Every year my wife and I head down to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia so she can attend a work conference and I tag along since the room is comped. Every year I try to find a new and interesting place to hike and explore. This year I read about the Falls of Hills Creek that is in the Monongahela National Forest in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. This is a set of 3 waterfalls that grow in size from 25 feet tall to 45 feet and then the lowest falls are 65 feet tall. The entire trail is only 3/4 of a mile from the parking lot, so it’s an easy hike, but there are a lot of stairs to cover. I got there shortly after sunrise and went to the tallest falls first. There wasn’t too much water coming over, but it was just enough. From there I moved up and eventually found my way to the 2nd waterfall. The first fall was a bit obstructed and I couldn’t get a nice image of it.
The next day of the trip I went to a place more local to the Greenbrier to Blue Bend Recreation Area. It is a small swimming hole in the National Forest as well with some hiking trails. It was mostly closed though from the recent flooding though. Still plenty nice to walk around though.
Anyone that has viewed my website more than once probably knows that I often hike around Ohiopyle State Park and post pictures from there. Today will be no different as a buddy and I hiked a bit over 8 miles around the park and tried to view most of the waterfalls in the area. It has been a rainy week or so and we were hoping that the water levels would be higher than normal, and it appears we were correct.
We started out at the Jonathan Run trailhead and made our way to our first stop, the upper falls of Jonathan Run. Normally I don’t see much water going over them, so I was a bit surprised at the amount going over today. After we grabbed some shots there, we made our way down to the lower Jonathan Run falls. It’s always a steep climb up and down to reach them, but it’s worth it if the water is flowing.
At this point, I wanted to make our way to cascades so we made our way back to our vehicles, dropped one off at Cucumber Falls parking lot and drove to the upper lot at the trailhead for the Cascade’s waterfall trail. Our first stop after the hike downhill were the Cascade waterfalls. There was much more water going over than I’d ever seen it, so some of my usual spots to cross to the other side were blocked. We started to get some pictures at the upper end of the falls and then worked our way down to the base.
Once we were happy that we captured everything we could, we moved on down the trail past Flat Rock and stopped to take a look over the cliff edge on the Yellow Trail between Flat Rock and the waterslides. We found a way down to the base of the cliff and stopped for some more pictures. This was a small waterfall that I hadn’t noticed before.
We eventually ended up at Cucumber Falls. It is very difficult to get a new and interesting shot of these falls that hasn’t been done a hundred times over, but it’s always a fun challenge. Right as we were about to pack up, we noticed a rather large spider sitting on a rock very near to us. I quickly threw on a telephoto lens with a macro adapter on the front, grabbed a TTL cord and a flash and got as close as I could, about 5″ from the spider. I was sure he was going to attack…