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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is there an entrance fee?
    Since 1931 the Tryon Garden Club has owned and maintained this private 268-acre botanical preserve. Entrance fees and tax deductable donations help to preserve this sanctuary for future generations. The Tryon Garden Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Club employs a full-time Operations Manager and Part-Time Gatekeeper who maintain the trails and educational garden. TGC members volunteer at the ticket booth when necessary, as docents on guided walks and work on special projects at Pearson’s Falls.
  • Why aren't dogs allowed on the property?
    Because Pearson's Falls Glen is a private botanical preserve, only trained Service Dogs are allowed. There are a number of alternatives in the area, including Harmon Field, Melrose Falls and Carl Sandburg National Historic Site.
  • Why is this place called Pearson’s Falls?
    The property at one time was owned by the Pearson family. The Tryon Garden Club purchased Pearson’s Falls and Glen in 1931.
  • What are the two buildings on the property?
    The first building is the Ellen Holt Cottage and is the private residence of the Pearson's Falls Operations Manager. The second building is the Garden House and is used for meetings and classes. Local Garden Clubs and horticultural groups may meet one time each year for free in the Garden House.
  • What is the source of the water for the Falls?
    The water is from natural springs that are located on the Paul Rhodes family farm and Orchard Lake that flow into Colt Creek.
  • Who is Ethel Chase and why does she have a bridge?
    Ethel Chase was a former member of the Tryon Garden Club. The Chase Crossing Bridge was constructed and dedicated in her memory by her family. For decades numerous wooden bridges and a steel-girded bridge were installed but were destroyed due to severe storm damage. In 1981 the dedication of the Ethel Chase Bridge celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Tryon Garden Club’s ownership and stewardship of Pearson’s Falls and Glen.
  • How tall are the Falls?
    The Falls are 90 feet tall.
  • Why is the creek called Colt Creek?
    The grandfather of Paul Rhodes was a circuit-riding minister who raised white horses. The Colt Creek area served as a weaning pasture for the horses.
  • Does Colt Creek flow into the Atlantic Ocean?
    Colt Creek flows into the North Pacolet River that flows into South Carolina. The North and South Pacolet River converge in Spartanburg County, SC and become the Pacolet River. The Pacolet River flows through Lakes Blalock and Bowen and joins the Broad River. The Broad River flows into the Congaree River (below Columbia) that flows into Lakes Marion and Moultrie, flowing out as the Santee River that flows into the Atlantic Ocean, just south of Cat Island.
  • What is the small dam or concrete structure in Colt Creek?
    This structure is referred to as a raw water gravity feed which serves as an alternative water source for the Town of Tryon’s water plant. Water rights were acquired by Tryon in 1926 and the dam was installed in 1957.
  • Are all the wildflowers native to the glen?
    No. Oconee Bells were planted by Donald C. Peattie. There is a Trillium Luteum (yellow) that was planted near the Ellen Holt Cottage. We also have some invasive exotics such as non-native bittersweet – planted by birds or wind.
  • Why do I have to stay on the trails?
    Basically, for safety reasons. The rocks in Colt Creek are slippery and accidents may happen if people climb on them, and there are copperhead snakes and other snakes in the water. We also want to protect the wild flowers growing along the sides of the trails.
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