Massive log jam is teetering precariously atop one of NC’s most popular waterfalls

·2 min read

One of North Carolina’s most popular mountain waterfalls has turned dangerous due to the torrent of rain dropped by remnants of Tropical Storm Fred last week.

Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest is sporting a fantastically large log jam as its crown, the U.S. Forest Service said in a Facebook post.

How large? Try half an acre, the forest service says.

“That’s sizable!” officials wrote.

The cluster of trees and brush “is lodged just above the 60 foot drop,” officials say. Visiting is discouraged, but those who dare are being restricted to viewing the waterfall from afar, on a viewing platform. “Swimming is completely unsafe at this time,” officials said.

Experts believe the giant knot will eventually find its way to the edge and tumble, creating havoc below — both in the pool and along the river banks.

Facebook commenters asked if the U.S. Forest Service might intervene before that happens. Apparently not.

“It is an impressive (log jam), and remedying it would take a lot of work in a pretty precarious position,” the forest service said Saturday.

“Right now we have a lot of priorities on our plate that come before this one and you’re correct that Mother Nature will deal with it in due time. ... For now, it stands as incredible proof of the strength of moving water.”

Looking Glass Falls is popular with tourists and hikers because the “tall, spilling waterfall cascades in a single, stunning, perfect drop from a towering cliff,” according to Ashevilletrails.com.

Price Lake is gone

The log jam is one of several potentially dangerous situations discovered after the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred dropped 8 to 12 inches of rain — creating catastrophic flooding. Four people died in Haywood County and an estimated “500 families were displaced,” McClatchy News reported last week.

Price Lake at Milepost 296.7 on the Blue Ridge Parkway is currently closed, because the lake is gone, the National Park Service reports.

“The dam used to regulate the lake’s water levels was damaged in the storm, and the lake has now emptied,” officials said. “Fishing, boating, and other activities in the lake are prohibited until further notice.”

Just over 12 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway remains closed (from US Route 276 to NC Route 215) due to “multiple landslides,” the National Park Service says.

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