Chambers Ridge Falls in Rockbridge County, Virginia
Chambers Ridge Falls is another Virginia waterfall that no-one seems to know about! We asked and even local fishermen told us they were not aware of a waterfall on the north side of Goshen Pass!
But we persisted and with the Virginia Atlas and Gazetteer in hand we studied the creeks in the Goshen area west of Lexington. There appeared to be the potential for at least two waterfalls in the area so we hopped in the Jeep and drove out on SR-39.
What a day we had! We discovered Lauren Run Falls (see our description) and then we found Chambers Ridge Falls with not a single other soul in sight, except for a few kayakers on the Maury River!
IMPORTANT – We believe this is a WMA (Wildlife Management Area) and you need to buy an access permit. To be safe, we buy annual permits for $23 or so – see this DGIF site.
From Lexington, drive west on SR-39 towards Goshen. The parking area (on your right) is exactly 15.4 miles from the Super 8 where you turn from Rte 11 onto SR-39.
White Rock Falls is one of the “secrets” along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia! Most visitors will stop briefly at the Slacks Overlook then continue their journey not knowing there is a scenic waterfall just down the hill!
White Rock Falls do dry to a trickle in mid-summer so it is best to visit after rains or earlier in early Spring. In the heat of summer you can wade in the cool waters below the Falls!
The 2 mile (return) trail is well-maintained with a gentle slope so we rate it an easy hike. Be aware you will hike along a cliff-face near the Falls so keep an eye on the kids!
Park at “The Slacks” Overlook at mile 19.9 along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
You have to cross the Parkway and look for the trailhead slightly to your left.
It is about 1 mile down to the base of the Falls but about halfway down you can explore White Rock Creek to the top of the Falls.
To reach the base, you continue along the trail (slightly uphill at first then down) and circle a high cliff. It is here where you need to watch young children. The last short stretch is steep and slippery at times!
You will find several little waterfalls up and down the Creek so do plan to stay a while and explore.
Crabtree Falls has the highest cascading vertical drop east of the Mississippi! At 1200 feet it is impossible to photograph as a whole but apparently no-one cares – it is one of most popular waterfalls in Virginia!
Other waterfalls may be more scenic but the challenge of hiking Crabtree Creek all the way to the top viewing platform (and beyond) is irresistable!
Please note – there is a $3 per vehicle parking fee.
Most folks park in the lower parking lot just off VA-56 east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. You will hike uphill to see the Falls but the return hike is downhill! Please have $3 in cash ready to pay per vehicle.
To avoid the crowds (to some degree) you can choose to park in the upper lot then hike down. This means taking a right turn off VA-56 onto a bumpy dirt road (see our map please).
There are 5 areas of interest. The Lower Falls is just a short distance from the parking area along a flat paved walkway accessible to wheel chairs and strollers.
Then you hike uphill on a clearly marked but steep trail with wooden steps and mileage markers.
Several viewpoints alow you to view the Lower Mid Falls, the Upper Mid Falls and the Upper Falls. Then at the top is a Viewing Platform (no waterfall views – it is a vista of the mountains).
It is 2.8 miles between the lower and upper parking lots. You will see all the cascades in the first 1.4 miles. The viewing platform at the top of the cascades is at 1.7 miles – meaning 3.4 miles return.
Fallingwater Cascades along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Botetourt County, Virginia
Fallingwater Cascades is one of the epic waterfall hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.
With a clearly marked trail and an option to do a loop hike, this is one of our favorite short getways. After the hike you can continue to hike up Flat Top Mountain or you can drive around the corner to relax at the Peaks of Otter!
In the Peaks of Otter area at mile 83.1 park in the large Fallingwater Cascade lot then walk left to pick up the trail.
You can also follow the crowds to the right but we much prefer the clockwise loop hike; approaching waterfalls from the base then follow it upstream is our thing!
The loop hike is 1.35 miles. You can do a shorter hike if you go right down to the first cascade and back.
The trail is well-mainained but it gets steep around the cascades as can be expected. At the base of the Cascades is a bridge so you will not get your feet wet when crossing!
In the map below you see a second parking area. This is the trailhead for Flat Top Mountain. If you plan to also hike to the summit we suggest you park here then hike down to the Cascades and loop back (clockwise).
Wigwam Falls barely qualifies as a waterfall – it is a small cascade – but worth a visit when you are traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The main attraction at this stop (officially called Yankee Horse Ridge Parking Area) is the short reconstruction of a narrow gauge railroad track. In the early 1900’s the Blue Ridge was logged to the ground and a network of railroads were built.
You can walk the short 0.2 mile loop trail to view the tracks and to see Wigwam Falls at the far end.
