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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Catawba Falls, Northwestern North Carolina

While working in Ashville, NC, this is one hike we enjoyed very much. It is very peaceful with lots of areas to get off the trail and enjoy the small waterfalls along the hike.
It's located on an isolated tract of Pisgah National Forest property near Old Fort, NC, at the southern end of the Grandfather Ranger District, just south of I-40. A new parking area and trail culminates years of effort to provide public access to this special area, which required a variety of legislation to accomplish. Today, Catawba Falls is open to visitors and a highly recommended destination
Starting at the new parking area, the trail heads upriver on old road beds, crossing the river once on stepping stones. You may have to get your feet wet here, and it may be an impossible crossing in very high water. (A bridge is planned for this location in the future.) The trail climbs moderately past some old building foundations and an old dam, before ending at the base of the lower falls.

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