Sunday, January 16, 2011

Eagle Awareness, Part 4 - High Falls

High Falls

Carroll and I had to choose between three field trips during our Eagle Awareness Weekend at Lake Guntersville State Park. 1) Guntersville Dam to see eagles and possibly one nesting; 2) Cathedral Caverns; 3) High Falls Park.

We were already going to the dam with another field trip the following day, so that choice was the first to be struck. Cathedral Caverns? With my claustrophobia? Uh uh. That left High Falls Park which, we were told, is gorgeous. A short drive past our morning field trip watching the eagles emerging we entered the lovely countryside of Marshall County. Crossing into DeKalb County our convoy guide turned off the main road onto a secondary road, then a smaller road, then a smaller signs anywhere. Clearly, we were in a very secluded and private area.

Pulling into a graveled parking lot we got out and headed to our ranger guide, who gave us a brief history of High Falls Park. From their website 20 acres were purchased and preserved with grant money in the early 1980's. Local efforts were made to clean the park and make it more accessible to the public.

Town Creek

A rock whale submerged beneath the crystal clear waters.

Lovely golden rocks and sandy bottom glistens and dazzles in the sunlight.

Shadow of the footbridge

In 1998 the pedestrian bridge was built across the original rock pillars constructed for the covered bridge in 1923.

Because of its remote location High Falls remains a secret to most in the area, and North Alabama at large. However, the efforts of many local leaders and Alabama park board members High Falls Park is being discovered by more and more people through events such as Eagle Awareness Weekend.

High Falls Park is still very rustic. Crude walking paths and stepping paths created through tree roots downward and upward mean business. Good shoes and a healthy body are clearly needed to navigate the majority of this place. Carroll and I are in relatively good shape, as were most of the people attending this field trip. However, a young mother brought small children including one in a stroller. An elderly woman accompanied by her husband had a knee injury and was wearing a knee brace. These people struggled and we all worried about them in the rugged terrain.

Ambling down onto the flat rocks above the falls we were all treated to an amazing show. The winds that were chilling us to the bone were creating a rainbow above the falls.

Spellbound, all of us took a gazillion photos of the same rainbow, creeping forward as far as the rocks would allow. My folder holds a gracious plenty of these images, all taken from various angles as I crept closer and closer.

Crossing the footbridge takes a person the other side of the creek, and a rustic path can be followed to the other side of the falls. Again, strollers and the injured should not even try it. The footbridge is new and safe, however. It's the getting to it that's the challenge as well.

Flat rocks and footbridge and another rainbow.

High Falls Park
Somewhere in DeKalb County, Alabama

Click to make it larger - there are people on the other side.
Gives you sense of scale.

Check out their website for more history and directions.

Check out Scenic Sunday for scenes around the world!!! It's safe travel without having to endure long lines at airports or letting people get too "friendly" with your nether regions. Just sayin.'


Coffeedoff said...

Wow what a lovely place. I would love to visit there!

Gaelyn said...

Debi, this is So beyond beautiful! Kind of nice it's still little known. Your captures are ALL Wonderful. Love the light on the water. And very cool they were able to use the old bridge supports. Such a great trip for you and Carroll, plus blessed with rainbows. Hope you can find it again when the temps increase. I'd probably have chosen the caverns.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Gaelyn, we toyed with the idea of Cathedral Caverns but we'd both been there before - me, BEFORE I developed claustrophobia - and we wanted to see something new. SO glad we went to this spot on this day, BUT Cathedral Caverns isn't far and is on my list. I think I can at least do the front part.

Randy Emmitt said...

Enjoyed the landscapes and waterscapes. What a treasure of a place to visit. We have a few places similar here in NC too.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

What a beautiful area to just soak up and relax.

Carol said...

Debi, What a gorgeous place. I am glad you mentioned to click on the photo to see the scale. Wondrous!

Eve said...

We found High Falls last spring Debi. It was a blazing hot day and a young fellow was jumping off the rocks just beyone those crazy falls! And in the gorge beyone the falls rock climbers where making any ascent up the cliff!!! A really active place when it's warm out for sure. Breathtaking photos my dear!

debsgarden said...

I always enjoy a visit to your blog! As always, your nature photography takes my breath away. My son once visited high falls with the boy scouts, but I have never been there. Thanks for a peek at this beautiful place!


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