Although I am certainly a child of the 90's, I cannot say I agree with TLC- I love chasing waterfalls. In fact, I have become spoiled and have found myself not considering a hike if it doesn't go near water at least, if not a waterfall or two.
With the weather being very rainy this summer and being crunched for time with various summer holidays and other events going on, I was looking for something close by that would give a lot of bang for my buck. I studied the maps and found a nice little horseshoe of a route not too far away that led me to 3 stunning waterfalls. The day ended up being unseasonably cool which made for very pleasant hiking. All three of these are also dog friendly but my munchkins didn't make it into these pictures.
First up, DeSoto Falls. We arrived here around 10 am and only saw 2 other people on the trail. There are 2 falls at this location, with divergent trails leading to each. The trails are no more than 2 miles total. Again, a lot of bang for your buck. There is also a nice little campground located between the two falls.
Traveling north from DeSoto Falls, we then went to Helton Creek Falls. This trail is exceeding short and flat, making it very accessible to nearly anyone. Due to the fact that it had rained nearly every day during the previous week, Helton Creek Falls was rocking. The water flow was impressive. We saw a handful of people here but I imagine on sunny days, hot days, it's packed.
Leaving Helton Creek Falls, we continued along the dirt road we parked on which eventually leads to a creek crossing (two actually) before intersecting with the main road. We drove through the mountains, catching views of Yonah and others, before arriving at Dukes Creek Falls. The trail at Dukes Creek is the longest of the 3 but still leisurely at around 2 miles total. Unfortunately part of the viewing platform at the end of the trail was damaged by a tree falling, so we could not experience the full scenery of the falls. Regardless, it was a nice visit and I spent some time at the opposite end of the trail just relaxing by the creek.
All in all, it was a worthy way to spend a day. We were back home by 3 pm- not bad for driving to and from the mountains, as well as driving between the falls. All of these are also located within close proximity of other scenic areas, such as Raven Cliffs, Blood Mountain, and state parks, so planning a multi-day waterfall extravaganza could be an option as well.
Obviously I am about 2 months behind with posting, but expect some new posts soon about our recent trip to California!