Virginia may not be famend for its waterfalls, however they undoubtedly do exist and they are in various elements of the state. This guide shows one of the best waterfall hikes in Virginia that you’ll want to add to your bucket list.
If you have a favourite Virginia waterfall hike that was left off this listing, please let us know in the feedback section!
Virginia Waterfall Hikes You’ll Love
Virginia has many lovely waterfalls to find. On this list, you will discover a big selection of options, from straightforward to reasonable hikes to waterfalls considered from a lookout point with no hike required.
These waterfalls in Virginia vary from tall to extensive, straight right down to tiered. Several are part of the beautiful Shenandoah National Park, Virginia’s most famous national park.
And when hiking, make certain to convey water and wear proper footwear, as trails could be slippery! We give a list of things to convey at the bottom of the guide!
And a quick tip is to all the time verify the weather before going. Since many of those waterfall hikes in Virginia are positioned within the mountains and western part of the state, you might encounter undesirable weather should you don’t analysis a bit beforehand.
Waterfall hikes in Virginia – on the way in which to Crabtree FallsGreat Falls Park
Address: 9200 Old Dominion Dr, West McLean, Virginia 22102. It is 17 miles from Washington DC (29 minutes) and 114 miles from Richmond (1 hour and 52 minutes).
Official Website: /grfa
Difficulty: Easy. It is less than a 10-minute stroll from the Visitor’s Center.
Great Falls ParkGreat Falls Park is simply a 15-minute drive from Washington, D.C., giving easy access to nature. Great Falls is the place the Potomac River picks up pace and passes through Mather Gorge, flowing over a large expanse of jagged rocks.
The park itself is over 800 acres and offers other nice hiking trails besides just seeing the waterfall. There can be an extended historical past there, as George Washington himself commissioned canals and locks to be constructed so that barges might get via the river.
There are three lookout points, with two being wheelchair accessible. These points are all within a ten-minute stroll from the Visitor Center.
Address: 214 Big Stoney Creek Rd, Fort Blackmore, Virginia 24250. It is 411 miles from Washington DC (6 hours and 26 minutes) and 360 miles from Richmond (5 hours and 33 minutes).
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. It is three.2 miles out-and-back from the car parking zone.
Devil’s Bathtub in VirginiaDevil’s Bathtub is a wonderful pool of water on the backside of a small waterfall. The Devil’s Fork Loop trail winds its means by way of a forest and crosses streams several occasions.
The pool water is cold, however it is positively worth a swim if you dare to jump in. Make sure to wear good shoes, especially as the stream crossings have unfastened stones. Weekdays are the least crowded as it’s a popular weekend spot.
Falls of Dismal
Address: 395 Dismal Creek Rd, Pearisburg, VA 24134. It is 302 miles from Washington DC (4 hours and 47 minutes) and 250 miles from Richmond (3 hours and fifty five minutes).
Difficulty: Easy. It is only a zero.1-mile walk from the tip of the highway, making it accessible to all.
Dismal Falls (or Falls of Dismal) is anything however dismal; its name comes from its source, Dismal Creek.
As it’s a bit off the beaten path, it’s a tranquil and beautiful spot that isn’t overcrowded with vacationers. The falls itself is not a really tall waterfall, only about ten feet, however it stretches across the stream to about 50 toes in width.
Wide stones along the side of the stream make good viewing or picnic spots. There is a primitive campground, Walnut Flats, situated simply up the road that makes an idyllic spot for a quiet tenting journey to benefit from the other activities this space offers, such as the hiking trails, swimming holes, and fly-fishing opportunities.
Dark Hollow Falls
Address: Rose River Trail, Shenandoah National Park, VA 22853. It is one hundred and one miles from Washington DC (2 hours and 17 minutes) and a hundred and ten miles from Richmond (2 hours and 12 minutes).
Difficulty: Moderate. This Virginia waterfall hike is 1.4-mile out-and-back.
Dark Hollow FallsThis beautiful and picturesque waterfall in Virginia is located off of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. It is a popular trail amongst locals for its beautiful scenery.
The trail runs along the stream and ends at a tiered waterfall over 70 ft in peak. It could be steep in some elements and typically slippery, so be certain to wear proper shoes for hiking.
You can enter the trailhead from Big Meadows Area in Shenandoah Park, which has facilities like a Visitor’s Center, campground, lodge, and picnic areas. It’s an ideal place to have a picnic after your scenic hike to the waterfall. If you want a longer hike, you’ll find a way to connect with the Rose River Falls trail.
