Davis Cr. Falls (aka Mary`s or Artie Hollow Falls) – 4-28-2017

Only 3 days after our hike to Pete`s Branch Falls, I decided to mark another one off my son Tyler`s list of ‘falls not yet seen’. This time would be an excursion to Davis Creek Falls (listed as aka Mary`s Falls but, known to the old timers of the area as Artie Hollow Falls) via the lesser known and more obscure Davis Creek Trail instead of the more popular route via Phillips Hollow. Once found it is a decent trail to follow to get over the hill and down the almost one mile to Davis Creek where an even better trail follows the creek upstream. From there it is just over 3/4 of a mile up Davis Creek to Artie Hollow (not named on many maps) where you must go right on another stream (away from Davis Cr) on a nearly completely overgrown blue blazed trail. It is about .6 of a mile to the falls over several blow-downs and heavy growth so,¬† you end up just following the creek up the best way you can. Once you reach the falls the trail actually improves a lot as it continues over the mountain and down into Phillips Hollow in case you are interested in a loop possibility. The total distance from the Jeep to the falls was just shy of 2.5 miles. We got an early start and hiked as fast as we could in hopes of reaching the falls before the bright sun made its appearance.

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Davis Creek (Mary`s) Falls (45 feet high)

There were several wildflowers blooming along the trails so it was hard to not stop and get some pics of them. I had not been in this area for at least 20 + years so I was enjoying the sights and sounds as well which also slowed us down.

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After a good lung opening climb up from the Jeep, this is nearing the top of the ridge.

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Beautiful Dwarf Iris

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I did not use a tripod so my macro was not of the best quality for this gorgeous Dwarf Iris

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These Dwarf Irises made the trail really pretty

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The mountain laurel were in the early stages of blooming

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Descending off the ridge towards Davis Creek which is at the bottom of the next valley

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An old barrel near the creek. It is not hard to imagine what it was used for.

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Tyler at the first crossing of Davis Creek. I must wonder what skinned the bark off that tree upstream from him !

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We met ‘Cousin It’ along the Davis Creek trail !

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Another crossing of Davis Creek to which I demonstrated the ‘belly friction log crossing method’ for Tyler. He tried it and did not care much for it ! He ended up ninja log walking across it on the way back !

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Tyler trying my method for the first time.

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Continuing across the log. This takes some practice but, I like it. Tyler did not !

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Tyler slowly lowers himself down and stretching out his legs to finally find solid ground !

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Found a few of these along the main Davis Creek trail. Not sure who thought this would be a good idea but, we knocked them all down.

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This one was rather large and heavy enough to break a bone if it fell on you. Of course we knocked it down.

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This is the best swimming hole on Davis Creek. Very deep and awesome. I plan to come back and jump in it one day.

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HUGE rock standing on its narrow side along Davis Creek !

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Other side of the huge rock. it is just over my head high.

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Faint trail leading into Artie Hollow

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The trail into Artie Hollow disintegrates fairly quickly

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Trail gone.

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You more or less end up in the creek as it’s the only passable route and even that is blocked at times.

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Following the creek up towards the falls

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Tyler in the unnamed creek that flows out of Artie Hollow. You can see a blue blaze in the distance but the old trail that used to run along the left side of the creek is long gone.

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Tyler found this rock shard that had a razor sharp edge. it would cut anything you needed it to including your hand.

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We had been looking for these (Morel mushrooms) the entire time but, it was not until we found the right kind of old growth trees that we finally started seeing them ! We ended up with a small sack full which I took home and cooked !

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There were some beautiful Wake Robin Trilliums  blooming

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These were gorgeous so I took some time getting a few shots (Wake Robin Trillium)

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Wake Robin Trillium

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The trail is actually there again just before you reach the falls. This was our first view of the main event.

By the time we reached the falls some hour and a half later, the sun was not far from cresting over the hill so I wasted no time in getting down the steep bank to the base of the falls to setup my tripod and larger camera to start getting some pics. There was a constant breeze coming off the falls and the light was getting brighter by the minute but, it could have been a lot worse. Knowing that I was pleased with what I was able to come away with.

