We got an early start and turned confidently up the road leading, I thought, to the place but after driving a bit decided it was not the right way. After a few more false starts we asked directions from a state roads worker--who would know better, right?--and soon we were there.
What is Greenland Gap? It's exactly what it says, a gap cut through the mountains by Patterson Creek. During the Civil War it was the site of a battle between Union and Confederate troops; the small 87-man Union unit held off 1500 Confederates for four hours before surrendering. It is easy to see how they could have done so because the opening between the rocky cliffs is so narrow it would have been pretty easy to defend. (The defenders, who were holed up in a church and a cabin, were eventually burned out and that ended the conflict.)
There are two hiking trails in the gap but we were not equipped, and probably not in the physical shape, required to tackle them. The trails lead to the top of the towering cliffs on either side; jumbled rockfalls litter the sides of the cliffs and the going is pretty tricky, so I hear. There are some Canadian plants growing in the area, and I have heard reports of eagle sightings although I do not know if those are verified or if vultures who hang out here were mistaken for the more stately bird.
I hated to leave but we had miles to go before reaching home. We'll be back, though--it will be part of our visits to our son's house, we decided. Some places are just worth seeing again and again. Greenland Gap is one of those places.
You can see a video made by WCHS-TV about Greenland Gap, and hear the waterfall for yourself by clicking here.