At mile 34.4 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, park in the small pullout (Yankee Horse Ridge).
Panther Falls is a very popular local swimming hole on the Pedlar River near Buena Vista. The waterfall is only 10-feet high but the surrounding rocks provide two perfect jumping-off platforms.
Despite the popularity and not unlike many other waterfalls, its location is somewhat of a challenge for visitors new to the area. We were surprised that accurate directions were a bit difficult to obtain!
You can approach Panther Falls from several directions but let’s drive south along the Blue Ridge Parkway. At mile 45.6 turn east on US-60 then turn right on Panther Falls Road after 0.3 miles.
Follow the unpaved Panther Falls Road for 3.1 miles to a parking area.
Statons Creek Falls is a really pretty cascade that is impossible to photograph in whole. It is also quite dangerous to scramble down the rocks so we recommend you just focus on the higher cascade near the road.
Statons Creek is a roadside waterfall – easy to access but parking is limited.
There are many ways to get there but we focus on access from the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.
Driving south, turn left onto US-60 at mile 45.6. Drive 3.6 miles then turn left on CR-605 (Pedlar River Rd). After 2 miles turn right onto Fiddlers Green Way (CR 633). After 1 mile look for water on the left next to the road. The parking area is to the right just a short distance away.
Just walk on the rocks a short distance to see the upper cascade.
Apple Orchard Falls is one of more scenic waterfalls along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia! Listed at 200 feet it is higher than it looks and well worth the effort especially when the water levels are flowing higher.
Be aware it is a steep 2.7 mile return hike! Give yourself enough time and pack plenty of water. The slide show below will give you an indication of the steepness and trail condition.
There are several ways to reach Apple Orchard Falls. If you have a high-clearance vehicle (4WD preferred) you can park a short distance downstream and hike up. You can also hike up from the North Creek Camping area.
Most folks, however, hike from the Blue Ridge Parkway so let’s focus on this 1.35 mile trail to the Falls and back up for a total of 2.7 miles.
As one of the most popular waterfalls in Virginia, the 66-foot Cascade Falls is visited by more than 150,000 people every year! It is not uncommon to arrive on a weekend only to find no parking except downtown in Pembroke where shuttle buses ($3 per person at last check) take hikers to the trailhead.
The main trail is a 4 mile loop – the idea is to hike up to the Cascade Falls on the Lower Trail along Little Stony Creek and to return via the Upper trail on the opposite side.
However, we prefer an alternate trail in order to avoid most of the crowds! This trail takes in Barney’s Wall (a scenic viewpoint), a second waterfall called Upper Cascade Falls and the main Cascade Falls. You can also drive further to the summit of Butt Mountain for more views! NOTE – A 4WD vehicle is required.
The Standard Trail – Find your way to the town of Pembroke along US-460 from Blacksburg. Turn right on Cascade Dr and enter the parking area after 3.3 miles. Entrance fees are $3 per vehicle. Start the trail at the far end of the parking lot and cross the bridge to the Lower Trail. After viewing the Falls you can continue up to the Upper Falls and/or return via the Upper Trail.
The Barney’s Wall Trail – From US-460 turn right on Doe Creek Rd. After 3.8 miles turn left on Little Meadow Rd and drive 5.5 miles uphill (bad road) to the small parking area for Barney’s Wall. It is 0.7 miles to the Barney’s Wall viewpoint – an easy hike. Retrace your steps then continue down for 1.6 miles to the Upper Cascade Falls and 0.6 miles further down to the main Cascades Falls. Total is 4.7 miles. After the hike you can drive further up the mountain to the summit of Butt Mountain. Note – a high-clearance 4WD vehicle is required for this trailhead but the rewards are worth it!
Falls of Tumbling Creek near Saltville in Smyth County, Virginia
The Falls of Tumbling Creek are high on our list of must-see nature destinations in Virginia. And the best part? You can drive right up to these waterfalls – all it takes is some adventurous driving on a steep, curvy and bumpy country road.
When the Creek is flowing hard waterfalls are seemingly everywhere! In fact, you really need additional pairs of eyes – the driver must focus on the narrow road while passengers look for photogenic cascades and waterfalls.
There are several pullouts along the way but photographers must share these with local fishermen; Tumbling Creek is a very popular trout fishing stream.
From Saltville, drive north on Allison Gap Road then turn left onto Poor Valley Road (613). Turn right on Tumbling Creek Road (747) then follow it for 7 miles or so all the way to Laurel Bed Lake.
After major rains a high clearance 4WD will be best but on most days any vehicle will work.
The three major waterfalls are above the steep switchback section of the road and before the left turn to the lake. In that short section you will find Twin Falls, Big Falls and Upper Falls along with several other smaller cascades.