The Photography of D L Ennis, and more!

 

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bridal Veil Falls

Waterfalls are a magnet for tourists and nature seekers alike. It doesn't seem to matter if you are an avid outdoor enthusiast, a weekend warrior or a city slicker on vacation, waterfalls attract visitors of all types from all walks of life and from several countries to enjoy the beauty and power of nature. The Blueridge holds claim to some of the most spectacular waterfalls east of the Mississippi. Dupont State Forest in Western North Carolina is home to the best of the best in waterfall scenery. Bridal veil Falls is the cream of the crop if you are up to a little hiking and sweating. Scenes from the Last of the Mohicans were filmed here in 1992. This was probably the one event in recent years that set of the whole waterfall craze that seems to be running wild these days because some really spectacular waterfall scenes were filmed here as well as a few other locations in Western North Carolina.

(top photo of my wife Kim under the grotto of Bridal Veil Falls, Summer of 2005)

My love for hiking and mountain biking sure does have it advantages. I can use waterfalls as an excuse to load the bikes and head out into some remote part of the mountains and start yet another adventure challenge. The challenge of course is getting there. Once you are there time seems to stop and wait for me to decide when to get up and go again. For those who mountain bike for fun and sport, you should give this one a try. It can be as hard or as easy as you want ti to be depending on the trail you take and of course the speed at which you attack the trails. Be willing to share the trail however. This is a popular spot year round. Hikers and bikers as well as a few horseman will be on the trail. But sharing the trail is what outdoor sports are all about. Remember, we do not own the trail. I wish it were like that at times. But I have learned to share the experience by realizing that others have the same right to be there also. There was once a time when getting out and being in the mountains meant that you would have time alone to enjoy the peace and the beauty of nature. Not the case nowadays. Now the joy comes from sharing the day with people you didn't even know before the day started. Friends are made on the trails. You often see the same people from time to time. And certainly new faces appear from behind the trees from time to time. Bridal Veil will be one of those places were you are alone in the world one minute and then surrounded by strangers the next. It's all good! They are there for the same reasons.


Bridal Veil is probably the most unique of all the falls in the Dupont area. At the upper most portion of the falls there is a four foot overhang that is just large enough to walk under. Once under the grotto you can actually feel the power that water has as it rushes down the granite slope towards the bottom pool. The upper section is really the only point in the falls that water actually free falls for any distance. The falls itself is more of a slope than a fall. But what a slope it is! During times of low water one can walk up the dry side of the falls to the left and go all the way to the top and walk under the grotto and get a free 100% nature power blast of cool mist coming overhead. I have felt this on the hottest of days and it sure can give you the extra energy you will need to start the ride or walk back to the parking area. Be warned, this can be a really slick area for walking and if you are going to walk up the side of the falls for the grotto view, be careful! It is worth the climb but not worth you life. I have made the ride to Bridal Veil several times and each time I go there I take a different trail to get there. Trail systems in this area of Dupont and the entire Pisgah Forest for that matter are very well maintained by volunteers who make hiking and riding much more enjoyable by putting forth the efforts to get all the down limbs and trees out of the way. These folks work really hard behind the scenes and do all the dirty work just for us to be able to enjoy these trails. Thank you all for your hard work! See you on the trail.

(bottom photo of Kim and myself at the base of Bridal Veil Falls after a long day of riding)


4 Comments:

  • At Tuesday, 02 May, 2006, Blogger D L Ennis said…

    Mark this is indeed a beautiful place and you and your wife look like a wonderful coupleā€¦great post as always!

     
  • At Tuesday, 02 May, 2006, Blogger Leslie Shelor said…

    This is a beautiful place, and you both look like you're having such a good time!

     
  • At Wednesday, 03 May, 2006, Blogger Naturegirlfromny said…

    How wonderful! The actual cave behind the falls that was in the Last of the Mohicans story is here in upstate NY in the city of Glens Falls. It is now part of an electric plant and unaccessable to visitors. I loved that movie, its one of my favorites. The scenery is unbelievable! You are lucky to live in such a scenic area!

     
  • At Thursday, 04 May, 2006, Blogger Sandra Bennett said…

    Looks like a lot of fun; enjoyed both the article and the photos.

     

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