Officially then, the Age of Discovery is over. Or is it?
At any rate, join me in a visit to a beauty spot overlooked by recorded history. A creek canyon seldom visited since the passing of hardy prospectors who left few stones unturned in the Little North Fork Country.
The phenomenon of Family Falls occurs in the short distance of approximately one half mile. The seven drops are immediately upstream of Henline Falls which is easily located. The upper un-trailed creek canyon is difficult to traverse but the climb is no more than a strenuous workout for healthy hikers.
The first falls, JERRY FALLS, is the highest at 79 feet. (Our measurements were exacted by lowering a rope over each elevation.) It is not a sheer drop but splashes over a convex cliff. Passage to the base of the cliff is difficult due to jumbled logs and debris below the plunging waters.
The second, MARK FALLS, tumbles 29 feet over tiny terraces into a deep, clear pool about 120 feet upstream from the first.
Number three, DAN FALLS, spreads out in a bridal veil cascade of 58 feet. A cleft to the right forms a tiny drop that converges in a key- shaped pool at the base. A very picturesque scene. About 150 feet above number two.
RON FALLS is fourth in line about 100feet above Dan Falls. A double drop of 37 feet, it sets in a bowl-like setting with caves on both sides of the surrounding cliffs. The trail here is through a hole in the cliff my children call Maynard's Cave.
The fifth, DAVE FALLS, is over 40 feet in height,
plunging into a hidden chasm at its base. It gushes down a cleft most of the fall. It is close above number four falls.
Between five and six the creek slides over a smooth 15 feet rock slope akin to a children's slide. We called this chute DEANNA'S SLIDE. it is just above a sharp bend in the stream a short distance from number five.
Number six is JACKIE FALLS, an angled chasm that drops in a half-hidden fall of 23 feet. Hiking here is restricted by dense brush. This falls occurs over 300 yards above number five.
STEVE FALLS is the final waterfall in Henline Creek. It is about 20 feet directly above number six. The water plunges in a free fall about one-half of the total 55 feet. The creek bed levels off above this seventh waterfall and tapers out into a logging show in the utmost headwaters.
Visiting Family Falls can be accomplished by merely following Henline Creek up its course above the box canyon of Henline Falls. It is not necessary to return via the same rugged route however. The old Ogle Mountain Trail follows the eastern rim of the creek canyon and may*e found by working up the eastern side of Henline Gorge. At one time this trail was the only access to Ogle Mountain Mine but logging and new roads have virtually caused its abandonment. Travelers returning down this trail will understand why the tiny falls deep within the tree-covered gorge remained unnoticed all these years.
If your active family is looking for a cool, secluded world to explore and enjoy on a hot summer day, Family Falls and Henline Falls are yours to relish.
Third Falls - Dan Falls
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Copyright 1973 Maynard C. Drawson Reformated and reprinted on the web in 2003 with permission from Maynard Drawson