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Anne & Vicki's Moore Cove Falls Hike

April 13, 2012

We saw lots of wildflowers - showy orchis, foam flower in abundance, crested iris, several jack-in-the-pulpit, many trillium, violets, chickweed and others. Unfortunately, we also saw a woman carrying a showy orchis complete with roots. When I said to her (before I could stop myself), "Please don't pick the flowers," she replied, "My daughter picked it." (Her children were also climbing on rocks and not paying any attention to her entreaties to "get down from there.") If only she understood what a treasure the showy orchis is! It was probably wilted before she got back to her car. The description in Wild Flowers of North Carolina (second edition) includes this statement, "A rare perennial, with a range from New Brunswick to Minnesota south to Georgia and Arkansas, Showy Orchis grows along streams in rich hardwood (or rarely pine) forests of our piedmont and mountains. As with other wild orchids, it cannot be moved. Do not dig!" This trail is the only place I've seen the showy orchis. On this trip we were fortunate to see several of the plants in bloom.

trail foam flower stream
Trail Foam flower ~ Click on photo for larger image. Moore Creek
crested iris boardwalk violets
Crested iris ~ Click on photo for larger image. Boardwalk on trail Violets
jack-in-the-pulpit wake robin trillium trillium
Jack-in-the-Pulpit ~ Click on photo for larger image. Wake robin trillium
Click on photo for larger image.
Wake robin trillium
wake robin trillium showy orchis buds showy orchis
White & red wake robin trillium
Click on photo for larger image.
Showy orchis buds Showy orchis ~ Click on photo for larger image.
Moore Cove Falls Anne at falls Vicki at falls
Moore Cove Falls ~ Click on photo for larger image. Anne ~ The railing is new since our last visit. Vicki
trail another jack foam flower
Trail below falls Another Jack ~ Click on photo for larger image. Foam flower ~ Click on photo for larger image.
chickweed bridge over 276 Looking Glass Falls
Chickweed ~ Click on photo for larger image. Bridge on Hwy 276 at beginning of trail Looking Glass Falls ~ Click on photo for larger image.

Although the trail is heavily used because of its trailhead right on Hwy 276 and therefore is not a quiet walk in the woods, it's worth going in April to see the wildflowers. Much work has been done on the trail since our last visit in 2010, with sections re-routed, a boardwalk, and a platform with railing at the falls, which appeared to have the purpose of restricting access to the falls, but which did not prevent people from continuing to walk around the base of the falls. I managed to get a few photos of the falls without the people. We stayed on the platform. Photo of falls in 2010

For More Information

US Forest Service ~ http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/regions/southern/MooreCove/index.shtml

Home | Hiking | Reunions | Excursions with Sophie


Photos in header: Niagra Falls; Big Sur, CA; Golden Gate Bridge, CA; Sunset on the Baltic Sea;
Virginia Creeper Trail, VA; Emerald Lake, Yukon, Canada; Glacier Bay, Alaska; Sunset on the Pacific; Triple Falls at DuPont Forest, NC.
Header Photo Credits: All Anne S. Napier except Niagra Falls by Herman Stubblefield.

Photos by Anne S. Napier
Updated December 17, 2013