To Toll Gate Falls and Back
Yesterday I had other things I could be doing, instead I paid a visit to Jones Gap State Park in northern Greenville County to see some waterfalls. I had already loaded my trusty tablet with locations of the park's waterfalls, but just in case I added a paper copy of directions in my backpack before leaving.
The sky was mostly cloudy, but no rain was expected during the time of my visit.
The parking area was rather empty, and the trail proved to be rather empty of hikers too. I stopped to take a photo from the bridge over the Middle Saluda River leading to the trailhead, where many have taken a photo before.
All my waterfalls today were very near Jones Gap Trail. Jones Gap Trail mostly parallels the Middle Saluda River, and the many boulders will trip you up early and often if you don't slow down and watch your step.
A short distance down the trail, I noticed a waterfall off to my left. I had to check it out. I climbed up the hillside following a trail paralleling a creek. Trees obscured this waterfall, so he best I could manage was this:
After about one mile, Jones Gap Trail switches to the north side a short distance away from Jones Gap Falls.
I walked over this bridge in 2010 on the way to Jones Gap Falls. It looked a lot whiter back then:
I stopped at Jones Gap Falls, a short distance down the trail, but some people were already there and I didn't wait them out to get my shots. I could come by again on the way back. I went on to Ben's Sluice.
Ben's Sluice is a small but nice waterfall about one third of a mile from Jones Gap Falls.
At the intersection with Coldspring Branch Trail, Jones Gap Trail turns away from the river and toward Toll Road Falls. Toll Road Falls is about a fourth of a mile away from Ben's Sluice on an unnamed creek.
I took this photo from a bridge built as part of a Eagle Scout project in 2003.
Toll Road Falls is a reference to when this trail was Jones Gap Road, a toll road built by Solomon Jones in the 1840s that once ended in Cedar Mountain, NC.
I wanted to head on to Daragans Cascade, but time wouldn't permit if I were to get out before dark. I headed back to Jones Gap Falls, and this time I had the place to myself.
I last visited this waterfall back in 2010, and it looked rather icy back then:
I had to hustle a bit to leave the park on time, but overall I had a nice adventure.
I've shared my trip photos to an album on Flickr and an album at Google Photos.
Photos from my cold, icy 2010 trip are also in an album on Flickr, taken with my old, trusty, battery eating Canon Powershot A80.