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Cool looking fungi found near the base of the falls (Photo by Tyler Tarpley)

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Davis Creek aka Marys aka Artie Hollow Falls (pocket cam)

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Davis Creek aka Marys aka Artie Hollow Falls (pocket cam)

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main falls (larger cam)

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Davis Creek aka Marys aka Artie Hollow Falls

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main falls (larger cam)

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Picture of me (look for blue) at the lower left hand side of the falls (Photo by Tyler Tarpley)

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main event

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Main falls (larger cam)

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Tyler steps in to show some scale to the size of the falls as he makes his way to the top

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Tyler at the main falls

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Tyler at the falls (larger cam)

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Tyler higher up on the falls.

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Tyler higher up on the falls (larger cam)

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Wider angle of Tyler near the top of the falls as he gets some pics with his phone. The next pic is the one he got from there:

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Picture Tyler got while near the top of the falls (Photo by Tyler Tarpley)

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Tyler at the top of the falls

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Main falls (larger cam)

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Perhaps the best straight on shot of the falls I got all day (larger cam)

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The sun finally makes it to the party. Uninvited of course,,,

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Sun is almost on the falls ! (larger cam)

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main falls (larger cam)

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Main falls (larger cam)

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Wider angle (larger cam)

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Our group shot at the falls complete with spray and sun on the lens !!

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Getting some side shots before the sun gets on the falls

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Side view of the base of the falls. The sun is already washing out the other side

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Side shot as the sun encroaches the other side (larger cam)

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Side view (larger cam)

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Took this shot to set larger camera up for Tyler so he could get some pics of me at the top of the falls

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Tyler took this test shot as he played with the camera while waiting on mt to climb to the top of the falls.

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Me doing a Gnome pose at the top of the falls (Photo by Tyler Tarpley using my larger cam)

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My view of Tyler from the top of the falls

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Looking down from the top of the falls

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Top of the falls

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A series of smaller drops just above the top of the falls

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Looking upstream from the top of the falls.

We spent quite a bit of time at the falls getting pics from every possible angle including climbing to the top and back. By the time we thought to get a group shot the sun was on the falls which more or less trashed that image ! Eventually we packed up and climbed the steep ascent back up to the trail and made our way back out of the hollow. There is a small set of falls not too far below the main falls that I wanted to try and get pics of but, the bright sun ruined mine so maybe next time as they would be very nice on a cloudy day. Tyler’s phone pics actually were much better than either of my cameras got.

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Tyler climbing up the steep bank from the base of the falls

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Tyler at the small falls just downstream from the main falls. These would be awesome if not for the bright sun. Next time i`ll shoot them on the way in !

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Tyler near the top section of the nice falls downstream from the main falls.

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Small falls downstream from the main falls (larger cam)

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Small falls downstream from the main falls. had this not been killed by the sun it would have been a nice image (larger cam)

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Tyler at the small hidden falls downstream from the main falls (larger cam)

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Tyler at the top of the small falls totally blown out by the bright sun ! (larger cam)

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Best pic we got of these neat little falls (Photo by Tyler Tarpley)

Going back was easier being more downhill so the return trip was quicker although the temperature had risen significantly. Even the snakes were out and posing for pics by then.

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making our way back down the creek in Artie Hollow

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Huge dead log being suspended by a large vine !

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Cute little Garter snake out sunning himself

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He did not mind posing for us

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A lovely specimen !

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Tyler got the best close ups of the snake !! (Photo by Tyler Tarpley)

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Super close up ! (NOT zoomed !!)  (Photo by Tyler Tarpley)

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Close up of the nice swimming hole along Davis Creek

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The swimming hole is deep and has its own waterfall !

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Swimming Hole Falls along Davis Creek (larger cam)

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Swimming Hole Falls on Davis Creek (larger cam)

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Pic of me at the swimming hole falls (Photo by Tyler Tarpley)

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Not liking the previous method, Tyler did the traditional ninja log walk across this on the return trip ! Pretty sure I did the same.

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My boy making it look easy

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It is slightly uphill which is easier than going down it.

By the time we climbed up out of the Davis Creek valley and topped out on the high ridge above it, we were exposed and breaking a good sweat. The views are nice from up there but, we did not hang out long as we were anxious to get back into some shade and back down another hill to the Jeep.

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View of the valley from the ridge trail which is actually on Greystone Mountain

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Wiping sweat after climbing the hill and being exposed on the now hot ridge trail.

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View from the ridge trail (which actually skirts over the edge of Greystone Mountain)

It had been another satisfying day in Nature with my son to see yet another awesome falls he can check off his list. We are already looking forward to the next one. Until then,,,

mushrooms

Our nice collection of Morel mushrooms we got on this hike.

Posted on 31 January '18 by , under RATtreks.

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