Suspended Natural Winter Wonders

Published on January 30, 2015
Written by Becky Rogers

Frozen waterfalls in the Appalachians

When the weather turns cold and icicles form over your front porch, you may recognize the magic of winter. The light reflecting off the glittering natural illusion causes you to smile in wonder as it piques your curiosity. Wrap up warm and take a little trip to a frozen cascade of falling water where you can witness one of the true, often unknown treasures of winter in the mountains — frozen waterfalls.

That’s right. When the temperatures dip below freezing, as they often do at higher elevations in the Appalachians, waterfalls literally freeze in mid-air. Hop in the car and head out with your camera to places like Brevard, Linville Falls and Dupont Park to see a winter wonderland of amazing proportions.

Where to See The Wonders

Looking Glass Falls: Sometimes the water continues to flow, surrounded by natural ice sculptures. You can see these falls right beside Hwy 276, near Brevard, NC, so there’s no need to take a cold hike. It’s even wheelchair accessible.

Grandfather Mountain: Grandfather Mountain is about 70 miles from Asheville. But it’s worth the trip to catch this frozen waterfall. The entrance to the park is two miles north of Linville, NC. At the 5,946-foot elevation, you’ll have an opportunity to see (and traverse if it’s not too icy) the mile-high swinging bridge. Often, guided tours are available.

Crabtree Falls: The 70-foot falls at Crabtree Meadows Recreation area is within a 2-mile loop, so wear warm clothes and boots with grips when you visit this waterfall in the winter. It’s at Milepost 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Triple Falls: An easy ½-mile hike from the Hooker Falls parking area in Dupont State Forest will take you to the stunning view of Triple Falls, one of the most popular in the park. Wear exceptionally good-gripping boots, however, because you’ll be walking over rocks that can get very slippery when wet or icy. The park is about 40 miles from Asheville, NC, near Cedar Mountain.

Capture the Wonders

Keep in mind that it’s always colder at higher elevations, so even if there aren’t any icicles on your porch, there’s a good chance the falls are suspended in frozen wonder.

Make sure the batteries on your phone or camera are well charged because you’ll definitely want to capture the scene for yourself. The beauty of nature amazes all year round, but in winter, most people don’t realize what they are missing. A photo will remind you that you were lucky enough to see it.