Pringle Run

It’s a big, round hole cored straight into pale yellow rock and dressed with dense, dark green fringe of hemlock and rhododendron. A dandy fall just above the main fork of the Cheat River with 180 degrees of surrounding rock and unbelievable headward erosion that has left it undercut by as much as 10 feet at the lip. That’s almost as deep as the fall is tall. So charmed is this place that even the rock that clutters the pool has the advantage of being nice flat slabs that make for excellent seating. The water color and clarity is superb, but for all the wrong reasons. The starling color is probably due to metals like aluminum that have leached into the stream from the mines above. And part of the rock’s pale yellow tinge is also from the mines.

It’s a really puzzling creek bed at low water, kind of like one of those fun houses where the floor is tilted. Above the fall, water runs 200 linear feet along a creek bed with many, many small tiers less than one foot high. You’d think the water would seek the lowest level. But because the creek bed is tilted a few degrees to the river left, the water sloshes in that direction and exits the fall lip at a point higher than the lowest point of the creek bed.

Visitors are mainly local and the place was generally free of litter when I visited. Several superannuated washing machines and retired refrigerators dumped at the bottom of the road suggest that this might not always be the case.

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