the natural world
Egret, the oldest independent
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Egret, Vol. 75, #1
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by the Outrider
The Natural Bridge itself truly is jaw-dropping in its size and scope.
It seems totally incongruous for where it is located... And since you
can only stare at something for so long, even something as cool at the
Natural Bridge, why not keep walking to Lace Falls?
Waterfalls in Virginia
Guide to the State's Best Waterfall Hikes
by Andy Thompson
Falcon Guides, 2015
As part of the American Hiking Society's "Where to
Hike" series of guidebooks, this volume describes four dozen hikes that
approach or access or provide a good view of one or more waterfalls in
the state of Virginia. In addition to maps and specifics on the length
of the hike and its difficulty, each profile offers some natural and
historical context to consider on the trail such as historical events
or unsual fauna or wildlife that might be encountered.
The hikes are arranged geographically in the book, from the Three Falls
on Little Stony Creek in Southwest Virginia to the Great Falls of the
Potomac in Northern Virginia, rather than alphabetically as in some
guidebooks. A "Finding the trailhead" section appear below each
set of trail specs with driving directions and GPS coordinates.
The author's descriptions of the hikes are the most original and
enlightening, such as this description of Rose River Falls in
Shenandoah National Park:
"I'll never cease to be amazed at how what seems like a little forest
stream burbling over rocks can turn into a stunner of a waterfall...
Rose River is one of those. You're just hiking along, steadily
downhill, enjoying the scenery, until you reach the precipice of the
upper falls. As you take it in, realizing that the lower falls is
crashing just downstream, all you can think is, 'Wow! How did that
small stream turn into those two gorgeous, powerful falls?'"
to The Nature Pages
The number of waterfalls you'll see at Great Falls varies depending on
river level. In the summer, whene there hasn't been a storm to fill up
the watershed, there are well over a dozen distinct falls. When the
river is flooding, you'll see a crashing riot of whitewater across the
width of the gorge, but no single falls.
When you reach the falls, you'll find a lovely series of cascades
crashing onto and over granite outcroppins. It's the kind of falls that
invites you to go exploring among those drops and boulders.