Greg Jordan: My first hike to the Brush Creek Falls was a memorable experience

Apr. 25—I've heard more than once that if you visit New York City and talk to its citizens, you'll soon discover that many of them have never been to the top of the Empire State Building or visited the Statue of Liberty.

It's possible that the same is true in places like Washington D.C. The people living and working there never make time to go visit the monuments or see the other sights.

Well, I'm just as guilty of ignoring local sights because I'm too busy. Most days I'm running here or there or typing away on a story. When the weekend arrives, I'm doing chores and other tasks I don't have time for during the week. I'll go on hikes to familiar places like Glenwood Park, but it rarely occurs to me that I might want to visit a new place.

This changed last week when I was on vacation. I spent the first days visiting my mom and other relatives, then I came back to Mercer County and handled jobs I had put off such as dragging my drier out of its niche and digging lint out of its vents. It's easy to put off unwanted tasks when you're working Monday through Friday.

A lot of these jobs were done by the time Saturday arrived, so I decided to finally visit Brush Creek Falls. I was reminded of the park and its trail when I went to the Brush Creek Resort off Eads Mill Road to do a feature story. I learned that Brush Creek Falls was only a few minutes away and I filed that fact in the back of my mind.

Early Saturday morning, I got one of my hiking sticks, put on my boots and headed for Brush Creek. Brush Creek Road, located right off Eads Mill Road, was easy to find. I soon parked at the pavilion and headed out. Heavy rains had drenched Mercer County recently.

That's why I wore boots. I knew sneakers would get soaked pretty quickly.

The trail's narrow and it's literally in a canyon.

Huge rock overhangs decorate the place and there's no way you can wander off into the woods unless you're a black bear or Bigfoot. It's rocky, too, and there are some places where you've got to navigate around shallow streams coming off the mountain and into the Bluestone.

That means stepping on rocks and watching your footing. And that's why I carry a hiking stick.

It improves your balance; in fact, it kept me from slipping on the mud a couple of times.

Reaching Brush Creek Falls took only a few minutes. I heard it before I saw it.

I was impressed.

The water was literally roaring down the falls.

The sound is relaxing and I stayed for a while listening to it.

I could see a rocky path leading down to the base of the falls, but it looked a bit rough so I decided not to chance it. There were still a lot of slick spots thanks to the rain.

I continued my hike and kept looking down at the Bluestone's rapids. Those rapids didn't look right for rafting, but I think experienced kayakers could manage them. I've never used a kayak and that means I'm not about to try running those rapids.

Gradually the trail became narrower and more people started arriving.

Some hikers had dogs with them and I encountered couples and families. Brush Creek was proving to be a popular local trail.

I met an out-of-state couple who were staying at the nearby resort and they said local people urged them to visit the falls.

County Commission President Bill Archer told me last Tuesday that work has started on improving the Brush Creek Falls trail. Trails down to the falls itself will be easier when the work is done and eventually there will be trails leading to Camp Creek State Park and beyond.

When those trails are done, I won't wait years to try them out. It's easy to take locate attractions for granted, but it's just as easy to make some time to visit them and see what you've been missing.

Greg Jordan is the Daily Telegraph's senior reporter.Contact him at Greg Jordan at

Contact Greg Jordan at