January 18, 2023
At Waterfall Keepers, we are well aware of how waterfalls can help people overcome issues such as addiction, depression, and anxiety. But I have recently realized how beneficial, even crucial, waterfall visits are for PHYSICAL healing as well.
Last summer, I injured my knee. As a regular hiker, I was disappointed my hiking would have to be put on hold while the knee healed, but I did not anticipate how much I still needed waterfalls.
Despite swimming regularly for exercise, and doing physical therapy exercises, about four months in to my rehab I was in desperate need of a waterfall visit. I began making stops at roadside waterfalls just to take in the sound and that intangible “something” that one gets from being at a waterfall.
Finally, five months or so after my injury, I was at the point where I could manage short hikes on well-maintained trails and so I made a visit to Pearson’s Falls, which is about a quarter-mile walk on a wide, flat trail. I swear, from then on my healing really took off. I was finally able to get that wonderful, peaceful feeling that I was so used to getting with my regular hiking before the injury.
While my regular lap swimming took care of my exercise need, it still left me missing something. Waterfall visits provided that. Now, fifteen months since my injury, I am well on my way back to regular hiking, and even getting back to my favorite type of waterfall visit: off-trail waterfalls!
Brenda Wiley is a Board Member and Treasurer for Waterfall Keepers.