Great Waterfalls of North Carolina
By Neil Regan
Published by Parkway Publishers, 2010
This is brand new book just out this year and is a very slick volume even though it is paperback. Almost a square 8 ½ inches, it is truly a reference and not a trail guide to be thrown into your backpack.
It does cover a reasonable number of waterfalls, 65, although the quality of this book is such you’ll wish the other several hundred in North Carolina could be documented in the same way.
Ten chapters are used to group the 65 waterfalls into geographical proximities many hikers would refer to as “hubs.” Some of the hubs are counties, some are just confined areas such as Dupont State Forest. Accompanying each chapter is a map showing the location of the waterfalls in that chapter. While major roads are shown, the detail on the maps is not significant.
Subtitled “A Guide for Hikers, Photographers and Waterfall Enthusiasts,” the book contains information for all three:
- A large color picture.
- Beauty rating from 1-10.
- Water Flow. Rates the water coming over the rock face. Ex. Very Small, Moderate.
- Type. Describes the water flow over the rock face. Ex. Steep cascade, Freefall
- Property Owner.
- Trail Rating from 1-10.
- One-way Trail Length.
- Description of the waterfall and surrounding area.
- Directions to Trail Head.
- Trail Directions.
- Photographic Locations. Where to get the best shots.
As noted early, this is not a trail guide and, as such, does not come with the usual ancillary information on hiking, waterfalls and geology.
A question should be raised about the use of the Water Flow rating. Many of the waterfalls are rated with Very Small or Small water flows which give the impression these are less significant than they truly are. Plus, when you visit a waterfall can vastly change the water flow. Immediately after a 2″ rainfall will be greatly different than after a 2-week dry spell. Trying to rate a waterfall based on the water flow at the time of the visit is misleading to those who may come behind you.
Aside from this one misstep, Regan’s book remains beautiful and informative. It even would make a nice coffee table book for your guests to peruse. This would open the door to conversations on your favorite topic – waterfalls.