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The two RV Gypsies at Catawba Falls
3074 Catawba River Road
McDowell County, Old Fort, North Carolina
June 29, 2019 and April 25, 2022

USA map showing the location of NCNC map showing location of Old Fort

The two RV Gypsies went to Catawba Falls in 2019 with family members. They returned by themselves in 2022. Both sets of photos are posted here, side-by-side when possible to match up the photos.

Pisgah National Forest and Catawba Falls sign Catawba Falls sign

IMPORTANT NOTICE On April 25, 2022, there was a closing notice at the beginning of the hiking trail.IMPORTANT NOTICE

closing notice

The hike is just three miles, round trip on an easy-to-moderate trail through the hardwood forest. The trail stays close to the water the whole way. The sound of the water varies from a light gurgling to a loud rush, and made the hike quite enjoyable. (The three photos below are from 2019)

river stream river stream

Below: The boys skipping stones

The boys skipping stones

Below: Flowing water alongside the trail in 2022

Flowing water alongside the trail in 2022 Flowing water alongside the trail in 2022
Flowing water alongside the trail in 2022

Lee Duquette crossed this area first, stepping from stone to stone. (2022)

Lee Duquette crossing the creek Lee Duquette crossing the creek

Below: After Lee crossed this area, he turned around and took photos of Karen, who chose to just walk in the water, rather than stepping stone to stone.

Karen Duquette crossing the rocks Karen Duquette walking in the water

Below: Small cascades of water.

Small cascades of water Small cascades of water

Below: Family crossing the bridge in 2019

Below: Lee Duquette crossing the bridge in 2022

Crossing the bridge Lee Duquette crossing the bridge in 2022

Below: View from each side of the above bridge in 2019.

view from one side of the bridge view from one side of the bridge

Below: Ruins of a stone foundation from the early 1900s.

Historic structure cascade and debri

Below: The two RV Gypsies and family came to the wall of a dam once constructed here in an attempt to create hydropower. The nearby sign urges visitors to NOT stand on the dam wall: it’s treacherous. The Dam is just 1/3 of a mile away from Catawba Falls.

a Dam
water flowing down the dam rocks and water

2019

water flowing down the dam

Below: 2022

small streams of water small waterfall
water flowing down the dam water flowing down the dam

Below: The trail to Catawba Falls. It was an easy trail UNTIL the big boulders leading to the base of the falls.

The trail to Catawba Falls boulders going to Catawba Falls
Lee Duquette on the trail Lee Duquette high stepping up a boulder
Lee Duquette high stepping up a boulder

Below: The lower portion just below the base of Catawba Falls with small cascades in 2019

The two RV Gypsies at Catawba Falls
Karen Duquette, Renee, and the boys Karen Duquette and Renee

Below: The boys crawled over the big boulders - not an easy task, even for the young.

big boulders The boys crawling over the big boulders

Karen Duquette made her way over and around some big boulders to sit in the water a bit and watch the boys play.

Karen Duquette sitting in the water Karen Duquette sitting in the water

Below: As always, Karen Duquette found an access spot to get totally soaked.

Karen Duquette getting soaked at Catawba Falls Karen Duquette getting soaked at Catawba Falls
Karen Duquette getting soaked at Catawba Falls Karen Duquette getting soaked at Catawba Falls

Below: Lee Duquette decided to check the temperature of the falls, although he did not get totally soaked.

Lee Duquette at Catawba Falls Lee Duquette at Catawba Falls
Lee Duquette at Catawba Falls Lee Duquette at Catawba Falls

Lee Duquette made a cairn

And Later John made one too.

Lee makes a cairn cairn

Below: The lower portion of Catawba Falls with small cascades in 2022.The two RV Gypsies sat here and ate their picnic lunch. In 2022, the water was not dripping over the boulders shown above in 2019, so Karen Duquette did not get wet. She did not think it safe to get where a small portion of the falls (as shown below) was flowing.

Lee Duquette Lee Duquette at Catawba Falls
Karen Duquette's feet as she enjoyed lunch
Lee Duquette at Catawba Falls Catawba Falls

Below: (2022) View of the base of Catawba Falls from the lower part of the falls.

base of Catawaba Falls from the lower part of the falls. base of Catawaba Falls from the lower part of the falls.

Below: (2019) Looking up at the base of Catawba Falls. The very top of the falls is not reachable.

Catawba Falls Catawba Falls

IMPOTANTWhile there is an upper portion of Catawba Falls, emergency management officials urges visitors not to attempt to reach the upper cascade. There is no trail maintained by the U.S. Forest Service that goes to the upper falls. And since the upper falls can be seen from below (as shown below) it is not necessary to go any farther.

Catawba Falls Catawba Falls
Catawba Falls Catawba Falls
Catawba Falls Catawba Falls
Catawba Falls Catawba Falls
John and Dutch at Catawba Falls John and Dutch at Catawba Falls
John and Dutch at Catawba Falls Lee Duquette at Catawba Falls

Below: Heading back down the trail to the car, everyone decided to investigate another area behind a small cascade where someone found a small craw dad in the waters. Renee asked Karen if she really wanted to continue sitting in the waters. Karen said that she will take her chances.

small cascade at Catawba Falls crawdad
exploring on the big boulders exploring on the big boulders
Anthony Anthony and Colton
cousins cousins

look below

go to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies Continue on in 2019 to learn about The Arrowhead Monument, see interesting sculptures and murals alongside the road - plus a Fast Food advertisement photo versus reality.

OR

go to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies IF you came here from the 2022 menu, continue on in 2022 to Lexington, SC