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A fine guide for your own WV waterfalls expeditions
Rick Hartigan, the photographer/author of West Virginia Waterfalls, is the organizer of the Cincinnati-based Ohio Valley Camera Club and administrator of several nature-related websites. Privately printed in 2017, this reflects his years of travel experience in and around the Mountain State.
This publication contains viii pages of introductory material (table of contents, author’s presentation and preface); 111 pages of text on waterfalls; 11 final pages of useful resources, credits, photography tips and an index.
The entry for each water feature consists of GPS coordinates, clear practical directions which should assist with finding the location, along with sound advice regarding accessibility(i.e. whether the falls or cascade is visible for roadside viewing or requires any hiking for any distance and/or scrambling down hillsides) and, usually, a fine color photo.
Much of the book’s material is drawn from accumulated material to be found on the author’s West Virginia Waterfalls website (http://www.wvwaterfalls.com/index.php), where the reader will find additional falls entries, more images for some locations, and further commentary. It is suggested that the book and the website be consulted together, along with many helpful links to be found at the latter.
As Rick says in the preface, the book’s primary concerns is “about finding and getting to locations” of waterfalls in West Virginia, the “what and the where” rather than photographic information such as lighting situations and camera settings (although this is not infrequently encountered along the way). There are lots of tips about driving through the rough spots. While the author advises that this is not a book concentrating on aspects of taking pictures of the water, the final section on photographic technique for capturing waterfalls is a generally valuable and, again, based on what he has found to be successful and satisfying. Anyone who has traveled with Rick knows that this book is a labor of love based on first-hand experience and that it is produced with his deep passion and enthusiasm for the outdoors in general and water features in particular.
The easygoing and colloquial style of prose is authentically Rick; if you know him and especially if you have traveled with him, you’ll almost be able to hear him speaking this text.
This book is highly recommended as both a useful assistant on the road but is also enjoyable in itself thanks to the superb images. While most of this reviewer’s waterfall expeditions with Rick have been to other areas - in fact, that’s my 2010 photo of him at Spruce Flats in the Smokies on the back cover - one special trip on the road with him to the New River region makes this something of a souvenir. Using this volume as a tour guide – one of its main purposes – will save the reader a lot of wasted time and frustration. I am happy to see Rick’s hard work in West Virginia made available in this book.
A few weekends ago,my husband and I went waterfall chasing around Cabins, WV. We used this amazing book as our guide and had a wonderful "baby moon," since I am now 8 months pregnant! We had to limit some of what we did because of me, but that didn't stop us! It was cold that weekend, but besides fighting some fog, we bundled up and it was perfect. Water levels on all the falls were awesome. We started the day by seeing Elkala Falls near the Blackwater Lodge. It was beautiful. We walked down and saw a view of the second falls, but figured I should probably stop there for now. We then went to Albert Falls, which is a sight to see as well. We walked further down to my personal favorite, Douglas Falls. We climbed down the path through the rocks, so we were basically right beside the water rushing down. It was breath taking! For our next adventure, when I am not pregnant, we plan to walk the lower path as far as we can. There seems to be a TON of waterfalls throughout the walk down to Kennedy. For now though, we walked the road path. Once we got to Kennedy Falls, Jacob went down to look, but this one was too rough for me at the time. I could tell it was beautiful. We went along River Road as well and saw 3 roadside waterfalls that were picture-worthy.
There were a few other things we had planned, but some roads were closed due to weather-we missed the opening by a week or two! We plan to go back often and continue exploring.
This book never left our hands during the trip. We used it as our guide, and then in the evenings we would just look through it for entertainment. The directions are very clear and helpful. The pictures are beautiful. I shared a picture of the book on my Facebook page, because people were asking where we took such beautiful pictures. This book is well worth the purchase, we will use it forever! We can't wait to do more adventuring!
Loved the book! Helped make a lot of photo opportunities happen.
We will carry your book with us on our next WV trip. We have seen a number of waterfalls in WV and look forward to finding more. We love WV.
Savannah from Amazon Purchase
Truly beautiful work. and love the GPS coordinates. If I can't see the waterfalls in person, this is the next best thing!
Excellent West Virginia waterfall guide book!!
Awesome waterfall Guide Book!! Beautiful photos and excellent descriptions, GPS locations and maps!! Well done!! Thank you Rick for your effort to develop a comprehensive West Virginia waterfall book.
If you live in WV and love waterfalls, a must. Over 200 sights. Use GPS coordinates and you are there. First time I used it I just open the car door and I was there.
Jackie H. Buchanan from Amazon Purchase
An excellent book. A must have for anyone looking for a resource for the waterfalls of West Virginia. Clear directions and GPS coordinates. I highly recommend purchasing this book!
"E" from an Amazon Purchase
As an avid waterfaller, I am very pleased with this book. I've taken several trips to West Virginia to visit waterfalls. The directions in this guide are clear and I love having waypoints to use for off-trail hiking. The maps are a great addition and make it easy to plan trips. The beautiful photographs have me planning more trips, particularly as there are several waterfalls in this guide that I missed on my last trips. This is an excellent guide to West Virginia waterfalls.
Thomas "The Badger" Mabry
Badger knows what you Real Waterfall Chasers are thinking ... what would Badger believe is the Next Frontier of Southern Waterfall Chasing? Take a look at Rick Hartigan’s seminal new ”West Virginia Waterfalls” book, which is loaded with just enough information and excellent coverage of Almost Heaven’s falling water to make a waterfaller’s Day. The book is now a prized possession of Badger, and a Must Have for your Library ...