Archive for December, 2009

The weekend before Christmas I was supposed to head up with Doug and another fellar and do some hiking and waterfalling. Well, at the

Koewn Falls on Johns Mountain

Koewn Falls

last minute plans changed and I was on my own. I got up early Saturday morning, grabbed my gear, my dog (Sally), and off we went.

The plan was to hit several falls in the Northwestern part of the state (Georgia) – Keown Falls, Pocket Falls, and to investigate a waterfall on Waterfall Branch. There was a specific reason for planning to hit these falls on this day… Rain! These waterfalls are much more water/rain dependent than a lot of other falls around the state. I had heard stories of how Koewn Falls was usually just a trickle (insert fun times here Doug). Anyhow, The day before our area of the country had seen several inches of rain and so it just made sense to try and hit these falls at the right time. Following are the falls I hit in order of my visiting them.

First up: Keown Falls… Once at the parking area for the waterfall you start hiking into the woods on a clearly defined path. After a bit

you cross the creek and start a series of switch backs up John’s Mtn. At the time, I had no idea you had to do this and was mentally unprepared… thankfully, I am strong mentally and was able to persevere 🙂 Once you reach the top the trail steps up to a viewing platform and the mountain ridge trail, or continues on to the main waterfall. Even with the rain the waterfall wasn’t over powering but was a cool scene to see. The fall itself drapes over a rock ledge which creates an amphitheater of rock and allows you to proceed behind the waterfall.

Little Koewn Falls

Little Koewn Falls

The trail continues on along a ledge on the mountain top (there is rock outcropings of about 30 or 40 feet to the top of the mountain), and eventually, after several 100 yards you reach the second falls or Little Koewn Falls. Because of the wet conditions there was plenty of water flow to both falls but as I was there I thought Little Koewn was more interesting to shoot.

Next is Pocket Falls: This waterfall finds itself in the Pigeon Mtn. region of Northwest Georgia and just outside of the county seat of LaFayette. Pigeon Mtn. has become famous historically from the civil war and then more recently because of the caving that takes place here. If you are wondering what kind of caving check THIS OUT!!!

I came to Pigeon Mtn. though for other reasons… Yep, you guessed it, a waterfall 🙂  Getting to the falls is easily traveled around the mountain, from LaFayette, to the west side. After turning down pocket Road you run out of pavement after about a mile. If you have a car with lower clearance you may not be able to make it all the way to the parking area as right at the end you have to ford a small creek. Me and my Mazda 3 decided not to take on the ford.

At the parking area you can access the handicap parking area and the boardwalk or head up pocket trail. But keep in mind if you go up pocket trail you will go up, over, and around the falls, not at the falls (you can see it and get a high vantage point though). The main access to the waterfall is from the nature boardwalk they have set up. Once this ends you take a rough trail along the creek to the falls.

What was interesting about Pocket Falls was the color of the rock. It had a more beige tint to it than most rock you see in Georgia. Anyhow, when you get to the falls you will probably want to shoot it closer and up the bank to the right side of the falls. The unfortunate thing about Pockets Falls is that the main drop is so high up on the canyon walls that where you stand puts you fairly far below the falls. The panoramic shot here shows the view from on the right bank. None of my lower shots really came out the way I wanted. I guess just another reason to visit the place again 🙂

Overall the trip was fun and it was cool to see some new places I knew nothing about nor had I ever seen. I did try and find a little place from the east side of Pigeon Mtn. called Blue Hole (which was right near Waterfall Branch supposedly), but apparently it was so obvious I drove right past it and never saw it… what are you going to do? Next time…

Panoramic of Pocket Falls

Pocket Falls


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Scott, Sally, and I spent the day after Thanksgiving visiting waterfalls in the Bankhead National Forest in Alabama; he had visited once before, but it was my first time there.

We started visiting Upper Caney Creek Falls. Here’s a link to a description of the unofficial trail. It’s a 3/4 mile hike down to the falls. The terrain starts what seems typical for that region of north-central Alabama, but then as you descend into the area where the fall is, it entirely changes. The fall is in a really magical cove, and the whole location is breath-taking.

Upper Falls on Caney Creek

We spent quite a while taking multiple photos of Upper Caney, then climbed back out to the car. After lunch, we visited falls in the Sipsey Wilderness, which is just north of the area where of Caney Creek. The best info we’ve found about the Sipsey is on the site for the Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club. We stopped by the picnic area on Highway 60 at the Sipsey River, and walked to a little fall in the area, which was not flowing of any significance. We then walked along Highway 60 to where Turkey Foot Creek crossed the road. We descended by a small trail to a large cavern area, where we found the stunning Mize Mill Falls.

Mize Mill Falls

As I was teased about my fascination, I am in love with the pool at the base of Mize Mill Falls, such amazing color. After shooting there, and the sun mostly cooperating, we followed the trail beside the creek down to Turkey Foot Falls. This fall was not very impressive on this day, as there hadn’t been a lot of water recently, and sun was causing some problems with photography.

Turkey Foot Falls

(of note, it appears to look better with a lot more water.) We then went in search of Parker Falls. We had a GPS coordinate for it, and after walking on two former roads for over a mile each, we gave up, and returned to the car, knowing we needed to have particular directions to get to it next time. We finished the day stopping by Kinlock Falls, which is close to a road in the Sipsey. It’s not a bad fall, but not the most photogenic to me. At least it’s easy to view.

Kinlock Falls

It was a great day of waterfalling, especially for me, since I hadn’t for a number of months, and since I was trying out my new camera. Considering everyone was shopping (day after Thanksgiving) or watching football (Alabama-Auburn game), we had most of the places entirely to ourselves, which was awesome!

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Start Waterfalling!

This is our planned blog to describe journeys looking for waterfalls, mostly in the southeast US, though won’t be limited to the region.  Photos from our travels, descriptions of the challenges getting there, etc.

We’ll likely also post details about previous visits to waterfalls too, to describe the experience of those falls, too.

We’ll see where this takes us!

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