Swirling through Jack Ollis' Western North Carolina waterfalls

Black Mountain News

This is the time of year many Swannanoa Valley residents and their guests live for. The air is cooler, the skies seem clearer and the mountains pop with the kinds of colors that make the Blue Ridge Parkway surge with leaf-lookers.

Local nature photographer Jack Ollis has been hiking to and photographing waterfalls in the region lately. Responsible for many of the gorgeous shots The Black Mountain News uses in its Facebook banner, Ollis brings an eye to nature that invites hikers into the woods and non-hikers into his photos.

His latest batch of waterfalls photos might give you an idea of where to hike during this gorgeous time of year. Stay on the trail and don't forget your camera. 

"This small waterfall on Bee Tree Creek is off the Boone Fork Trail which begins on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Price Lake," Ollis said. "This image, which was made on Sept. 25 of this year, shows that autumn is at hand."


"Crabtree Falls is located at milepost 339.5 south of Little Switzerland," Ollis said. "It has a relatively small watershed, so the volume of water over the 70-foot waterfall is seasonal, depending on rainfall. While the shortest distance to the falls is a hike of about a mile, a 2.8-mile loop is a good option for seeing a variety of ecosystems."
"Glassmine Falls can be observed from the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Craggy Gardens after a rainy spell, assuming it is not shaded by the mountain," Ollis said. "This picture was taken during a beautiful October day when the sun, shadows and water level were cooperative."
"Graveyard Fields is an extremely popular place to visit during the fall leaf season," Ollis said. "This is the lower waterfall on Yellowstone Prong Creek. This was captured from the Blue Ridge Parkway South of Mount Pisgah and just north of Graveyard Fields."
"The Linville Gorge Wilderness area includes a deep gorge below Linville Falls," Ollis said. "There are several vantage points for the falls ranging from easy to difficult. This photo was made Sept. 21, just as fall was approaching. The trees are beginning to turn delightful colors and should be at the peak soon in this area."
"Rainbow Falls lives up to its name on a sunny day with a brilliant rainbow in a location determined by the position of the sun," Ollis said. "While there are a number of waterfalls with the same name, this one is accessed from Gorges State Park in the Nantahala National Forest Area on the Horsepasture River. A five-mile hike in this area is in close proximity to several other waterfalls."
"Schoolhouse Falls is located in Panthertown Valley of Nantahala National Forest west of Brevard," Ollis said. "This waterfall is of great interest because it is possible to walk across the stream under the falls and even take photos as you go, as illustrated here."
"Triple Falls is a series of three successive water falls in DuPont State Recreational Forest," Ollis said. "These two photos show parts of the falls from different perspectives. This recreation area is composed of 10,000 acres between Hendersonville and Brevard. There are a number of other beautiful falls, lakes and other attractions in DuPont Forest."