Scenic beauty is something that McDowell county has in abundance. There are a lot of places that you could go to or visit while you are here but, here are the top three must sees. These three are especially good if you are an avid hiker or just out to catch nature for a day. So, away we go on Josh’s top three day hikes in McDowell county.
1) My number one stop is a nice not to long day hike. I pick this one because it wont wear you out. Catawba Falls is an easy three mile round trip. This piece of land that is now open to anyone was only made so, by the Foothills Conservancy in two separate purchases. The first in 2005 and then the last in 2007, it was not meant to stay in private hands long. soon thereafter it was sold to the US forest service to become a permanent part of the Pisgah National Forest. The hike only has three easy river crossings, although, after all of the rain and flooding of this 2013 season one might want to be careful. There was quite a lot of damage from the flooding. In all though there is a lot of beauty and history up in these mountains from the awesome views of the falls to the left over remains of a hydroelectric power generation equipment and dam. There is even building that can still be reached and are still standing from this time period. At the falls there is another trail that leads up further from the base of the falls to the top. PLEASE believe me after the base of the falls if you climb up any further it is best to be prepared and having climbing experience other wise you can easily fall and get severely hurt or even die. Hopefully one day the Forest Service will build a trail that can safely be accessed by anyone. If you do make the climb the views from there are tremendous.
2) Stop number two on our McDowell County hiking trip is also one of the more difficult ones. If you take highway seventy out toward a small town called Old Fort you will reach road called Curtis Creek Rd. Follow this until you reach the camping sites and the main rv parking area. Here tucked in right next to one of the concrete pads is the trail head to Hickory Branch Trail. It is a moderate four mile round trip if you make it all the until you reach the falls to the right of the trail. Here i found out that you can either descend to the river bed and play and frolic around in the river or you can look further on up the trail moving on up to the left of the falls where the trail continues. To be honest i did not make it to the terminus of this trek as of yet. It was a fairly moderate hike that i was ill prepare for so, i hope that my mistake will lead you guys further to victory. Even if you only hike as far as the falls the view of them and the chance to see nature in so much of its natural beauty is something to behold.
3) Last stop is Huskins Branch road eight miles north of McDowell county’s largest town Marion. Tom’ s Creek Falls is a short eight-tenths of a mile one way so, round trip of just over a mile and a half. It is an extremely simple hike but, the end of it makes it all worth the while. There are several short hills at the end but, all over its an easy trail with a stunning view of the falls at the end. The perfect place if you want a quiet place for two or if you want to bring the kids along and have a nice play date in the sand bars and water. All in all McDowell county is the perfect place to get away to, hike in the beauty of nature, or if your new around here and are just looking for a place to start. Come on out and join us there is always enough nature to go around.
Caviness Corner: Well, there is my list. I weeded out a lot more trails that you guys and girls do not have to go through. I picked these three only because they are easily gotten too, nice short drives from a central location and you can stay in a nice warm hotel or pitch tent and stay outdoors. Either way you have options for the people that want to save money or if you prefer some creature comforts while you recover from a day of hiking.