Rose River Falls
Address: Rose River Trail, Shenandoah National Park, VA 22853. It is 101 miles from Washington DC (2 hours and 17 minutes) and 110 miles from Richmond (2 hours and 12 minutes).
Difficulty: Moderate. This is a 2.6-mile loop hike to get to the waterfall.
Rose River FallsThis lovely hike follows the Rose River virtually the whole approach to the falls, so you have stunning views and calming sounds to accompany your walk.
This trail is slightly bit longer and less popular than Dark Hollow Falls, lending to a slightly more secluded and peaceable hike. There are loads of spots to dip your ft within the stream or swim in the pool at the waterfall.
The trailhead is at Big Meadows Area, off of Skyline Drive. Though beautiful at any time, the easiest time to do that hike is in the spring, as later in the summer there might be much less water flowing. If you wish to do an extended hike, combine this trail with the Dark Hollow Falls trail.
This is definitely one of the most stunning waterfalls in Shenandoah.
Falling Springs Falls
>> UPDATE: This hike is now illegal and fines are given should you try it!
Address: Falling Spring, VA 24445. It is 236 miles from Washington DC (3 hours and forty six minutes) and 184 miles from Richmond (2 hours and 52 minutes).
Difficulty: Easy. There is no hike required and it’s a short distance from the parking lot, making this a really accessible waterfall in Virginia.
Falling Spring FallsThis attractive 80-foot waterfall may be very easily accessible. There is a viewpoint proper off Road 220, with an area to park.
It is a short stroll to see the gorgeous white water cascade nestled in lush greenery. The overlook is a perfect spot to get some nice pictures. This waterfall was even visited by Thomas Jefferson again in the day. He wrote about it in his manuscripts “Notes on the State of Virginia” and called it a “remarkable cascade.”
Note that this Virginia waterfall doesn’t have any hiking access, it’s an overlook point solely.
Address: Crabtree Falls Highway. Montebello, VA 24464. It is 182 miles from Washington DC (3 hours and three minutes) and 126 miles from Richmond (2 hours and seven minutes).
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. The Virginia waterfall hike is a 3-mile loop.
Crabtree FallsThis is the tallest waterfall in Virginia, and one of many tallest east of the Mississippi. In total, it drops 1,200 feet over a half-mile. One section has a waterfall drop of 500 toes straight down.
To get to the falls, you’ll take the Crabtree Falls trail, which follows Crabtree Creek. There are a series of lookouts, bridges, and stairs that give loads of alternatives for spectacular photos.
Address: 2842 Crockett Springs Rd, Shawsville, VA 24162. It is 260 miles from Washington DC (4 hours and 5 minutes) and 208 miles from Richmond (3 hours and 11 minutes).
Difficulty: Moderate. The waterfall hike is four.1-miles out and back.
Stiles FallsStiles Falls trail is an attractive trail resulting in a picturesque 40-foot waterfall, tucked away in a lush forest.
Enjoy your stroll via the timber, crossing Purgatory Creek before you reach the falls. The trail is leashed-dog pleasant, so feel free to bring your pup along!
The property is privately owned however open to public hiking, besides throughout their summer camps. You can examine the net site to ensure they are open if you plan to go.
Falls Ridge Preserve
Address: Falls Ridge Rd, Elliston, VA 24087. It is 250 miles from Washington DC (3 hours and 52 minutes) and 198 miles from Richmond (2 hours and 58 minutes).
Difficulty: Easy. This waterfall hike in Virginia is an easy, 1-mile loop.
Falls Ridge Preserve and its world-famous travertineThis straightforward trail leads you to a captivating, travertine waterfall. Travertine is a tan-colored limestone that is fashioned by mineral deposits. This waterfall is one of the world’s largest uncovered travertine deposits.
You can see the place plants have been calcified by the green streaks within the rocks. The falls cascade down stair steps for about 80 ft in complete. On the way to the falls, you’ll traverse bridges and see undercut rock formations that nearly appear to be caves.
Please notice that when driving to the trailhead, if you finish up almost there, you will need to take a sharp left after you cross the railroad tracks to find the parking lot at the finish of the highway.
Cascade Falls Trailhead
Address: Pembroke, Virginia. It is 287 miles from Washington DC (4 hours and 27 minutes) and 235 miles from Richmond (3 hours and 32 minutes).
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. This is a 4-mile loop hike that’s on a well-trodden path.
