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Archive for the ‘Alabama’ Category

Water Levels Update: still has been lots of flow for normal spring (though not extremely high levels).
Spring Greenery Update: Lots of wonderful greenery in the southern Appalachians.

Two weekends ago, I went to a balloon festival in Menlo Georgia, close to the Alabama border. So I decided it was time for a quick trip (1/2 hr) over the border to the Little River Canyon in Alabama. It’s a large canyon (the largest east of the Mississippi) that is managed by the National Park Service. Years ago, when I would drive between Atlanta and Huntsville, I would drive through here, amazed by the beauty here and admire the Little River Falls (even snapping a quick shot of them). So I figured it was time to stop by again at the end of the day, hoping to capture the waterfalls before sunset. I first stopped by the Little River Falls themselves, the most impressive falls of the area, but because of people there, I decided to return right before sunset.

I decided to stop first at a small waterfall I had learned about earlier in the day when exploring on the web. It was supposed to be on a little tributary (Wolf Creek) of the Little River, and was supposed to be rather rain-dependent. Since it rained recently, I gave it a try. It actually is a two step waterfall, known generally on the web as “Gregg’s Two Falls.” It required a short (0.3 mi) hike down along Wolf Creek from the road, following a faint trail (sometimes following my nose than a trail), down to the first step, the upper falls. I was really amazed by this, such a beautiful setting:
Upper Greg's Two Falls
It was really photogenic to me, with the many stair steps, and this time of year, with the greenery and the azaleas and mountain laurel around. Lower Greg's Two Falls After enjoying this for a while, I then descended 0.2 miles to the next step, down to the lower falls. The lower fall is small, but in a very nice bowl of rock, with a rock wall to the right of the photo you see here. It was funny that I had the place to myself, but I suddenly heard what I thought was someone talking while I was there; after searching, I realized it was a mother duck calling to her ducklings to get close since I was there. I also really enjoyed this setting, such a beautiful pool and rock setting, but eventually fought my way back up to the road to continue waterfalling.

Next up was Grace’s High Falls. Grace's High Falls It is likely felt to be the highest fall in Alabama, being a 133 ft seasonal waterfall that pours off the side into the Little River Canyon. You can view it from a viewpoint across the Bear Creek side canyon, from a viewpoint from the state highway that runs along the Little River Canyon (AL 176). Though it is tall, it isn’t very impressive to me, so after getting some shots of it, I took off back to Little River Falls before sunset, since the sun was getting very low in the sky.

The waterfall on the Little River itself is one of Alabama’s best–though really only it’s impressive in spring, when it’s really raging. In summer, it has much less water. Little River Falls It has area where you can climb up to the fall–and though there are signs telling to not jump off the falls, there are no barriers to prevent it, so watch young children. This access is great for people to enjoy the falls–but also makes it very popular, which can be difficult for waterfall photography, to not have people in your shot. But when I came back this day before sunset, I had the place to myself, able to come up with a few different shots I like, showing it off and decent (but not very high) spring water levels. However, as you can see, the colors were starting to shift to the more blue end of the color spectrum, only some of which you can easily correct in photoshop without making it look too strange. I enjoyed just sitting in front of it, eventually deciding it was time to go back, finishing a successful waterfalling day.
Little River Falls Closer

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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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