When my mom and I headed up for our adventure ziplining at the Gorge we also got to experience a bit of small town Saluda, NC (located outside of Asheville). We arrived at about 4:00 and headed out for a little bit of hiking in Saluda, NC. We discovered that Big and Little Bradley Falls were right near out hotel (The Saluda Mountain Lodge).
We tried to listen to the hotel owners descriptions and he explained that Little Bradley Falls was a shorter hike, more moderate, and better marked. Whereas Big Bradley Falls was a much more strenuous hike, took much longer, and was not marked as well. We decided to head for Little Bradley Falls since we wanted to get back, clean up a bit, and head into small town Saluda for dinner.
The owner had told us, “little falls little parking lot.” So, we made our way down the road as he described. We followed the trail at the beginning, but it quickly disappeared as nothing was marked. We ended up climbing about 20-25 feet straight up the side of the hill/mountain uses rocks and roots for balance because we thought that looked like part of the trail. When we got to the top we found more trail, I got stung by a yellow jacket (OUCH!), and then the trail once again disappeared as it was not marked at all.
Since we were just there to hike and didn’t care which of the falls we made it too, or even if we made it to a fall at all, we headed back, crossed the road the the big parking lot (which we thought was meant for the big, tough, unmarked trail according to the owner) and were happily greeted by a trail with bright blue spray painted tree markings. This trail was so much better as the trees were marked every so often so you knew you were going the right way. It still had some difficult parts, like a river crossing with no bridge where we had to try to hop across slippery rocks and both ended up with wet shoes, and a path to the lookout that was went very steeply downhill before dropping off the cliff. However, in the end we hiked for 80 minutes, had an amazing time, and got in some good exercise.
After hiking we headed to Main Street in Saluda which is the old fashioned Main Street you imagine. Train tracks on one side and buildings on the other. The library, police station, an old fashion general store, a few cute local artisan craft shops, and a few restaurants. We ate at the Purple Onion which was gorgeous and had delicious views. the mountain air made it cool enough that we could sit outside and enjoy our meal, and dessert. (Mine was blackberry cobbler, because of new medicine I am able to eat a bit of gluten, but I am still probably 90 – 95% GF, and it was amazing. I haven’t had cobbler in almost 2 years since going gluten free.)
I highly suggest visiting Saluda, NC and ziplining at The Gorge, hiking Bradley Falls (park in the big lot and take that trail), and enjoying dinner at the Purple Onion.
When was the last time you took a fun weekend trip?
Do you have any vacations planned?