Friday, October 29, 2010

pearson's falls- polk county, north carolina

Well over a hundred years ago, an employee of the Southern Railway was scouting land in southwest North Carolina.  He would remember one particular place of beauty and was able to purchase it for his family homestead. Now known as Pearson's Falls, this property's mountain glen has been open to the public ever since the Tryon Garden Club acquired the 268 acres in 1931 in order to preserve this scenic attraction and its  native woodland flora.

An admission fee is charged by a resident caretaker. The site, open year-round, lies just off what used to be the major road (Hwy 176) between Henderson and Polk Counties. This two laner has plenty of narrow curves and kudzu covered embankments. Tourist cabins used to dot this stretch of Pacolet River valley before I-26 made the route obsolete. Visiting Pearson Falls is well worth the back road route and the $5 adult ticket.

On the hike up to see Pearson's Falls I was intrigued by the large number of wild native hydrangea canes that seemed to crowd the trail- Hydrangea aborescens is also called smooth hydrangea.  Dried brown clusters of the summer flowers still hung on, helping me make the positive identification. Come March I would wager there is  a good show of early spring ephemerals between the massive mountain laurel shrubs that seem to clamber everywhere.  I'd pay to see that.

1 comment:

Alice and Stuart said...

That waterfall looks like a little slice of heaven!!! We might have to go there. Loved the links you've been posting. I am officially inspired by Patrick's work and as soon as we get on our land will be scouting for materials. Thanks for sharing.

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