Pearson's Falls - Saluda, NC - Botanical Preserve and Waterfall


Located off of Highway 176 in the foothills of North Carolina, Pearson's Falls is a botanical preserve. Pearson's Falls is named after Charles William Pearson, an engineer. Pearson discovered the area when he was looking for passage through the Blue Ridge Mountains for what was to become the Southern Railroad. Located in Polk County, Pearson's Falls is also known as Pearson's Falls Glen.

Pearson's Falls is home to a 90 foot waterfall and offers much more than just a waterfall. The botanical preserve is made up of spring-fed streams and 268 acres of native forest. In addition, the wildlife preserve features more than 200 species of fern, algae, flowering plants, and mosses.

The waterfall's water source is Colt Creek, and the trail leading up to the waterfall is roughly three-tenths of a mile. Using a scale of 0-10, with 0 being easy and 10 being very difficult, the difficulty of the trail is listed as a 3. The waterfall is not wheelchair accessible.

Owned and maintained by The Tryon Garden Club for over 75 years, Pearson's Falls is technically private property. Established in 1928, The Tryon Garden Club was formed by a group of women interested in gardening, city beautification, and the protection of birds, wildflowers, and wildlife. The Tryon Garden Club is a non-profit organization and accepts donations to help maintain the glen.

Although the glen is private property, The Tyron Garden Club permits public access to the land. There is a small fee for entrance to the area. The fee is $3 for each adult. For children ages 6-12, the fee is $1 per child. Admission is free for children under 6 years of age. School groups are also offered free admission if the trip is for educational purposes. School groups are to make arrangements with the gatekeeper before their visit.

Picnic shelters are available with a reservation. The fee for the shelter is $10. This fee is in addition to entrance fees and should be paid at the gate on the day the shelter is to be used. There is also a Garden House on the property. Once per year, local garden clubs are permitted free use of the Garden House for meetings. Due to space limitations, there is a limit of 40 garden club guests.

Pearson's Falls is available for memorials services, but services are not permitted during regular business hours. Services are held based on gatekeeper availability. A $20 per hour fee is charged for all memorial services. Weddings are also arranged with the gatekeeper, and are only permitted during business hours. No more than 50 guests are permitted at weddings, and the regular admission fee is charged for each guest. With a non-refundable deposit of $100, interested parties can make a reservation to use the Garden House for their wedding needs. Deposits must be paid ten days prior to the wedding.

Free publicity is welcome, and commercial photographers can photograph the area at no additional charge (other than the regular admission fee). However, with respect to any photographs taken, all commercial photographers are required to make attribution to The Tryon Garden Club and Pearson's Falls.

From March through October, the area is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00am-5:15pm. On Sunday, the area is open to the public from 12:00pm-5:15pm. The gates close at 6pm, and all visitors need to depart before the gates close. During these months, Pearson's Falls is closed on Mondays, excepting Memorial Day and Labor Day, wherein the area is open to the public.

From November through February, the area is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00am-4:15pm. On Sunday, the area is open to the public from 12:00pm-4:15pm. The gates close at 5pm. During these months, Pearson's Falls is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The area is also closed to the public on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. In addition, it is closed to the public for the entire month of January.

Visitors to the area are asked to respect the rules of the glen, which are: no pets, no fires, no smoking, and no wading or swimming. The address for Pearson's Falls is 2720 Pearson Falls Road, Saluda, North Carolina, 28773. Anyone interested in obtaining additional information about the area can call 828-749-3031.

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