A modest feature in the Monongahela National Forest, but it gains points for being wilderness. Water is so clear that you can count the whiskers on a crayfish walking across the bottom of the creek. It’s a low fall across a ledge 30 feet wide. A couple of large rocks offset from one another form a constriction that makes water flow fast enough to prevent the pool from filling entirely with sand and cobble.
At about 20 feet across, the pool is big enough for a couple of strokes, but that’s not its best use, according to Tom Easton, a DC area carpenter and back pain sufferer.
He said that walking up the trail to Big Beechy helped relieve pain and release some fluid from two discs that he herniated on the job.
But if the Cranberry Wilderness seems a long way to go for occupational therapy, listen to this:
“In January and February the level is really up,” Easton says. “There’s a special seat off to the left as you look at the falls. Sitting in the fall with the cold water pounding on my back really reduces swelling.”
He says that after a couple of treatments, he felt so much better that he fed his Vicodin and Flexeril to the chipmunks…not really, but I can report that the ground squirrels at the campsite adjoining the fall did seem unusually relaxed in his company.