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::: By Hand and On Foot :::

Berry Creek Falls

Berry Creek Falls

Aren’t they amazing?

These are the falls I was trying to visit when I hiked the mountain in Big Basin State Park last week. This week, I took the right turn and found them, and it was so well worth both hikes.

The problem with my first attempt to visit the falls was that, since I was hiking, I took the trail labeled “Hikers.” At this time of year, regardless of how you’re traveling, if you want to visit the falls you must take the fire road, marked “Horses, bicycles, handicapped.” Keep to the right at this sign.

Take the road.

There was beautiful morning light as I set out.

Morning light

There were a LOT of newts. It’s newt mating season, and they were all crossing the trail, hurrying to a hot date.
Newt in a hurry

The trail to the falls is about 6 miles each way, mostly all fire road, mostly all relatively flat and looking like this.
Fallen tree still growing

About a half mile before the falls, the trail narrows to a footpath. It’s foot traffic only from this point, and there’s a hitching post for horses or for locking bikes. There’s a small footbridge across the stream. Oops, make that a small footbridge in the stream. It’s sturdier than it looks; this photo is taken from the far side, after I had crossed.
A bridge with a problem

Oh no! Another funky bridge! You have to shuffle across, one foot in each trough.
The next challenge

This picture is for Paula.
Crossing the bridge
(It makes me think of the old Patti Page song we used to sing.)

White trilliums along the path.
white trillium

And purple ones as well.
Purple trillium

The falls remain out of sight until the last minute, when you turn a corner and there they are! Here are a couple of views from different vantage points.
The falls through the trees View of falls at lunch

There’s a viewing platform at the foot of the falls, and you can climb a trail to the top to see the water cascade over the lip. The platform was pretty busy, so I hiked a bit back down the trail and then turned up another trail that heads towards the park headquarters. As I suspected, I found a handy bench with a great view of the falls, and sat there to eat my lunch and enjoy the view.

A seat with a view

Eventually I had to leave, and started the trek back to the car. By this time it had warmed up. Most of the newts were gone, but now there were tons of butterflies. Here’s a white one.
White butterfly

And a blue one.
Blue butterfly

A small alternate trail (ie blocked off but still accessible) gave a great view of the creek and the budding trees. This spot made me feel like I could be back on the east coast.
Budding green and creek

All in all, a great hike. Twelve miles round trip, same trail in and back. Easy walking, wonderful scenery, and the beautiful Berry Creek Falls as the grand prize. Here’s one last look.
Berry Creek Falls

1 Comment

  1. Ha – I clicked on your link to Patti page & had fun singing along with “Cross over the bridge” at the top of my lungs. Miss Dressie got seriously distressed & hopped off my lap.
    “Eeek! Mom’s gone crazy again!”
    Those falls are gorgeous and yes – that one section of trail did look suspiciously like the east coast.
    See ya SOON! 🙂

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