Seven Lesser Known Virginia Waterfalls

by Casey Higgins | Posted on June 12th, 2013

The vast majority of Virginia’s waterfalls are products of mountain streams – mountain streams that are carrying a great deal of water after a good, soaking rain. At the time of this writing, the conditions are perfect for lacing up your hiking boots, grabbing your camera and experiencing a waterfall with someone you love.

We’ve given you waterfall ideas before – those that are beautiful with fall foliage, those that shimmer in winter, and those that are paired up with fantastic hikes. Today we give you even more. Plot them out and head for the hills after a good rain.

Fallingwater Cascades Hiking Trail

Fallingwater Cascades Hiking Trail

Shenandoah National Park has quite a few waterfalls and most are showing off right now. You’ll find several mentioned in the links above, but here are five more we haven’t previously mentioned.

1. Rose River Falls is accessed from MP 49.4 on Skyline Drive. The Rose River Loop Trail is 2.6 miles round trip, but the jewel that awaits is a cascade that has the potential to grow to four cascades with the recent rainfall.  MAP

2. Jones Run Falls can be accessed from MP 84.1. Take Jones Run Trail, a 3.4-mile roundtrip hike, to the 42-foot cascading Jones Run Falls. It’s a serene setting with flat rocks for a time-out. MAP

3. Cedar Run Falls is actually two separate cascades that are accessed from MP 45.5 at Hawksbill Gap Parking. Make it an out-and-back hike if you’re less than enthused about the 8.2-mile strenuous circuit. If a strenuous workout excites you, you’ll be rewarded with the very popular series of falls in Whiteoak Canyon. MAP

4. Lewis Falls is 2.2 miles from the parking lot at MP 51.4. The trail can be considered difficult with a stream crossing and rocky, steep areas, but it leads to an observation point and an 81-foot-high waterfall. MAP

5. Doyles River Falls are two cascades (28′ and 63′) along the Doyles River Trail. Park at MP 81.1 and look for the blue-blazed, moderately difficult trail. It’s 3.2 miles out-and-back to the lower falls (63′) or 2.7 miles for the upper (28′). MAP

The Blue Ridge Parkway has its share of waterfalls. Try these two in Virginia.

1. Apple Orchard Falls is accessed from MP 78.4 at Sunset Fields Overlook, just north of Peaks of Otter. The trail is considered strenuous at a steep 1.4 miles downhill hike (uphill on the way back!), but the 200′ falls are calling …

2. Fallingwater Cascades can be accessed from MP 83.1 and is a moderate 1.6-mile out-and-back trail. It’s also designated a National Recreation Trail - a designation given to existing trails that contribute to health, conservation, and recreation goals in the United States.

A hike for waterfalls is a perfect getaway. Be safe on slippery surfaces, wear sturdy shoes and bring your bug spray.

Check out more great hikes and things to do at Virginia.org/GOM

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