but I was ready to get back into the car and go to my hotel to rest!
- I arrived by heading north on SC-107. About 1 mile before SC-107 crosses over into North Carolina, you’ll find the parking area for the creek/falls on your left. There will be a sign, which I believe will mention the Sloan Bridge Campground.
- After parking, head to your left toward the trail. The trail you’re on is part of a larger trail that connects to other points of interest.
Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/difficult)
Height: 45′ (total, individual drops are smaller)
Length of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Upper Sloan Bridge Falls?
The largest drop of Upper Sloan Bridge Falls in March 2017
Another drop of Upper Sloan Bridge Falls
There are a few different waterfalls outside of Denver. One of the easiest to get to is probably Cherry Creek Falls. It’s south of Denver in Castlewood Canyon State Park. There are two different entrances into the park. One is off of CO-83, and this can lead you to Cherry Creek Falls. It’s a longer hike to the falls than the second option, though on a nice day it would be a great way to explore the canyon.
Today, the weather was a little bit iffier…While there weren’t terrible storms, there was still some lightning off in the distance. I decided to drive to the other entrance, which leads to a shorter hike to the falls. The second entrance is off of CO-86 on Castlewood Canyon Road.
I ended up parking at the Westside Trailhead parking area. There may be another parking area a bit further along that will get you a bit closer to the falls. Even so, I really didn’t walk very far to get to the falls. I started at the Westside Trailhead and then connected into the Creek Bottom Trail. It’s about a 0.5 mile hike round-trip to the falls.
The best view of the falls is from the Creek Bottom Trail. Oddly enough, you won’t be at the creek bottom, as that could be rather dangerous. There is a faint trail that leads to the top of the falls, but you’re not going to get a very good view, and I wouldn’t recommend it. The falls are taller than they appear, as you can’t get extremely close.
- From the intersection of CO-83 and CO-86, head west on CO-86.
- After a short distance (about half a mile), turn left on to Castlewood Canyon Road.
- Drive on Castlewood Canyon Road to the entrance of the state park. Drive until you reach the Westside Trailhead. You can also possibly drive a bit further, though I don’t know what parking area it would be.
- Whatever trailhead you start at, you want to connect into the Creek Bottom Trail. You’d want to head southwest on this trail.
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip
Cherry Creek Falls in May 2017
Where in the World is Cherry Creek Falls?
It’s been a while since I’ve thought about the waterfalls in Buttermilk Falls State Park. It’s a really beautiful state park in Ithaca, and there are so many different drops on Buttermilk Creek. Buttermilk Falls is the largest drop, and then Upper Buttermilk Falls is also a rather large drop. I also classified other drops (#1, #2, and #6), with #4 and #5 being somewhat out of sight.
This third drop that I classified has three smaller drops that are extremely close to each other. You could almost call this Triple Falls. If this waterfall were all by itself, I’m not sure that it would be a main attraction (though that also depends on where the falls are located). In this case, you’ll see so many other waterfalls that it’s worth it to keep hiking. (Depending on how you choose to hike, there is a moderate ascent, with a much easier descent.)
- There are multiple ways to access this entrance to the park. I think the easiest is to get onto NY-96B (aka Danby Rd.) heading south from Ithaca.
- Heading south, you will come to W. King Road. Turn right onto W. King Road.
- Head to the sign for the entrance to Buttermilk Falls State Park. Turn into the entrance.
- From here, you can park right there, and cross W. King Road. The entrance to the gorge should be rather obvious.
- The Gorge Trail is the best choice to view the falls, though it is only open during certain times of the year.
Accessibility: Ascent (4/10), Descent (9/10)
Length of Hike: 1.2 miles round-trip (if you start near NY-96)
Where in the World is Waterfall #3?
The main drop of Peavine Falls you’ll find
This past weekend, I flew into Birmingham, Alabama to spend some time with some friends. I had a few hours to go and find a waterfall or two, and decided that Peavine Falls would be the closest, simplest option. (I say that when I really had no clue what level of difficulty the hike to Peavine Falls would be.)
Oak Mountain State Park is a beautiful park outside of Birmingham. The views from the outlook along the way to the falls are spectacular. Once you arrive at the parking area for the falls, you’ll have an enjoyable hike to a larger-than-expected waterfall, Peavine Falls. In mid-April, the falls were flowing pretty well. I can imagine that as the summer progresses, that these falls might have a lower volume of water.
The hike from the designated parking area is rather short, though as you approach the falls, it can get slightly confusing. You’ll still end up at the falls, and there are many ways to reach the base. But there are almost too many ways, and too many signs direct you back to parking. We followed one of these signs, only to end up at another drop of Peavine Falls. So…if you have a few hours to explore, you’ll find more than one drop to the falls! (Finding these other drops likely means you’re headed further downhill, and you’ll need to head back uphill to get back to the parking area.)
