Saturday, July 23, 2022

Living Waters on July 4th

July 4, 2022                                                                     Most Recent Posts:
Riverbend RV Resort                     Elvis, Whitewater & July 4th on July 3rd
Lake Toxaway, NC                                     Bees &  Bears in Hendersonville

I think I’ve mentioned before that there are more than 250 waterfalls in Transylvania county alone and hundreds more in the rest of Western North Carolina.

I bought a guide to Waterfalls of North Carolina and a map of Waterfalls in North Carolina. Both are mind boggling. 

As the picture shows, the map is bigger than my table.  It hangs off of the edge   I cannot open it full up in the car.  Thankfully it is heavy duty and waterproof so it can be folded into sections without creasing or wearing out.

Below is the section for PART of Transylvania County.  All the dots are waterfalls.
Blue means “relative ease of access” and red “more difficult”.  In the opinion of the map makers of course.

The book is gorgeous though paperback but printed on slick heavy paper which allows for lovely photographs.  8.5 X 11” and 469 pages.  18 of those pages are two single spaced column lists of waterfalls names in the Index.


There are A LOT of Waterfalls in North Carolina.

Many are on public lands and many are not.  Few private landowners welcome the public to come visit their falls but Living Waters Retreat Center is an exception.  So I want to see the two falls on their property.  When looking at the map, I see there is another falls on my way there.  It is described as roadside.

IMG_1061The directions are quite sketchy.  I have to watch my odometer carefully as there is no indication where the falls is specifically.  I just pull off the road in the vicinity described and start walking along the road until I hear it.  I look through the trees and spot it but a path down is harder to find.

When I do find a “sort of” path, it does not take me to this larger falls I have seen through the trees and I never found a way to get there.


IMG_1064To call it a path is a stretch.  It’s a drop off by the side of the road that looks as though it could be created by water run off but probably by people sliding.  With the aid of my hiking pole I manage to get down to where I can see what I assume is Lemon Falls or Upper Lemon Falls at least.  My viewpoint is off to the side and the rocks initially block my view.  Without standing in the pool, I cannot get straight on in front of it as I later find the author of my waterfall book must have done.  Perhaps it was a very hot day and he had on his trunks and water shoes.  But this is Lemon Falls I know later for sure.  No idea what the taller one I could see through the trees was.

I manage to get some better views, still from the side.

It’s dark down here at the level of tree roots and overhanging rhododendron.


But I have it all to myself and wish I’d brought my backpacking chair so I could sit and just soak in the beauty, the sounds and the negative ions.  Here’s a short video to give you a sense of it.


I climb up above and take these shots through the trees of the water tumbling down.  This is such a wonderful spot, I really hate to leave.


Every view, every angle is uniquely beautiful and seldom can I crawl all around so close to a falls as I do here.



Eventually I have to climb out and that’s what it is.  Not far, but a climb.  Easier going up than going down since I can see a bit better but I have greatly lightened these pictures of the “path” to enable it to be seen

This is the second level up from the water.  Notice the rock at the top

From the rock you can see the light that is at the road.  The last stretch is straight up and nothing but roots but it is way too dark and I’m too close to get a picture ofr its precariousness.   Definitely worth the effort.   I’d return again for sure.

French Broad Falls

I went on to Living Waters, 2.5 miles away.

  Living Waters is a Christian Ministry providing retreat space for adults and camps for children.  They own the property on the French Broad River with both the French Broad Falls and Bird Rock Falls.  They generously have allowed the public to access these amazingly beautiful natural features and have created a trail along the edge of the river between the two. 

The public has not been so kind in return – painting graffiti on the rocks, leaving trash and wearing out the infrastructure.

  All maintenance at Living Waters is volunteer and they clearly have more than they can handle.  I hope they will be able to continue to provide access but I can see why they might find that too difficult given the number of visitors and those who take advantage of this generosity.  Thus I consider myself very lucky to have been able to visit here and will certainly come again before I leave the area and when and if I return hoping their generosity can continue.

Enjoy this video of the French Broad Falls directly behind the Living Waters Retreat Center.

The path to Bird Rock falls is dirt and rooty in some sections, board walk in others.



Some rails are hand made and in need of repair.  I am concerned about the nailing of things into the trees.   This does not seem like good stewardship to me but clearly they are a group with limited funds.

The path goes along the  river between the upper French Broad Falls and the lower Bird Rock falls with cascades and rhododendron along the way


Some of the cascades are like sliding rocks and some are more little little waterfalls.

With the cascades along the way and the rhododendron lining the trail this is, for me, a magical place.



After all this loveliness to come around the corner of this giant rock on the trail and find such destruction is a huge sadness.  Why would anyone do such defacing?  What is the matter with us?



Bird Rock Falls is at the end of the trail.  You can see it from above and you can walk right down on the rocks


It flows down through a walled canyon with such varied colors on the rock I can’t stop taking pictures of it. 



