Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Greeter Falls Trail 11/1/2009

After leaving Foster Falls, we decided to go hike the Greeter Falls Trail. We reached the parking lot and began to look for the trail head. We didn't know where it began and finally saw it across the road. This part of the trail was an old logging road through the trees. It was wide and easily traveled. All of the leaves were off the trees. About .1 miles down the trail there was a spur trail off to the right going to a swimming hole. We didn't hike to it.

About .25 miles from the trail head there was a spur leading off to the left. This trail takes you to the old Greeter Home place. It was only 50 yards long so we hiked up to it. The only remains of the house are the basement and a wide well that is grated over. It seemed like a pretty nice spot for a house, but there wasn't much to look at in the way of remains. We took a couple of pictures and then left.

We got back onto the main trail and hike a little further. The trail then came to a Y. The main part led to Boardtree Falls and allows a loop back or you can start the loop by going to Greeter Falls taking the right. We elected to go right, and I'm glad that we did. The trail immediately narrowed to a single file and began to descend. The trail widened a little and began to follow a little stream. The trail next comes to a little spring coming from the rocks on the right. It was very small and would probably be dry in times of little rain. About the same time the trail narrows again as it goes down a sandstone shelf. The shelf is not technical in any way, but we watched for loose rocks. At the bottom of the sandstone area, the trail goes up against the bluffs.
Trail against bluffs

It was rocky here with lots of loose rock. The trail follows the bluffs for about .2 miles and then there is a trail that comes down from the right. The sign says to go to Boardtree Falls to stay on the trail, but to go to Upper and Greeter Falls to go right. We went right. The little trail went strait down to join with the trail to the two falls.

We descended to the magnolia surronded trail and turned right to go to Upper Greeter Falls. The trail here was not bad. It climbed a little and then leveled out before a quick drop to the falls. According to a book I have, the trail is only about 100 yards long. The drop was rocky. We took care not to turn an ankle or fall. I was carrying Mia again so I had to make sure she didn't have a heart attack. She likes trails that are old logging roads or railroad grades, but put her on a true trail and her Chihuahua shakes start in and she's ready to head to the car. Back to the trail. it ended at a cliff with the falls on the right. The falls were nice to look at, but compared to Foster Falls they were nothing special. There was a rock sticking up near the middle of the falls and it was nice to watch the spray come off it. the ledge we were on is connected to ledge of the falls and it is possible to walk to the head of the falls by just stepping over the intervening space.

Upper Greeter Falls

After pictures were done, we hiked back to the trail sign and went to Greeter Falls. The trail here is more technical. It drops from the sign into a rocky area with a thin trail among the rocks. Care should be taken here. The rocks are at odd angles and some of the rocks stood up to my mid calf. The rocky area is maybe 150 yards long. The trail then comes to a ledge and a metal spiral stair case.
Spiral Staircase
We descended the stair case and followed the trail. The trail here goes quickly down hill along the bluff. It is rocky with loose rock and water, probably due to the rain we'd had the previous week. The trail then came to a wooden staircase. The stairs were slick with water. At the bottom of the stairs is a wooden plank with with raised wooden slats to help with traction down to the bottom. We descended with much care. Once at the bottom we were in a rock garden maybe 50 yards from the falls. We took some pictures and walked around for a bit before climbing back up to the main trail.

Greeter Falls

Once back on the main, we began hiking towards Boardtree Falls. The trail stayed fairly up on the ridge and withing sight of the creek. The scenery alternated between rocks and trees. There were no real vistas to be seen. About a mile down the trail, we came to another rock garden. There was a sign that said said trail closed in the middle of the trail, but there was another sign saying trail that pointed tot he left. We followed this trail and immediately the trail became rocky. The trail winds it way along the bottom of cliffs and thru more rock gardens. This was the most difficult part of the trail. The trail went over and around rocks at all angles, both climbing and descending.

The trail came out along the bluff and then through the trees we could see Boardtree Falls. Unfortunately we could could get no closer. So we took some pictures through the tree of the falls. the trail then climbs up the ridge to another trail. The sing pointed tot he left saying parking area and to the right it said Alum Gap. We could see a swinging bridge over the head of the falls. We decided to walk over the bridge for pictures. There was a small trail that led to the top of the falls. We went down this trail and took some pictures there.
Boardtree Falls
With all the pictuers taken and daylight getting short we went back to the car. The trail was the same one we started out on, the old logging road, so we made good time.
Total Miles Hiked: 2
Mia at Jacks River

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