Aren’t they amazing?
The problem with my first attempt to visit the falls was that, since I was hiking, I took the trail labeled “Hikers.” At this time of year, regardless of how you’re traveling, if you want to visit the falls you must take the fire road, marked “Horses, bicycles, handicapped.” Keep to the right at this sign.
There was beautiful morning light as I set out.
There were a LOT of newts. It’s newt mating season, and they were all crossing the trail, hurrying to a hot date.
The trail to the falls is about 6 miles each way, mostly all fire road, mostly all relatively flat and looking like this.
About a half mile before the falls, the trail narrows to a footpath. It’s foot traffic only from this point, and there’s a hitching post for horses or for locking bikes. There’s a small footbridge across the stream. Oops, make that a small footbridge in the stream. It’s sturdier than it looks; this photo is taken from the far side, after I had crossed.
Oh no! Another funky bridge! You have to shuffle across, one foot in each trough.
This picture is for Paula.
(It makes me think of the old Patti Page song we used to sing.)
White trilliums along the path.
And purple ones as well.
The falls remain out of sight until the last minute, when you turn a corner and there they are! Here are a couple of views from different vantage points.
There’s a viewing platform at the foot of the falls, and you can climb a trail to the top to see the water cascade over the lip. The platform was pretty busy, so I hiked a bit back down the trail and then turned up another trail that heads towards the park headquarters. As I suspected, I found a handy bench with a great view of the falls, and sat there to eat my lunch and enjoy the view.
Eventually I had to leave, and started the trek back to the car. By this time it had warmed up. Most of the newts were gone, but now there were tons of butterflies. Here’s a white one.
And a blue one.
A small alternate trail (ie blocked off but still accessible) gave a great view of the creek and the budding trees. This spot made me feel like I could be back on the east coast.
All in all, a great hike. Twelve miles round trip, same trail in and back. Easy walking, wonderful scenery, and the beautiful Berry Creek Falls as the grand prize. Here’s one last look.