An Old Friend, Elakala Falls

Blackwater Falls is a State Park in West Virginia. It happens to contain my favorite waterfall, Elakala Falls. On the night of Friday the 20th of April 2018 I left my home and headed to the wilds of West Virginia. I left at 9pm in order to do some Milky Way shooting when I arrived in West Virginia. The Milky Way shoot post will be coming later, but after sunrise on the 21st I went waterfalling. I visited both the first and second falls of Elakala on the Shay Run and boy had they changed!

The second Elakla Falls on the Shay Run in Blackwater Falls
Elakala Second

Apparently Blackwater Falls State Park was hit by a massive wind storm sometime recently. There were so many trees down in the Elakala Falls gorge it was actually very hard to get down the the level of the falls. All the trees still had leaves so it must have happened very recently. We are talking 10 – 20 trees down in just the first and second falls areas. Many tree falls were the kind where the entire root structure is pulled up along with the ground around the base of the tree.

So getting down and back up was harder then in the past. I found most of the best viewing angles for the second falls posted above were completely blocked. I ended up having to climb a steep boulder and wedge my tripod on the crest of the rock in order to capture anything. Talk about putting my new camera in danger! Oh, and my body I guess, but who is counting.

A fallen log in the Shay Run creates a mini waterfall below Elakala Falls
Log Fall

The water was at a fairly standard flow rate and the falls were fairly full. The water you see above was not dirty. It actually contains a lot of a substance called tannin which comes from decaying plant material. It is what gives the Blackwater River its “black” water.

Stay tuned in for both my thoughts on the first falls of Elakala as well as the Milky Way shoot from the night before!

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