Most Travelers Through Pinnacle Park Don’t Know This Beauty Of Nature Exists, Despite Its Lack Of Geographical Obscurity.
Pinnacle Park, home of little-known Gina Falls, is just five minutes from the nearest urban area, making it a perfect destination for those who aren’t inclined to go deep into the wilderness, or who simply want a peaceful lunch break. The park’s eponymous natural feature, about a mile and a quarter up from Gina Falls, is well known among frequent travelers of US 23 and US 74. Fed by West Fork Fisher Creek, it features a 35-foot upper drop with cascades below.
The trail is part of Sylva’s new Pinnacle Park. Hikers are required to fill out a permit before starting. Permits are free and are available from the trailhead kiosk.
Follow the obvious road from the parking area. At 0.2 mile, you’ll cross West Fork Fisher Creek. Remain on the main road to reach the junction with East Fork Trail, on the right. Continue straight on West Fork Trail. You’ll pass a neat split rock after 0.2 mile and reach a second creek crossing less than 0.1 mile farther. Now, the trail climbs more steeply. At about 1.25 mile from the crossing, you’ll cross a small stream. In winter, look upstream to see a surprising waterfall. Don’t bother looking in summer. You’ll cross another stream 100 feet farther. It also has a waterfall high above. After a little more than 0.1 mile from this stream, you’ll cross another stream and shortly afterward swing to the left around a ridge. At 0.2 mile from the last stream crossing, you’ll come to another creek, the largest one yet. To reach the falls, turn around and walk to a point about halfway between this stream and the left turn in the old road. Strike out through the woods toward the sound of falling water and head upstream on a slight angle. You’ll soon cross the small creek, from which you should be able to hear the falls well enough to go straight to it.
Leave No Trace — Seven Principles
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more details, visit www.lnt.org
©1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
Heed posted warning signs indicating danger and stay on established trails.
Never climb on or around waterfalls and never play in the water above a waterfall. Rocks can be slippery and it’s easy to lose your balance especially with bare feet. Currents near waterfalls can be extremely swift even in areas further upstream.
Never jump off waterfalls or dive into plunge pools at the base of waterfalls. Rocks and logs can be hidden beneath the surface of the water. Often waterfall pools have swirling water or currents that can drag and keep you underwater.
Even if you have seen other people enjoy playing around waterfalls, be aware they have been lucky to escape unharmed. Waterfalls are constantly changing with varying water flows and erosion of the rocks around them. The current from one place to the next may be faster than you anticipate and the arrangement of rocks or other debris such as logs in the plunge pool is ever changing.