Location: NC – PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST – Skinny Dip Falls
Directions: Park at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway at MM 417. From the lower end of the parking lot, walk across the Parkway to the trailhead. After a fairly level walk of 400 feet, the path crosses over the Mountains-to-the-Sea Trail. Proceeding more or less straight ahead, the trail crosses an old campsite and then becomes somewhat rock- and root-covered. It also goes up and down a bit. For these two reasons, I would rate this as a moderate hike. Nevertheless, after 10-15 minutes of walking, you’ll reach the falls.
Date of Visit: Early May 2013
Conditions: Overcast
Time of day: Afternoon
Photography: The above shot of the falls was taken from the left side of the viewing platform at the top of the stairs. On the day that I visited this location, I was extraordinarily blessed to find an abundance of wildflowers blooming along the trail to the falls. In addition to Trout Lily (above), I saw Painted Trillium and Red Trillium. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention two things about this image of the falls. First, I intentionally went on an overcast day after a period when rainfall had been about 30% above normal. Second, this spot is normally chockablock with people. I was very fortunate that I had the place to myself. (And, contrary to the name, I’ve never seen anybody skinny-dipping here.)