Showing posts from February, 2012

To Caesar's Head

Yesterday I traveled up to Caesar's Head to revisit two relatively unknown waterfalls, Misty Falls and Mashbox Falls, and visit the area where Caesar's Head Hotel once stood.

Misty Falls and Mashbox Falls are on tributaries of Oil Camp Creek and are located not far off of U.S. 276. I had already visited these falls back in the spring, but foliage was too thick then photograph well.

No trails are available to either Misty Falls or Mashbox Falls, and despite their nearness to U.S. 276 neither one are easy to get to. I chose to park at a pulloff at a bend in the curve as shown on the map below.

View To Caesars Head in a larger map

Just beyond the pulloff at the next curve is Oil Camp Creek Road, now mostly hiking trail. I decided against parking here because getting back out seemed too risky.

Misty Falls is the less difficult of the two to reach, so I made that one my first stop. Ignoring the sound of rushing water from Mashbox Falls, I followed Oil Camp Creek road down a series o…

Gilreath's Mill

Today's mostly cloudy skies that ran contrary to the weather forecast meant I had to postpone my photo trek plans, so instead I stayed close to home and visited Gilreath's Mill. Gilreath's Mill is one of the select few water powered mills still standing in Greenville County, ensuring its historic status. Depending on the owner at the time, the mill has also been known as Bruce's Mill, Heller's Mill, Taylor's Mill.

Joel Bruce built what is now known as Gilreath's Mill as a corn mill sometime between when he bought the property in 1801 and the first contemporary account of the mill in 1839, with tradition giving a date of 1814. The property would pass on to John Heller, and then Washington Taylor in 1840. In 1890, P. D. Gilreath took over the mill property and began producing wheat flour in place of corn flour. The mill would remain in the Gilreath family until transferred to the Gilreath Mill Foundation in 2007, with the rest of the property subdivided and …

Wilson Creek and the ghost town of Mortimer

Still having some time off to fill, I traveled up to Wilson Creek and the ghost town of Mortimer in Caldwell County, NC. This area is quite beautiful, but quite remote. The road is not paved, and can be quite narrow at times, making passing a vehicle coming from the other direction at the wrong time a delicate ballet. The altitude is about 1500 feet, with the high mountains just off to the west. Some of the mountains I saw on the way up were capped with snow from the day before, but I didn't see any snow on the mountains surrounding Wilson Creek.

Most people I saw there were fishing, some fishing waist deep in the creek. A few bicyclists were on the road getting their exercise, making the area was mostly mine to explore. My first stop was Wilson Creek Visitor Center.

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The Wilson Creek Visitor Center has a nice collection of photographs and artifacts showing and telling the history of the area.

Next to the visitor center is a country store, but I didn't go in.


Photo trek to Laurens and Newberry Counties

Having some free time this week, I decided to fill some of the time with a photo trek to visit some historic sites in Laurens and Newberry Counties.
My first stop is a rusty old bridge over the Enoree river at the Union-Laurens County line.

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A few hundred feet downstream is an even older rustier bridge long ago replaced by the current one.

Nearby Sumter National Forest was my next stop. While searching through photos of the area on Panoramio, I found an interesting picture of a rock carved with "1844 A.D.C". So far, I have been unable to find an online history of the carving, so I don't yet who carved it or why. The carved rock is down a path accessible from the end of a forest service road.

Open large map

The forest service sign marking the road was down, but my trip GPS said it was the correct road so I turned in.

At the end of the road is a turnaround where I parked my car. The trailhead is at the gate.

Continue on past the dark red Duncan Creek Waterflo…