Friday, October 23, 2009

Falling Spring Falls ... Alleghany County

Falling Spring Falls on a beautiful October day. Located in Alleghany County (was part of Augusta County in the 1770s when first surveyed by Thomas Jefferson), the falls offer an 80-foot drop of the Jackson River (headwaters of the James). Warm spring water full of minerals mixed with fresh water to make a year-round water temperature of about 85 degrees. The water upriver from the falls has an aquamarine color.

A sign at the handicap-accessible overlook describes the falls.

The Jackson river upriver falls over rocks as it drops toward the cliff.

The aquamarine-colored water is full of minerals and reportedly warm even in winter. This is just above the falls which can be found around the curve in the river.

A history of Falling Spring Falls.

With the fall to the right out of sight, the view through the mountains to the far ranges was beautiful on Thursday as fall colors were splashed along mountain slopes.

Barb leaned against a tree and soaked in the calming sound of falling waters (out of photo) while surveying the river above the falls.

An unidentified photographer had hiked to the bottom of the falls to take photos. Although the surrounding area is posted as restricted, many hikers slip beyond the fence to be above the falls or hike to the base.

On a gorgeous October afternoon, fellow SWACer Barb Tillett and I headed out for a girls adventure in counties west of Augusta. One of our destinations was Fall Spring Falls in Alleghany County, about 15 miles south of Hot Springs. After stopping in Hot Springs for a to-go lunch from Subway, we headed to the Falls and enjoyed sitting at one of the picnic tables provided for visitors. The surrounding was gorgeous and the sound of falling water was soothing.

There is a handicap-accessible overlook of the falls and we took photos from that vantage point, then doubled back and walked beyond the parking area to a path through the woods that led to the Jackson River above the falls. While the immediate falls area is fenced off and posted as restricted to hikers, the area above that is easy to reach and provides an up-close look at the mineral-filled river water that comes from a nearby hot spring.

With colorful leaves still on the trees, colorful leaves on the ground, and cool autumn-like temps, it was a good day for such an outing.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
22 October 2009

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