Hiking Waterfalls in North Carolina
By Melissa Watson
Published by Morris Book Publishing
No need reading any further here, go out and buy this book. You won’t find a guide out there that comes closer to providing all the information and presentation elements desired by waterfall hikers. Publication standards are high with this volume being one the FalconGuides published by Morris. Also, it is endorsed by the American Hiking Society.
Information is presented on 113 North Carolina waterfalls however, the total count is higher than that since some of the sites are multiple cascades (such as Waterfalls of Horsepasture River). The introduction is short, only 7 pages, containing the usual guide use instructions along with safety and environmental tips.
Likewise, you can expect useful general reference information (heights, lengths, difficulty, etc.) about the waterfall, the hike and the area but there are a number of areas where this guide excels:
1. An unexpected, fun section is a single-page Trail Finder where the author lists her:
- Favorite Waterfalls
- Best Swimming Holes
- Most Crowded Waterfalls
- Least Crowded Waterfalls
- Roadside Waterfalls
- Best Waterfall Hikes for Backcountry Camping.
2. Then a Finding the Trailhead section gives good, clear directions that will take you to the trailhead plus GPS coordinates are provided.
3. Miles and Directions will delight hikers with its step-by-step (almost literally) description of the trail. For example, the 2.3 mile hike to Stone Mountain Park’s Middle Falls, there are 16 described mileposts.
4. The included maps are in color and, while not topo, they show specific trail routes.
5. One complaint about many guides is the lack of photographs. In planning a hike, waterfall hikers like to know what they’re going to see. Not every waterfall in the book has a photo, but there are enough that do that you won’t really notice. Plus there are a goodly number of “supporting” photographs that you will find both beautiful and interesting.
6. Production values for this book are very high quality. Printed on glossy paper with color everywhere, the concept, design and execution of this project is top notch.
Ms. Watson also has a companion volume titled Hiking Waterfalls in Georgia and South Carolina.