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Valley Rewind: Catawba Falls Trail

Courtesy of Swannanoa Valley Museum  |  Black Mountain News

This early 20th century photograph from the Vella Hendrix Landis Collection of the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center shows a group visiting Catawba Falls. The trail to the falls was originally a pathway used by the Cherokee. By the 1800s, it was used as a stagecoach route to Asheville. The route followed the Catawba River, then a tributary called Chestnut Branch to the Swannanoa Gap. Many visitors today may notice the ruins of a hydroelectric dam along the path to the falls. This dam was developed in the 1920s by Colonel Daniel W. Adams, and was used to provide electricity to the Old Fort area. In 1928, Adams sold the power plant to a small power company. Eventually, Duke Power Co. acquired the property and closed the facility. Have you visited the falls this summer?