Hendersonville and Little Bradley Falls

Usually about this time in October, I head up to Skytop in Zirconia to buy a nice quantity of Granny Smith apples (my favorite). This year I decided to be a little different (and also avoid the crowds) by travelling a few more miles north to Hendersonville to buy apples and take some photos.

I've been to Hendersonville many times in the past, but never to their former  depot. This depot appears to be in great condition.

A nicely painted old caboose resides an one end.

Compare to this 2006 photo by Jon Huemmer at RR Picture Archives:

The depot is currently occupied by the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club, and is open for tours a few hours on Saturdays.

A neutered crossing gate by the railroad sits near the depot.

The railroad between Hendersonville and Flat Rock has been dormant for a while now, and between Flat Rock and Landrum (containing the Saluda Grade) since December 2001.

A map of area apple orchards showed a cluster of them on U.S. 64 just east of Interstate 26. I headed that way and stopped at the first one I found.

I was in and out quickly, just like I wanted.

But I took a few minutes to admire the pumpkins and the pumpkin ormaments they had on display.
I headed down I-26 to exit 59 and Holbert Cove Road in the Green River Gorge and parked at the pull-off for both Big Bradley Falls and Little Bradley Falls.

A trail leads from the pull-off to an overlook for Big Bradley Falls. As this Google News archive search reveals, Big Bradley Falls is a dangerous place, even more so if you try to go down to the base. I've been to the overlook (it's dangerous too), and the view is obscured by a pine tree.

But Little Bradley Falls is my destination today, and the trailhead to that waterfall begins a short distance up the other side of the road just past the culvert. One visible trail parallels the creek, and another with a few red ribbons tied to tree branches. Go down the one with the red ribbons.

The trail is well marked with red blazes along its path.

I brought my 7 inch tablet with me on this trip. I bought a hiking app before the trip and cached some maps of the area. I also used the app to download a GPS trace of someone else's hike in case I somehow got off the path.

Several stream crossings are required. I missed one because I followed the obvious path when I should have crossed the stream instead. I thought something was wrong when I noticed no more red blazes. I unpacked my tablet and brought up the hiking app. Turns out I was moving away from the GPS trace. I headed back and then turned toward where the trail came close to a stream. There I found a cluster of red blazes, confiming my mistake.

A bit further down the the trail, I came across the remains of a house.

I read about these remains from other trip reports, so I wan't surprised to them.

After one more stream crossing...

... and I was there. Rain had fallen Sunday night and Monday morning helping out the water flow. I setup my tripod and tried out a few shutter settings.

I then waded into the water with my tablet (and no, I didn't drop it) to took a photo shere (a 360 degree panorama).

On the way back, I managed to accidentally crack the lens hood that goes with my lens. Unfortunately, that lens hood isn't available separately anymore so I may have to go without. Oh well.

You can view my photo album on Google Photos or my photo set on Flickr.

I made a map of my trip should you wish to visit the places I visited on this trip.

P.S. The apples are delicious.


  1. We recently made our own trip to NC to get apples, and also made a detour that turned out to be the highlight of the trip (well, except for the mutsu apples, those are also delicious) - we visited the Carl Sandburg Home national historic monument. You've piqued my interest with the descriptions of the falls, maybe we make it up that way before the leaves fall.


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