Waterfalls of the Southern Appalachians & Great Smoky Mountains
By Brian A. Boyd
Fifth Edition Published by Fern Creek Press, 2011
At first glance, this looks like a typical waterfall guide book but something strikes you as being different, then, there on the back cover, there it is. The book was specifically designed to help pick out waterfalls to visit. It is not just a listing of falls in a given area with the choice being left up to you.
Now, there are some expected elements of the book such as the usual safety and photography tips but only six pages are devoted to this and it is on to the more than 175 waterfalls grouped into hubs.
- Georgia, 8 hubs
- South Carolina, 3 hubs
- North Carolina, 5 hubs
- Great Smoky Mountains, 8 hubs
Each hub comes with a map showing the general area with the location of the hubs. For each waterfall listed, you are presented with:
- Stream name
- Waterfall rating
- Type of cascade
- Stream flow
- USGS Quad
- Trail length
- Hike difficulty
- Directions to the trail head
- Trail description
Many come with photographs, albeit, they are black-and-white. But the information is good and that’s the stated purpose of the book – to present waterfalls so readers can make good choices on which to visit.
Boyd then takes it a step further with some things you won’t normally find in the guides – recommendations by the author. He makes several:
- Author’s choice of top waterfalls to visit in each hub. The best of the best.
- Top short hikes to waterfalls. Good for seniors, kids, or when you don’t have much time.
- A list of 13 of the author’s most challenging waterfall hikes.
One thing to be remembered, though, is that the scope of the region covered takes this out of the realm of a book of day trips. In the mountains, it doesn’t take much distance to find yourself at 2 hours just to get to the trail head.
This is a good addition to anyone’s waterfall resource library.