- You’ll want to get on I-65 south of Birmingham. Take exit 246 from I-65 (signed as Cahaba Valley Road).
- Turn right onto AL-119 South (Cahaba Valley Road).
- Very quickly after turning right, you’ll turn left onto Oak Mountain Park Road.
- Continue on Oak Mountain Park Road to the intersection with John Findlay Dr. Turn left onto John Findlay Dr.
- Continue on John Findlay Dr for 2.6 miles.
- Turn right onto Terrace Drive. Drive along this road until you reach the end of the road (essentially), which will be the parking area for Peavine Falls.
- Follow the blue or white blazed trails to the falls.
Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip
A drop downstream that I wasn’t expecting to find
Where in the World is Peavine Falls?
Kansas is another one of those states that you don’t expect to find many waterfalls. And there aren’t a whole lot of extremely exciting waterfalls here. Of the four waterfalls I visited in April 2014, I would say Bourbon Lake Falls was probably the most interesting.
At 30′ tall, it’s a relatively nice waterfall, and it had some water flowing over it, enough to make the visit worthwhile. From what I understand, there’s only a few months of the year (April to June) where it will be a worthwhile visit. It dries up later in the year as the lake level lowers. I have seen pictures of the falls in higher flow times. The other waterfalls I visited didn’t have a large amount of water flowing either, so I’m guessing it was just a low water year.
- There are numerous ways to arrive at the falls, so I’ll describe one way that’s not particularly difficult. From US-59 south of Moran, turn at the junction of US-59 and KS-203, which at different points in time will be called First Street, Delaware Road, and Indian Road. If you’re headed south on US-59, it would be a left turn.
- Continue on First/Delaware/Indian and then turn left on 20th Street after a few miles. (You’ll be extremely close to Bourbon Lake.)
- Drive to the end of 20th Street and turn right on Ivory Road. It’s a gravel road, but you’ll be traveling a short distance just past a little area where you can tell cars have parked before (just past the small bridge over the spillway-related creek).
- Park your car and follow the trail to the falls. (You’ll be following the stream/creek upstream toward the falls.)
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip
Bourbon Lake Falls in April 2014
Where in the World is Bourbon Lake Falls?
I’ve had the chance to visit Mingo Falls twice, once in late April 2013 and then just a few weeks ago in early March 2017. I hadn’t looked at the two pictures side by until just recently, and realized Mingo Falls could present very different personalities depending on the time of year.
Let’s start by stating: Mingo Falls is a fun waterfall to visit. It’s right at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and is a few minutes drive from Cherokee (which is a town I could visit pretty frequently, especially in non-peak season). The first time I visited, I made sure to see Mingo Falls. The second visit, I had time to kill before the sunset, and figured I should go and see Mingo Falls again. I’m glad I did.
In late April, the leaves on the trees were emerging and so they covered up part of the falls. That wasn’t a problem in early March! What’s also striking is the amount of water flowing over the falls. After doing a bit of research, I found that this year (2017) has been a rather dry year in the Great Smoky Mountains region. Many of the falls were not as intense as I expected. As you can see, much more water was flowing in late April of 2013 than this year. (Usually, as the spring progresses toward summer, the opposite holds true.)
Late April 2013
Early March 2017
One issue with writing about waterfalls sometime after I visit them is I don’t always remember the fine details. When I arrived this year, I was surprised to find steps leading up most of the way to the falls. I don’t exactly remember that the last time, but it was four years ago…It is a short hike, but it is also consistently uphill. You’ll get a bit of exercise. I probably went a bit too fast on the way up, as I could feel the burn.
- You want to end up on Big Cove Road (Road 1410), and there are a few different ways to get there. If you’re on US-441 in Cherokee headed toward the Smoky Mountains Park entrance, you could turn right onto Acquoni Road, and then very soon after turn left onto Big Cove. (If you miss that, there’s another road that leads to Big Cove right after that.)
- Drive for approximately 3.5 miles on Big Cove Road.
- There should be a sign for Mingo Falls, turn right onto Sherrill Cove Road. Literally a few hundred feet after this turn is the parking area for Mingo Falls. (Some GPS systems might direct you to turn onto Sherrill Cove Road much earlier, but ignore this. Sherrill Cove Road is a very narrow, winding dirt road, whereas Big Cove Falls is a paved road.)
- It’s an uphill hike from the parking area.
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate, this would be fine for kids, it’s just almost all uphill with stairs)
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Mingo Falls?