Skinny Dip Falls after the 2021 flood
6-2-22 I have some really bad news about Skinny Dip Falls. The remnants of tropical storm Fred blew through here in mid August 2021 and the resulting flooding had devastating effects. The photo above was taken a short time after the flood and looks down on what was the swimming hole. The bridge across the creek before the waterfall was washed away as were the stairs leading down to the bridge. The swimming hole that people jumped into was filled it with rock of all sizes. The rocks where people jumped from were washed away and the creek bed and rock structure above the waterfall are completely rearranged. The worst part was the incredible damage to the communities down river and several people lost their lives. You can still visit the area. Improvements have been made to the trail and there are now new stairs leading down to creek level below where the bridge used to be. There are still some smaller swimming holes, but it's nothing like it once was.
Directions: Parking for the falls is at the Looking Glass Rock overlook at MP 417 of the Blue Ridge Parkway which is near Graveyard Fields. It's south on the Parkway of the US276 intersection and north of NC215. The trail is about 1/2 mile and easy to moderate in difficulty, but rocky and rooty in places..
The trail begins on the opposite side of the Parkway from the overlook. You should see a white blaze as this is a short spur of the Mountains to Sea Trail. Hike this a short distance, then up some timber steps to the MST and stay to the left to continue to Skinny Dip Falls. The trail from here is rocky and descends towards Yellowstone Prong. Just before reaching where the stairs and the bridge used to be, a new section of trail turns to the right and leads to the new steep stairs down to creek level. Continue past this to see where the stairs used to be and for a view down to where the jumping hole once was. It doesn't look like a new bridge will be built, so you'll have to rock hop or wade the creek to continue across. A new set of steps has been built on the opposite side which leads back up to the MST. All of the photos on the page are of how the area looked before the storm.
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