Hiking Moormans River Trail to Big Branch Falls


Happy Tuesday! These past few days have been extra fun because I've had my little brother in town visiting me. Sunday afternoon I got a text from Dave saying he was coming down and he'd call me when he was on the road- those are the best kinds of texts! Dave loves hiking so I took him out to Moormans River. We explored around the lake before heading up the trail to Big Branch Falls. Dave made it about a fourth of the way in before he stripped off his shoes for the rest of the day. I always talk about how my parents took us hiking a lot while we were growing up but my mom hiked with Dave the most- by a landslide. There was a point in his life when my mom was taking him out a few times a week to hike with another mom and her two boys. This kid is no stranger to the woods. Also, much to Dave's delight, it rained on us the entire time. It was a lot of fun because the temperature was perfect and the whole time we were hiking we could look up through the trees and see the wispy clouds coming off the tops of the mountains which was beautiful. I used to be the kind of person who only ever wanted the sun but I've found that I really enjoy a good soaking wet hike every now and again! I was so surprised at how full the reservoir and river were. I did this hike about a year ago (?) during the summer and the river was so low and there was barely any water at the waterfall, that was not the case today! The reservoir was high, the rivers were gushing and the falls full.

Directions for the hike: Park at the South Fork Moorman's River parking area. From here, go around the boulders and start heading up the trail. You'll come to another area that used to be the old parking area, walk through the boulders and you'll see a wooden kiosk on the right. From here keep hiking and following the yellow blazes. You'll come to the first of many river crossings (there are rocks to keep you out of the water). When you get to the other side you have one of two options: keep following the trail to a big swimming hole with rock and little falls or take a right and go to a smaller swimming hole right under the side of a cliff. We went straight to the main swimming hole. From the main swimming hole you can either stay and swim and end your hike there, or hike an additional mile past this point to Big Branch Falls. We hiked up to Big Branch Falls then came back down. To Big Branch Falls and back is four miles, to the big swimming hole and back is two miles.
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