Laurel Creek Falls

Venturing along the winding WV Route 16 out of Fayetteville, West Virginia, one will discover the hidden gems of Laurel Creek. Nestled amidst the lush greenery, a series of roadside waterfalls can be accessed through a rugged journey of bushwacking and scrambling down rip-rap. Amongst these natural wonders are the majestic Upper Laurel Creek Falls, boasting a 20-foot cascade, and the serene Lower Laurel Creek Falls, featuring a 10-foot cascade.

Hocking Hills is one of my favorite go-to places in Ohio because of its landform dominated by caves, cliffs, rock shelters, and waterfalls. On my most recent trip, I turned my photographic focus to its diverse springtime wildflowers at Ash Cave, around the western shores of Rose Lake, along a tributary of East Fork of Queer Creek, and within the sheltered canyon at Conkles Hollow.

Autumn came late to the Cumberland Mountains along the border of Kentucky and Virginia. There was not a better way to spend it than by traversing the backroads along Cumberland and Pine Mountains and visiting Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Kingdom Come State Park, and the Little Shepherd Trail.

Typically, hot and dry summer months result in diminishing streamflows throughout Appalachia, making decent waterfall photography only possible after heavy rains. But this has been one exceptional year as parts of Appalachia have received nearly six inches more rain over normal for the prior three months, and bounties have abounded in central West Virginia.