Sometimes the best view of the foliage is beneath the canopy. Take to the trails this fall to see the leaves up close and personal.
1. If you have all day, the hike from the South River Picnic Area off Skyline Drive at milepost 62.8 to South River Falls might be the one for you. It’s 8.5 miles ’round trip with cool stuff along the way, like ruins, a cemetery, and of course, the waterfall. I need not tell you that a camera is pretty much mandatory.
2. Speaking of waterfalls, a three-mile hike along Crabtree Falls Trail will lead you to the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi – 1,200 feet by way of five major cascades and several smaller ones. It’s a site that’s worth the hike in Nelson County.
3. Down in the Blue Ridge Highlands where the Hokies play and the recreational opportunities are abundant, you’ll find Cascades National Recreation Trail – a two-mile hike that leads to the 66-foot Cascade Falls. The water drops dramatically into a natural pool. Keep that in mind for the warmer months.
4. Shenandoah National Park boasts several waterfalls, but the highest of them is Overall Run Falls at 93 feet. The fall and spring are perfect times to visit, as you perch along the rock ledges and enjoy the view of the rushing water. The hike is 6.4 miles, all said, and is a moderate to difficult hike.
5. Falling Spring in Alleghany County is visible from the road and an overlook provides information and a great view for photos. The spring waters keep this fall going year ’round, and its 80-foot drop is quite spectacular. So while not a hike, it’s a not-to-be-missed wonder, especially during autumn with stunning mountain foliage all around.
For more amazing hiking suggestions, see Virginia.org/Fall/FallHikingBikingGetaways.