By TMoM Team Member Laura Dydek
Summertime during COVID. This is new territory for all of us and it’s been difficult to find our groove. We love to adventure and try new places but it’s a mess trying to figure out what is open and what exact precautions need to be taken anywhere you go. One place we found that is fun, no matter the pandemic, is Shacktown Falls (Shore-Styers Mill Waterfall) in Yadkinville! Of course, you should maintain social distancing while swimming, but other than that, you’re golden! These falls are beautiful and fun for the whole family.
We heard about these falls from a friend through this website, Triad Moms on Main! We weren’t quite sure what to expect upon arrival, all we had was the address, so I thought it would be helpful to break it down for others who might be curious about this little gem. When you pull up, there is a small parking lot for the falls that holds several cars. Other than that, many people were parking on the sides of the street! We also weren’t sure what kind of “hike” we were getting ourselves into to find the falls, but thankfully we could see the falls from our parked car! The creek is a short walk (my husband estimates 30 yards) down a slightly steep dirt path. There are several trails that go around the falls, so if you are looking for a short hike/walk, you can still do that as well!
We had picked up lunch at Alex’s Grill and Ice Cream on our way and set up a little picnic right next to the falls! There isn’t a ton of room on the paths, but we were able to find a spot out of the way enough that others could get past within a safe distance. It was a beautiful lunch by the water, with the calming waterfalls crashing in the background! We were, however, in the woods next to water, so don’t forget your bug spray! Because the falls are so close to the parking lot, we packed up our picnic and took it back to the car before swimming! Always be sure to clean up after yourself. There is a trash can in the parking area for your convenience.
Swimming in the creek was a blast! Unfortunately, we did not have any water shoes, but I would highly recommend them. There is sand around the trails but once you enter the creek, it gets pretty rocky and slippery. The water around the falls is fairly shallow and we felt comfortable letting our one-year old splash around! Closer to the falls, the water gets a little bit deeper, maybe 3-4 feet at the deepest part. Many people, children and adults alike, enjoyed climbing up and down the falls. They are slippery, so use your best judgement when allowing your children to attempt this! The area is surrounded by trees, so it is partly shaded on the trails but while swimming in the falls, you are in the sunshine. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen! I was worried initially about the falls being too crowded, but there was only ever about 20 people total (coming and going) there the entire 2 hours we stayed. We were there on a weekday, however, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets busier on the weekends!
We had a blast on our little adventure to Shacktown Falls, and I hope this will help you feel more confident in taking your family there for a little dip! There is still a lot of fun to be had in the Triad for summer 2020, and I’m sure we can all do it safely, despite everything COVID throws our way! Happy adventuring, friends!
*Edit* Since writing this blog, we returned to the falls for another trip and found rapids instead! I did not think about it ahead of time, but we had a lot of rain that week and the falls were flooded. Keep in mind, this is a natural water feature and can vary greatly in the depth of the water around the falls as well as the current! If we have had a lot of rain, you may want to hold off from visiting for a few days to let the water die down a bit. Please always be careful and cautious when visiting!
*Please take CDC recommendations and any additional safety precautions when venturing out on this excursion. TMoM is not liable for any accidents or harm.