GRAGG PRONG FALLS
On Father's Day we took a trip to the Lost Cove Section of the Wilson Creek National Scenic River and visited another great swimming hole - Gragg Prong Falls.
The Gragg Prong Creek begins at the foot of Grandfather Mountain in the Beacon Ridge Section and flows down the mountain to Wilson Creek. Along the way creating many spectacular water falls, rapids and verdure.
Just south of Roseboro, Forest Road 519 merges with Forest Road 981 and you see a one lane bridge. There is a parking area on each side of the bridge and from this point you can pick up the white blazed MST. The sign says 3.8 miles to FR 464 which is the trail head for Huntfish Falls....so you are just three miles from Huntfish Falls and 1.25 miles from the Upper Gragg Prong Falls, 1.5 miles from the Lower Gragg Prong Falls.
The trail generally follows the Gragg Prong Creek as it flows south, eventually intersecting with the Lost Cove Creek. It is a really nice trail, the forest walk only interrupted by the four creek crossings which will soak your boots, but on a hot day is welcome relief.
Along the trail we were treated with the new blooms of Rhododendrons.
The Upper Gragg Prong Falls is one great swimming hole. Above the falls is a shallow pool. The falls are made up of two cascades. The upper cascade pours into a jacuzzi size pool over six feet deep. The lower cascades creates several nice slides into a waist deep pool....which eventually pours into a swimming pool size pond.
On this warm summer day, there were several folks enjoying the cold mountain water and sunning themselves on the rock face. I enjoyed watching the young folks demostrate their agility by walking the rock ledge between the jacuzzi pool and the lower cascade. Oh youth is so wasted on the youth!
These falls are several stories high and flow down the rock face to a widening creek below.
There is no trail to the base of the falls but I guess you could climb down the sloping rock face, the climb back would be brutal.
Leaving the Lower Falls, I spied a nice small waterfall upstream. There are wonderful creek scenes everywhere you look!
Before we left I lounged on the rock face chatting with a nice young man from Johnson City, Tennessee who was visiting the falls with his father whom you see in the picture below with his feet in the upper pool.
Not long after this picture is taken, the old gentleman got up and stood right in front of me with his back to the pool and proceeded to execute the best back flip I have seen since Carl Edwards won the Coca Cola 600!!
What a great hike! Access is tough without a map...and even then not easy to find....6...the trails are well marked and maintained 8....the scenery is a solid 9...the effort to view ratio leans to an easy hike for a great view....but the real key to this hike is the swimming hole!....overall a solid 8 hike.
While we accessed the trail head from the Blue Ridge Parkway through Roseboro on FR 519, I think the best way to reach it is from the Wilson Creek access via NC 90 and FR 381. If you go that way, be sure to stop and take a look at one of the remnants of the Edgemont Community, the Edgemont Baptist Church.