1. The Wrong Trail
I woke up one morning to let the dogs out, and when I opened the back door, I realized that the weather was going to be perfect for a hike. I grabbed Bodie, my backpack, camera gear, packed a lunch, and off we went for the day’s adventure. We headed up to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of some waterfalls and swimming holes. Before we left, I found a trail that had a few small waterfalls along the way. According to the online guide, we could either start at mile marker 18 or 20 along the Blue Ridge Parkway. If we started at mile marker 18, it was a 1.5 mile hike to the White Rock Falls, but if we started at mile marker 20, then it was only a mile hike to the falls. Having to carry Bodie, our food and water, and my camera gear, we drove to mile marker 20. The guide also said that there were some other small waterfalls along the trail if we started at mile maker 20.
I parked my car, and there was the trail clear as day, so we started down it. Soon we came to a sign that said “White Rock Trail this way: 1.5 miles.” I was confused; I thought if I started at mile maker 20, it was only a mile hike not a 1.5 mile hike. So I figured the online guide got the mile markers backwards. I thought that it didn’t really matter; we would hike the extra .5 miles to the falls. The first mile of the hike was easy hiking along a ridge line to the top of a viewless peak. Then the trail went almost straight down the last .5 miles to the creek. I got to the bottom of the mountain and found another sign that said “.5miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway (right), White Rock Trail (left).” We went left and soon came across a creek. The trail then followed the creek. We hiked another .5 miles and still no waterfalls. So Bodie and I decided to follow a water runoff from the trail to the creek. We found a VERY small waterfall, but it had a swimming hole big enough for Bodie, so we stopped for lunch. We ate lunch and played in the water. It was a little cold for Bodie, so he just got his feet wet and threw rocks into the water.
After lunch we decided to do some creek walking and walked back up the creek to see if we could find any more “waterfalls.” None were to be found. So we got back on the trail and hiked out. When we were almost back to the car, we ran into 2 ladies that were also on the wrong trail looking for the waterfall. They too looked at the same online guide telling them to start at mile marker 20 to get to the falls. After I got back to the car, I stopped at mile marker 18, which had a map at the trail head. Apparently, we were on the wrong side of the parkway. To get to the falls from mile marker 20 we had to cross the parkway and walk down the road about 50 yards to the trail head that is well hidden.