Cascade Falls TrailheadCascade Falls Trailhead has all of the elements for an excellent hike: not too troublesome or lengthy, stunning surroundings, well-maintained trails, a wonderful pooling waterfall, and area to have a picnic if you arrive.
Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal on the stone slabs surrounding the pool. There are two connecting trails- an higher and a lower trail. The decrease trail is barely longer but easier, so you can take this one to the falls and the upper one, which is faster, on the way again.
Parking at the trailhead is $3, so make sure to have some money on you.
Statons Creek Falls
Address: Pedlar River Rd, Vesuvius, Virginia 24483. It is 191 miles from Washington DC (3 hours and 19 minutes) and 137 miles from Richmond (2 hours and 19 minutes).
Difficulty: Easy. There is no true hike involved for this waterfall. It has roadside access, making it a fantastic place for all types of travelers, including ones with cell impairments.
This Virginia waterfall is a straightforward one to access however tends to be one of many lesser-known ones within the state. If you’re looking for a nearby hike to a waterfall, you can actually make this a two-sight cease and also visit Panther Falls, a small 10-foot waterfall and swimming hole.
Apple Orchard Falls Trailhead
Address: Blue Ridge Pkwy, Buchanan, VA 24066. It is 260 miles from Washington DC (4 hours and 11 minutes) and 207 miles from Richmond (3 hours and sixteen minutes).
Difficulty: Moderate. This waterfall trail is 2.9 miles lengthy and may be somewhat trafficked relying on the day.
Apple Orchard Falls TrailheadLocated in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, this waterfall hike is nice for households as it is straightforward to moderate in most areas. There are few elements that may be deemed a bit difficult, nevertheless. The trail starts at 3500 feet on the Blue Ridge Parkway close to milepost seventy eight.
There are a couple of trails you probably can take to visit the waterfall, so we suggest trying out the official forest website earlier than embarking on considered one of them to see which one matches your stamina and desires greatest.
What to Bring
Naturally, gown for the season! Summers in Virginia are humid and hot, but if you’re within the forest or in higher elevation, it will most positively be more snug than in the metropolis. Here are some of our prime recommendations of what to tote together with you for your waterfall hike.
Reusable Water Jug:I suggest all the time having a reusable water jug with you at all times. Virginia’s climate is unforgiving and you may dehydrate quickly! There are virtually always freshwater sources available in and around the area (I imply, you’re heading to waterfalls!) however do convey some with you simply in case!
I travel the world with my Klean Kanteen water jug and I think it’s the excellent one to get the job carried out when hiking to waterfalls! You can see the one I use right here.
Falling Spring FallsKeen Targhee Hiking Boots:During Virginia’s hotter months, night storms and rain is more frequent than not and you’ll doubtless experience mud somewhere on your hike.
I even have had my Keen Targhee hiking boots for many years and so they have helped me trek throughout some wild environments, so I undoubtedly recommend investing in a pair if you’re an avid hiker. You can see my Keen Targhee hikers right here.
Mosquito Repellent: One factor I don’t miss once I leave Virginia’s borders is the mosquitoes. But, they’re unavoidable and an entire nuisance when making an attempt to benefit from the outdoors.
I recommend a heavy-duty repellent to place your thoughts at peace earlier than taking to the Virginia wilderness. Here is the mosquito repellent I use to deter them!
Lightweight Daypack: If there’s one thing I truly have too a lot of, it’s daypacks. While I love my Sandqvist and Ucon Acrobatics Bags, I opt for one thing a bit more lightweight when hiking.
My high recommendation is the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack. It is sturdy and well-made and will be an effortless accompaniment for your day hike. Click here to check out color options and purchase.
Larabars: When I journey, I all the time hold some type of ‘bars’ on me and my favorite are Larabars. I even have been eating these for well over a decade and they are good for thrilling day hikes as they are richer and more filling than their size indicates!
You can purchase a spread box or simply buy your favorite. Click here to buy a field of Larabars on your hike.
Before heading out, give the weather a examine to see if rain (or snow) is on the horizon and adapt what you bring accordingly. Also, observe that the grounds will doubtless be slippery always since you’re trekking to a waterfall!
We hope that this information to the most effective waterfall hikes in Virginia has impressed you to get out of the cities and into nature and discover a few of these gems! There are also many Virginia caverns which are located close to these waterfalls, so make a complete weekend of it and join with nature.
Additional Virginia Resources
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