The water flows on down and away.  I don’t know if someone associated with Living Waters lives in that house but they have one wonderful view.


Eventually I really do have to climb back out and leave but I am so very sorry I haven’t come here at least once every week to see how the water, the rhododendron and the trillium I find on my way back change each time.  Today only the seed is left on the trillium.  The flower is gone but its leaves are large and shiny. 



These pictures don’t do this little canyon justice.  See for yourself in this video I took.

What a gift this day has been for me.


  1. In the 90s here in Vermont. Your pictures are cooling and refreshing❤️

  2. Replies
    1. Was anonymous you? If so, how did you get your name back? 90s in Vermont? Glad I didn't go there for the summer.

    2. Good grief!! Even I had to check post as and choose Google account to get my name. Blogger is ridiculous. So my advice is before you post your comment. Look and see who you are. Commenting as and choose Google account if you have one.

  3. Yes. ‘Tis I. The three options I’m presented when posting are Google account, Anonymous, and Name/URL.
    I’m just going to use the Name option.

  4. Totally intrigued by the French Broad River, as it flows from South to North, as does the St John's River in Florida. Have since learned there are many that do the same.

    Wish I had realized during our traveling days that these French Broad Falls we only an hour from Asheville.

    Wish we had gone to see them. They are glorious. Thanks for sharing.

    1. There are so many falls within an hour of Ashville Janice. If you come back Google "Romantic Ashville". It has most of them and good directions.

  5. Thanks for seeing these lovely places and sharing them with us. Love the calming sounds in your videos. So disgusted to see the graffiti those idiots leave.

    1. So glad you like the videos. Thanks for letting me know. The falls are so mesmerizing.

  6. That's a beautiful trail. So glad you discovered it! As always, it looks like you enjoyed your experience to the fullest. As you said, I hope that people will be respectful and appreciate the generosity of the church in opening the trail to the public. We were surprised to see the graffiti on that big beautiful rock alcove, really does ruin the beauty. Fortunately the rest of the trail and the falls are just gorgeous!

    1. It is a place I would like to return to but as I said, I wouldn't blame the community if they closed it to the public. Sad but true that too many are not grateful for the beauty or the generosity.

  7. That's a lot of waterfalls. You're going to need more time. I prefer natures rock painting to human destruction. Always love the videos just to hear the water.

    1. Thanks for letting me know you like the videos Gaelyn. There are so many more waterfalls than I can get to. Seems like that's all I blog about these days.

  8. Google always gives me the option to use my name when commenting, but maybe not for everyone? Glad you were able to find so many beautiful falls and that you're being super careful when traversing those precarious "trails"! Wonderful to see so much water there - not so much here in PA right now.

    1. I think people don't realize they have to notice who they are commenting as Jodee. They shouldn't have to IMO. Seems that's a new blogger stickler. Don't envy you being in PA in this heat. You are headed in the wrong direction. :-) Thanks for your comment.

  9. Why is there always some idiot to deface the rocks with paint? Couldn't they find a train somewhere to use their (lack of ) talent on?

    Love waterfalls, you're right about the magical, relaxing sound of the water flowing. Mother Nature's gift to us to slow down and enjoy her beautiful hadnywork. :c)

    1. I seem to be doing nothing but waterfalls Paul. There are just so many and they are so wonderful. They are definitely a gift.

  10. Hey Sherry, It's Me- Pam- I figured out how not to have my comment on the last blog be anonymous but no luck this time. The falls are each so different and beautiful in their own way. Stinko about the graffiti. I was hoping, at first, that it was a fungus or plant. No way to cover it up without it being obvious. Why do people find that fun? It would be cool to see the view from that house. How wonderful would it be to be able to see and hear the falls from your house? xxxooo

    1. Try choosing Google next time Pam. You are so right about each falls being so different. An infinite variety. I too would love to see the view from the house or sit on the deck and listen to the falls.

  11. Such lovely falls and I gotta get that book! Then I have to talk Eldy into staying in a non membership park haha. This is the first time I’ve seen choices for identifying yourself in a comment. That’s good!

    1. Aren't there any TT parks in western NC?? I'd love to have you here to hike to all these falls with. There are a seemingly infinite number.

  12. What a beautiful canyon and falls and no one around. Lovely with the rhododendron along the trail. What a wonderful day!

    1. That's it exactly Lynne. A wonderful day! Hope I can return before I leave. Also hope it isn't in the 90's for you guys.

  13. Beautiful falls! What happened to respect? It is unfortunate that people don't think much about the consequences of their actions. Enjoy the cool up in that lovely area!

    1. What happened to respect as an excellent question? Carrie. It's great to see you in the comments. I am so happy not to be in the heat. So glad you have a pool to cool you off.


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