The interpretive trail is easy to follow, as it is railed with chain rope. The first sign you will read explains the purpose of the rails of chain: too many tourists have gone off-trail and trampled the delicate forest-floor ecosystem. Many have climbed the fragile trees that lean over the creek, wearing away the bark and leaving exposed, unprotected wood. Some visitors have even climbed the canyon walls, eradicating rare plants that cling there. In an effort to preserve this beautifully unique niche, it has become essential to confine visitors to the trail.
The path shadows Reinecker Creek, crossing it about three times before reaching the falls. Of course, the water level varies significantly depending on the time of year, but the constant seems to be a slow, easy flow. Considering the noise and heartfelt pounding of the falls a short distance away, the leisurely passage of the stream fails to prepare you for what lies ahead.
As mentioned, the trees in this canyon are enormous. Several have fallen, yet even uprooted they insist on living; they lean on the canyon walls like huge ramps up to the rim. Most are towering, broad suppliers of abundant shade, rendering the stroll cool and dank, yet refreshing.
At the end of this short, fascinating journey, the trail becomes a wooden platform, soaked from the constant spray of Margaret Falls. Be careful your camera doesn’t get wet, and more importantly, watch your footing on the slippery planks.