I am slightly new to waterfalls. I can still count on one hand how many waterfalls I have visited in my lifetime I am so new to them! My first waterfall experience was much cushier than my trip up Linville Falls. We visited Amicola Falls in Georgia; it had stairs and an easy trail to follow. Railing was another added bonus, only, I didn’t realize these were amenities when it comes to waterfall watching as it was my first one.
When we arrived at Linville Falls we were rather unprepared. It was late in the afternoon and most of us were wearing flip flops. My lack of experience didn’t allow for me to think “sneakers… jacket… hiking gear”. Nope. I was clueless. Bad Mommy.
We started walking down a trail that resembled more of a water runoff than a trail. There were a lot of ruts and rocks – I thought I was going to land on my rear within the first five minutes. Considering I was wearing the baby in my Moby, failing wasn’t my goal. After a few minutes of slide-walking down this trail, it started to climb until we reached our first glimpse of the waterfall…
Mind you, we did not prepare for this trip and arrived too late in the afternoon to visit with a Park Ranger. We didn’t have a map and was simply following the trail signs. Our first view was from the top and we really didn’t have a clue that we were on the top of the falls. We thought – “this was it”.
While it wasn’t a long drop of waterfall, we were satisfied with the double view. We were clueless…On a whim, my husband asked if I wanted to take a look from the next view. The trail signs indicated that it was only another half mile- going up! It about killed me, physically and emotionally as it was one tough terrain to go up babywearing in flip flops! There were portions that were challenging drops and I was terrified I was going to fall with the baby!
When we finally reached the lookout I was faced with another challenge – fear of heights. The lookout had short stone railing, I wanted to crawl like a baby instead of walk upon it! My husband encouraged me to come out anyway, but wouldn’t tell me what I’d see:
Wow! This was definitely more of a waterfall than the double small falls that we came upon first! I was in awe for several minutes while I caught my bearings from the hike up! The view was more than worth the slight fear I was feeling. It was a priceless moment! I was kicking myself for not devoting more time and effort to get there – for not planning a day-trip out of our visit. This view deserved a day trip, am I right?
If I could have a do-over for any portion of our trip, I would plan a full day around these views! I would hike up and have a picnic at the top of the lookout, and I would probably leave the two babies behind so I can avoid the constant fear of one of them falling off the cliffs!
Additionally, I would take more of my day to visit each view of these falls. While we were fortunate to see two angles, we would have loved to visit all of them.