While the name definitely applies to the gorgeous waterfall, it may not be the trek to get there.

If you read up on Paradise Falls, you will find honest opinions about the strenuous route that gets you to your ultimate destination. Even though it’s a mere 0.5 miles in AND out, don’t let that fool you. Most of the hike is moderate, but to finish the final push into Paradise, you will likely be scooting slowly on your backside, painstakingly finding the correct root or mud/dirt-made “step” to get you 6 inches closer to your destination. Luckily it was pretty dry the day we headed down, but if it had been a rainy period of time, it probably would turn into more of a mudslide rather than a slow descent. But those who hang in there will definitely decide the amount of time and care is worth it! I chose to use a hiking stick, and on the descent, it made a difference; it gave me one more avenue for stability as I made my way down.

Paradise Falls easily matches any of the other majestic waterfalls in the area. The main fall is a bit out of reach for most of us as it is up beyond a lot of enormous rock formations. Still, as it falls more toward the pool of water, you can put on your strong swimming suit and head into the cavernous-type opening to find a rock to grab onto and enjoy a spot very close to the last part of the falls. The spray and cool temperature of the water, along with the rush of the strength of the waterfall, make it a great place to hang out for a bit. For more leisurely hanging out areas, you can stay closer to the hiking trail and have a snack or sandwich on any number of very large rocks in this secluded place. At the time of our visit, there was a large log splayed along the pool that a few folks used to test their moving balancing skills. We are happy to report there were more successes than failures.

And for those extra daring folks, you can climb up and around the rocks opposite the entrance trail to a rock face with a rope that allows you to jump into the pool from about 40 feet up. The cliff jumping is not for me. But I just enjoyed, cheered, and lived vicariously for those brave folks who do. We opted to hike dressed in swim gear so we could take a quick swim and relax instead of turning right back around to head out as soon as we got there. Great choice.

We might not have come prepared to stay for the afternoon, but we enjoyed a snack, the scenery, and the camaraderie of fellow adventure enthusiasts. Paradise Falls is worth checking out for moderate to experienced hikers and climbers. I am happy to report that for me, the climb out was a little less trepidatious. I opted to store the hiking stick in my pack on the way out so I could use two hands to grab onto the many roots and branches that acted like cliffside handholds. These conveniently placed natural grips helped me maneuver my way up and allowed the climb to go really well; tiring but good.


Also Read: 3 Falls & 10 Miles in DuPont State Recreational Forest

bridal veil falls dupont forest

Debra walking behind Bridal Veil Falls in Dupont Forest

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