Everyone who visits Blackwater Falls State Park has to see the 57-foot waterfall that the park is named for. It’s amber colored water gets it’s distinctive tint from the tannic acid in fallen spruce and hemlock, and it’s well worth the trek down more than 200 steps to the observation deck. I’m still trying to decide if it’s worth the trek back up those same steps. Probably. Maybe. Ask me when I can breathe again.
Did you know that there are two other waterfalls in the park? The Falls of Pendleton can be seen from two locations; along the Pendleton Trace Trail and from an overlook just passed the lodge. The other waterfall is Elakala Falls and it is my favorite. An easy trail, accessed from the lodge parking lot, takes you across a bridge that passes over the 35-foot high falls. While Elakala is technically made up of four waterfalls, the first one is really the only one you can see from the trail.
With huge moss covered rocks, gnarled trees and, rich, green vegetation, this trail is simply a few steps beyond beautiful. The roar of the rushing water muffles all other sounds and it’s easy to let Mother Nature calm your soul while you meander along the path. It may be just a few steps beyond normal, but if there’d been a bench in that spot, I would have sat there all day.