Showing posts with label WEST VIRGINIA 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WEST VIRGINIA 2012. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kumbrabow State Forest, West VA

This was George's and my third trip to West Virginia (March 7-10).  Each time we go,  we find some absolutely fabulous places to visit.  A big thanks goes to our "Waterfalls of Virginia and West Virginia" waterfall book by Kevin Adams...  Books like this (we have a bunch from many states) are so helpful when searching for waterfalls..

The Kumbrabow State Forest offers nearly 10,000 acres of managed forest for hunters, anglers and hikers.  As you know,  we love to drive WAY back into the woods --and this area was no exception!   After climbing down and back up all of the stairs to see Hill Creek Falls (click HERE to see that blog post),  driving back into these woods was a nice change.

In order to get here,  drive on US-219.  About halfway between Marlinton and Elkins,  turn west on CR-16 and drive 3.5 miles to a 3-way intersection.  Turn right (actually more straight than right) and drive 1.4 miles on this gravel road to a parking area on the right,  just before crossing Mill Creek.

As opposed to the Falls of Hills Creek (3 waterfalls),   there was only one waterfall here,  MILL CREEK FALLS.   BUT----oh what a pretty falls,  in a fabulous setting.  In order to get some good pictures of the falls,  we hiked on a woodsy trail through the Rhododendrons.  Like I said,  the setting is what made this area so beautiful.

Hope you enjoy our pictures from Mill Creek Falls...  Above is a picture of me as we hiked through the Rhodendrons.   Below are more.  Be sure and click on all of the pictures to see them larger!




Here is a picture of a tiny creek along our path to see Mill Creek Falls.   This area is so gorgeous ---as we walked through the Rhododendrons.




Although this area is mostly flat,  we did have to climb a bit to reach a little bridge on our path.  George is always so helpful when having to help the old woman get up the hill!!!!! ha




George took this picture of me --as we were taking pictures of beautiful Mill Creek Falls, in the distance.




And here is that beauty,  MILL CREEK FALLS.   This cascade has a total drop of about 12 feet.    As I have said,  we sometimes love seeing the smaller waterfalls deep in the woods better than the bigger,  more popular ones..




After we got back in the car,  we crossed Mill Creek ---and of course,  HAD to stop and take a picture of the creek.  Isn't it just beautiful???  Can you see the cabin in the distance?????  Wouldn't that be a neat place to spend a vacation?????




Finally,  here is one of  the little rustic cabins they have for rent.   Near the falls,  there are 5-6 rustic rental cabins.  Isn't this one just adorable????  I could spend some time relaxing here.  How about you???

There is also a campground and picnic area farther upstream from the cabins.   If you love to hike and camp and are ever in West Virginia,  check out these cabins....  The cabins are VERY RUSTIC ---and if you want more information about availability and what they offer,  click HERE.

Have a wonderful day---and remember to get out and do some HIKING.  It's good for ALL of us!!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Waterfall Birthday for Sure!!!

Us at Cathedral Falls
How does this sound for a great Birthday Trip:  3 full days of hiking and finding waterfalls (we found at least 25 --plus many more cascades and unnamed ones);  a great birthday dinner in the Blackwater Falls Lodge Restaurant;  AND  red velvet cake?????

That is what happened on my sweetheart's 70th birthday!!!!!   George wanted to prove to himself and others that he is really 30 (instead of 70) ----SO he managed a couple of steep bushwhacking hikes straight down (and back up) a mountain just to get some fabulous waterfall photos...  I think he really is 30..... ha

We truly had a great trip --other than that fact that we cut it one day short and drove home on Saturday rather than Sunday.  The reason for this:  The Birthday Boy got sick.  Actually both of us started with sore throats even before we went on this trip --but George's developed into some kind of an old cold or sinus infection.  He was pretty miserable on Saturday --but feels much better today... Guess we are both too old for two trips in a row.  Next year,  we'll plan a little better!!!!

If you have kept up with us on Facebook,  we posted some pictures there...  BUT--I'm sure we both will be talking about this trip (AND the Arkansas trip  AND the North Georgia mountain trip) for many, many blogs to come!!!!  Today I will share with you eight pictures.. The first four were some of the highlights of the week.  The last four are of the Birthday Boy.

Above  was a picture of us taken on March 7th at a waterfall named CATHEDRAL FALLS.   We had visited this waterfall last Fall when we were in West VA --but there was NO water coming over the falls.  This time,  as you can see,  there was plenty of water!!!  Cathedral Falls is located not far from Gauley Bridge, West VA.  Be sure to click on all of the pictures to make them larger.




Us at the Middle Falls of Hills Creek
Besides Blackwater Falls,  this set (of 3 falls) is my favorite in West Virginia.  These are called the Falls of Hills Creek.  They are located near the Highland Scenic Byway and the Cranberry Wilderness Area,  in the Monongahela National Forest,  not far from Marlinton, West VA (off of Highway 219).   The elevation here is about 3500 feet --and we saw some snow while here on that day (Thurs., March 8).   But it was a beautiful day --and a great hike. 




Me on the Highland Scenic Byway
The Highland Scenic Byway is usually closed during the winter due to snow.  BUT---this year,  like so many other places,  there has been very little snow at all.  We did see some around,  but not much. SO---we were able to drive on the byway and take lots and lots of pictures...  We were here on March 8.   The elevation ranges from 3500 to 4500 feet... This scenic area reminded me of the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Don't you just love those West VA mountains?




Us at Blackwater Falls
March 9th is George's birthday.  We stayed at the Blackwater Falls State Park lodge and visited about 12 different waterfalls in and around the Blackwater area on the 9th...  We were lucky with the weather all week ---BUT on this day,  someone opened up the freezer door and sent us some very very very cold weather.  Even though the sun was shining brightly,  the wind would just cut you in half.  The temperature that day was about 35 degrees --but the wind chill made it feel more like 25.... Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr......

The picture of us above was taken at Blackwater Falls on George's birthday.  Since they had the boardwalk and stairs gated in winter,  no one could get close enough to the falls.  SO---we had to take our pictures at the top.  You can see a tiny bit of Blackwater Falls in the picture.  (We did get some good pictures of the falls from the overlook across the gorge.)




Here is a picture of the little Red Velvet Cake I 'made' (straight from Walmart) for George....  (It was good though!!)




Here's a picture of George and his birthday cake.




It takes alot of 'hot air' to blow out 70 candles,  you know!!!!! ha ha ha




George always enjoys reading his birthday cards...  This was the end to a very beautiful day... Hope  my "Gorgeous Groom" enjoyed his special day as much as I did!!!!!

Hope you had a great week... Hopefully soon,  I'll be back to checking out your blogs and trying to catch up with you and your life...  Thanks for being patient with me.

Hugs,
Betsy