Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area & Lake

I had been to the ‘lake’ part of Jocassee, which was a pretty straightforward drive, and that’s why, not a biggie. This time I decided to go to the Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area. The view from the top over there was just sublime! Take a look:

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Well, I just found out about it when I was browsing through google images of the lake (this picture definitely belongs to me though). Amazing, right? Now here’s the catchy part: I didn’t know how the roads leading to the top would be. The road is a gravel road, and a pretty bumpy one at that. I went drove there on my full sized sedan, and since the ground clearance of sedans are not that high, my car had to undergo some troubles. Useful tip: take a rental SUV or some other vehicle with high ground clearance or one which you don’t have to worry about a lot.

All aside, it definitely was an adventure. Photography was pretty limited because of the angles available, but I managed to take some:

Okay, now that we were done with the top, we wanted to visit the lake once more. The entry fee (parking fee essentially) to the recreational area was 15$. The recreational area offers camping, having a family picnic (barbecue, etc), swimming for adults and children, some hiking trails (about which I read somewhere although I did not get to check it out). You can also rent kayaks (starting at 5$ per hour), or rent motor boats (starting at 300$ per 3 hours- this is a price I asked them). Another option is to go on a boating tour which will cost you around 50$ per person.

By the time we reached the lake, it had become gloomy and was raining in the nearby mountains. I managed to take a few pictures worth putting on here. Here it is:

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And that’s it. It was a nice trip, taking around an entire day from Clemson and back. Thanks to the soon-to-be-doctor Subash Chandra Godar for lending me his awesome camera (I lost mine), and Dr. Pradyumna Mulpur for clicking the one picture of me that I have included in this post, and my dear friend and roommate Soham for accompanying me this time to one of my trips.

Dry Falls, NC

Another one of my visits to NC, Dry Falls was totally worth the one-and-a-half hour drive from Clemson. There seem to be a lot of places in NC that one could visit for sightseeing, and my love for mountains drives me there more often than not. Since it was a relatively short drive, it is acceptable that this post will also be short (there weren’t many things to do).

The good thing about the drive from Clemson to Dry Falls was that on the way, we were also greeted by another waterfall called the Bridal Veil Falls. I have posted a picture below, and as you can see, it looks NOTHING like a bridal veil. The reason is pretty obvious, there wasn’t enough water falling in the waterfall. Picture this image with more water falling, and you’ll see why they call it the Bridal Veil Falls. I imagine that it would look really great at some other time of the year.

Bridal Veil Falls

After this quick stop (it literally takes no more than 5 mins to get over with), we continued on our way to the Dry Falls. Now this was the place we originally intended to visit, so it had to be better. It definitely was. As I parked the car and started to walk towards the path leading to the falls, we were greeted by the view below:

Dry Falls: From the top

We had to walk a bit, but it was not like hiking, it was a normal walk down from the level of the highway, towards the falls. The best part about the Dry Falls was that the path would actually take you inside the waterfall- literally!

Half way down

And we’re there

These pictures were taken from the highway side of the waterfall. As you can see in the picture above, there is a pathway which actually goes through the falls to the other side, and this particular quality of this waterfall was captivating. Here is one picture from ‘the other side’:

From ‘the other side’

As was promised, this post will end now- short and (hopefully) sweet! Anyway, this was a good experience as a lover of the mountains. I would definitely recommend driving to this place if you live nearby. You are traveling to some other place you could take a small detour if this place is close to your original travel path. Thanks for reading! Cheers! 🙂

Linville Falls, NC

Linville Falls is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The waterfall is a three-tier one and is a wonderful spectacle as it plunges into the Linville Gorge, sometimes termed as the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians”. The waterfall can be accessed through four hiking trails, three of which are located on one side of the river and the fourth one on the other side.

I could manage only one side of the river with the limited amount of time (and energy!) that was at my disposal, which means I could cover three of the four trails. From the visitor’s center, the Upper Falls trail is around 0.5 miles long and was the easiest of the lot. The hiking was not at all strenuous considering the view it offered. The picture below is courtesy of my good friend Subash Chandra Godar (I will borrow some good pictures from him time to time – he’s a better photographer than me).

Upper Falls

It was probably not the best time of the year that I decided to visit the Linville Falls, since it was early spring and greenery was fairly less. However, the beauty of the waterfall made up for it. After spending some time at the Upper Falls, we took the Chimney View Trail, which led us to the Chimney view of the waterfall and the gorge.

Chimney View of the Linville Falls and Gorge

As is evident from this picture above, I had some good company along with a good view. My camera wasn’t good enough to capture the magnificence of the beauty of the place, but I hope that even this very average picture conveys how much better the view would be for the eyes. After this viewpoint, we took the trail to the Erwin’s view of the falls.

Erwin’s View of the Linville Falls

The picture of the Erwin’s view is one where I zoomed in a little bit, but I still feel that the view was spectacular. This viewpoint didn’t provide a lot of room in the angle of viewing the waterfall, and I think the best one was the Chimney’s View. After this point, we moved on to the Gorge View, which, as the name suggests, had nothing to do with the waterfall, but it was a nice place to see the river flow away and disappear at the distance.

Gorge View

As I had indicated earlier, these pictures would have looked a lot better if I had visited this place in say, the Fall season. However, it was a fun trip with good friends and good vibes. On our way to the Linville Falls, we also stopped at Asheville, which in itself is an extremely nice place to visit, but more about it in another post some time soon.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts to this post. Thanks, and Cheers!