Tarbell Trail to Hidden Falls

Here’s how I got into hiking: I bought a hiking book from REI on a whim one day when I was looking for ideas of places I could photograph. I was probably 20 years old at the time and I was NOT a hiker. Walking was fine, but I was a heavy drinker and smoker who wore only high heels and didn’t care about health or fitness or working very hard at anything. I just wanted to take more pictures and find some new locations.

I did read the whole book cover to cover, though. The idea of the Tarbell trail was interesting to me. Do you want to hike in the footsteps of a hermit to a hidden waterfall? Yes! Yes, I do! Do you want to hike 10 miles to get there? Uh, no, probably not…

So, I thought about Tarbell and his trail and hidden waterfall for ten years and then I went to go see what it was all about. Well, I wish I had hiked it a little sooner…

spring summer 14 973

The trail passes through many recent clear-cuts. It’s more clear-cut hiking than forest hiking, or at least it feels that way. Not that those kinds of places don’t hold their own beauty and charm, but that’s not why I went hiking. When I want to photograph a logged hillside, I can usually do it without getting out of sight of my car.

spring summer 14 980

The Tarbell trail has also been signed half to death. I can’t recall a trail I’ve hiked that had more signage than this one. The best part is that the different signs contradict each other, so reading them is just confusing and unhelpful. I was glad I knew this before I started out.

spring summer 14 983

What’s left of the forest is very lovely.  You switchback down a forested hillside to the falls, which are tucked back into a sweet little corner. The lighting was not favorable, and this was honestly the best picture I could manage.

spring summer 14 1002   On my way back to the car I was nearly beheaded by a bounding deer that cut right across the trail in front of me.

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