Turtleback Fall

Best waterslide featured in this book. Too many are smack on the road and full of people; Turtleback requires some knee muscle to reach.

The ledge is 65 feet wide and just under 20 feet tall. Opposite the fall, the largest boulder has a nice, straight face. Probably jumpable, but marginal water quality with poor visibility means submerged obstacles have to be scouted with a mask or goggles. There’s seating for 15 or 20 on a big slab downstream. Ropes lead to the top of the slide and some arm strength is required to make the short, high-angle assent. Use caution making the traverse to get into position for the slide. Preferred swimwear is denim shorts, although Kate Sperber said her Bridget Jones underwear from Banana Republic was entirely adequate.

“The rock was so smooth I didn’t feel anything but water under me.” Sperber, a waitress from Florida was celebrating her 40th birthday on the Horsepasture River. She took warm memories with her, but left behind some expensive bridge work. “I was laughing so hard my tooth popped out.”

Forty yards below Turtleback is Rainbow Fall, a raging spray of angry water. A short distance above Turtleback is Drift Fall, a formerly popular swimming hole that’s posted as private.

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