How often do we travel to distant corners of the world, while forgetting to enjoy sights in our backyards? Twenty years ago, we hiked in the headwaters of the Cheat River, which originates in the highland bogs of Canaan Valley. Among the sights, as the river forms, is the Blackwater Falls. We have taken only twenty years to return to this sight.
Now, for our California friends, who have Yosemite in their backyards, a falls of 57 feet might seem a bit like knocking over a bucket of water on the deck. For our Southwest friends, who have the Grand Canyon and the Island In The Sky of Canyonlands in their backyards, a caynon a couple hundred feet deep might seem a bit like a gully after a heavy rain. But, for the Appalachian Mountains, the roar of cool mountain water over limestone boulders and sandstone cliffs, is an exciting sight. We also had the good fortune to visit Blackwater Falls the day after 3″ of rain fell in an afternoon thunderstorm.
With family visiting for the week, we wanted to find some local walks in nature. With five us, we needed to keep the travel time reasonable for he or she who got the middle of the backseat (I volunteered for part of the trip). The falls is about 1.5 hours through several mountain and farm valleys.
The walks in the park are moslty easy trails along the cliffs on either side of the canyon. Several viewing points overlook different sections of the canyon.
On a warm day raptors and vultures glide on the air currents rising from the canyon.
Stairs descend to the platforms before and near the falls.
Near the trading post is a picnic area, where we opened our coolers with sandwiches, vegetables and hummus.
Wildflowers and mountain laural were blooming vibrantly for us.
For photographers in the group, Blakwater Falls is a place to practice with different aperature and shutter speed settings, and compositional styles.