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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Falls of Hills Creek, West VA

George and I have traveled to West Virginia three times in the past few years.  Each time,  we have found some fabulous areas AND waterfalls.  The first time (April of 2010) we found the New River Gorge area --including Sandstone Falls.  Click HERE for those pictures...

The second time we visited there was last Fall.  We discovered more of the New River Gorge area then ---and we also discovered Blackwater Falls.   Click  HERE to see those pictures...

This time---we stayed at the Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge in order to celebrate George's birthday... And,  as you know,  we saw LOTS of waterfalls on this visit also.  My favorite set of waterfalls (3 of them) on this trip were the FALLS OF HILLS CREEK.

 The trail leading to the falls is one of the most popular hikes in the Monongahela National Forest.  The trailhead is located on Highland Scenic Highway (another gorgeous drive) on State Road 39/55,  and 5.3 miles west of the Cranberry Mountain Visitor Center.   Hope you enjoy some of our photos from the Falls of Hills Creek.

Above is a picture of some snow left on the mountain that day (even though the temps were fairly mild).  The elevation here is about 3500 feet ---so we were lucky to get to see these waterfalls at all this year.  This entire area is usually covered with snow and ice this time of year.  But--as you know,  this winter has been fairly mild. 




This is the UPPER FALLS of HILLS CREEK.   This is the only one of the three that is hard to photograph,  since we were above it,  on the side... This waterfall has about a 25 foot drop.




This is a gorgeous area...   We followed the creek down the mountain on a series of boardwalks and steps.  Note the moss on the rocks and ground... SO pretty!




They have built an elaborate series of steps to make it easier getting down the mountain to the other two waterfalls.   George took this picture of me from the top --after I had climbed back up those stairs.




AND--I took his picture at the bottom showing how far up I really was!!!!  You can see the elaborate boardwalk ---and you can also see some snow still there along the creek area.




Here is a picture of the MIDDLE FALLS of HILLS CREEK.  The drop is about 45 feet.   This is a fabulous area --and the overlook is perfect for taking pictures.  We set up the tripod here and took our picture together (shown in this past Monday's blog post).




This is another picture showing the extensive stair work someone did in order to make it possible for us to get down to those two lower waterfalls.  (Wish they would do this at Blackwater so that we could see more of Pendleton and Elekala Falls.) 




We made it all of the way down to the LOWER FALLS of HILLS CREEK.  There were lots of stairs ---but we both made it just fine.  In fact,  we got hot with our jackets on, while hiking.




Here is a picture of the LOWER FALLS of HILLS CREEK.  This is the largest of the three falls and is about a 64 foot drop.  Lower Falls is often cited as West Virginia's second highest waterfall, behind Blackwater Falls.

We really enjoyed seeing all of these waterfalls (especially the Middle and Lower ones) --and recommend this hike if you ever get to West Virginia.

Have a wonderful weekend, and I will see you on Monday.
Hugs,
Betsy