Lower Fall on Red Creek

A couple of spots in the Dolly Sods Wilderness formed in finely bedded, brittle stone. The rock is aligned on the same plane as the water flow on Red Creek, so it’s smooth rather than badly fractured as you might expect from such stone. At the lower fall, water comes off the lip in a couple of broad scallops. The pool below is modest, about 10 feet long and not quite as wide. Not much size, but pretty and lots of sun with close to 1,000 square feet of slabs relax on. If you have a Teflon tailbone you might test it for water slide suitability, but it looked marginal for that use.

Upstream is a slightly higher fall, a little more rambunctious and more blocky. It’s not as pretty, doesn’t have the aesthetics of the downstream fall, however the pool is far bigger and much deeper. This, because there is a hole at the bottom of the fall that catches all the rock and leaves the swimming hole unobstructed and deep. Not nearly as much sky as its downstream cousin, plus it’s east facing so it gets cool in the afternoon.

Stern Warning: Do not plan overnight trips in this part of the Monongahela National Forest. You’re not supposed to camp so close to water, for starters. In addition heavy visitorship and campfires have damaged the area. It’s bad enough that people unconcerned about the environment are spoiling watersheds; it’s worse when people who should care are doing the same thing.

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