I hiked Difficult Run Trail to the Old Carriage Road, then onto the Matildaville Trail all the way up to the "civilized" part of the park where I pulled out my Thermos(TM) and sipped coffee to the accompaniment of the roaring water of the falls. When the water is really high the falls actually look less dramatic since the vertical drop is hidden underwater, but the power of it all is really impressive. I watched some large debris cycle through a big circular eddy current while I sipped my coffee. Big tree trunks and pieces of who knows what being flung around in the whirling water. On the way back I took the River Trail, which was muddier than the others had been. I began to wish I had worn real hiking boots - but I was able to avoid any real foot-sucking mud.
|Cheesy in-camera HDR shot of Great Falls|
The park felt pretty empty in the early part of my hike, but on the way back there were lots of other people about - birders, runners, hikers and climbers. I took the River Trail to the Ridge Trail and then back onto Difficult Run, where I had to scramble around a section that had gotten washed away. Difficult Run took me back to Georgetown Pike as I expected, but not back to the parking lot and so I had to figure out which way to go - which turned out to be a short walk.
|High water near Sandy Landing|
I figured I walked about four miles, enough to earn a treat at the Westover Farmer's Market; however, while I did go to the market I didn't wind up buying anything there. I had heard that Westover Market now serves brunch and so after perusing the root vegetables at the framer's market I popped my head in there but the place was populated primarily by that handful of people whose legal county of residence is "Westover Beer Garden". I did grab a cup of coffee there and sat for a couple of minutes, then headed home.