My friends, Steve and Jenny visited Asheville this weekend from Charlotte. We often get together when they come to this area to photograph. Steve is especially fond of waterfalls and up to the point that I met him, I had not been actively seeking waterfalls to photograph. He has introduced my husband and me to many beautiful waterfalls. He had never been to Big Ivy, so it was my turn to take him to waterfalls. There are 2 photographic waterfalls in this area. Douglas Falls is located at the end of FS74 in the Big Ivy area of Pisgah National Forest and Walker Falls is on the way to Douglas Falls. FS74 is a narrow gravel road that has periodic pull offs so you can pass a vehicle coming in the other direction. There are many species of spring wildflowers along the sides of FS74 making it a favorite spot for hikers and botanists.
Halfway up to the parking lot for Douglas Falls is, in my opinion, the more picturesque 45 feet tall, Walker Falls. Walker Falls is right by the side of the road with several parking pull offs. It was a cloudy day which is good for waterfall photography because it keeps the waterfall and foliage from being too contrasty. Too much contrast can cause the loss of detail in the shadows or highlights. Unfortunately, the sun decided to make its appearance after we started photographing and we spent a long time waiting for it to go behind the clouds.
There had been very little rain for the past few months, so there was not much water going over the falls. I decided to photograph a smaller section to show the relationship between the water and the trees.
We got tired of waiting for the sun to go behind a large cloud and decided to proceed up the road to Douglas Falls. Douglas Falls is a 1.5 mile hike through the forest. I think that I enjoyed the hike more than the falls. It goes over moss covered rocks and tree roots. There were wildflowers blooming. It can be slippery in the water seepage areas. Douglas Falls is 70 feet tall and the water falls through the air for that 70. There was very little water falling and it seemed like a spray at times. I did not like any of my photos of Douglas and am not including one here. The only other time I hiked there, I was also underwhelmed.