Blue Suck Falls in Bath County in Douthat State Park
Hiking to Blue Suck Falls can be a frustrating experience if you hoped to film a bone-crushing waterfall! Rather, focus on the journey and you will thoroughly enjoy the hiking and scenery in a wonderful State Park.
I’ve not seen much water at Blue Suck Falls but some online photos do show a very beautiful waterfall (cascade really) in flood.
There are several ways to reach the Falls from down at Douthat Road. I will describe a combination of trails that makes for a full day of hiking but with splendid views and two waterfalls!
This loop trail is just over 9 miles long and steep in places.
In Douthat State Park we will combine the Stony Run, Tuscarora Overlook and Blue Suck Falls Trails. Park at the Stony Run Trailhead.
Crab Orchard Branch Falls is part of the wonderful Guest River Gorge Trail – 5.8 miles of paved trail for biking and walking/hiking!
Crab Orchard Branch is a creek that meets the Guest River at 1.8 miles and the Falls are just a short scramble upstream.
While the trail is wonderfully maintained please know you will hike downhill and returning will be a bit tougher so don’t overdo things!
From US 58 Alternate, head south on State Route 72 near Coeburn. Travel for 2.3 miles on this curvy, two-lane road. You will pass the Flatwoods Picnic Area on your right, and very soon afterward, you will reach a sign for the Guest River Gorge on your left. Turn left onto this paved road, which is Forest Road 2477, and drive for 1.4 miles until you reach the parking lot. The trailhead is marked with a kiosk at the edge of the parking area.
Better known as a water source for Appalachian Trail hikers, Comers Creek Falls can be quite a sight after heavy rains! Like most Virginia waterfalls, it more of a cascade than a pure waterfall.
Fortunately, it does not require miles of hiking to experience it! In fact, the waterfall is just 0.4 miles from where you parked! And you get to walk a very short section of the famous Appalachian Trail!
Head west out of Troutdale on Route 16 and turn left on CR 741. After 0.45 miles look for a place to pull over. There are no parking areas here. Just make sure you do not block gates or roads or anything.
The trail is on your right next to Comers Creek. It is a little steep in places. You will walk for about 0.3 miles to reach the Appalachian Trail then turn right and the Falls appear on your right soon after!
Chestnut Creek Falls in New River Trail State Park – Carroll County
Not much of a waterfall in terms of height, but the location of Chestnut Creek Falls makes it a very worthwhile destination!
Chestnut Creek Falls is part of the New River Trail – a 57-mile linear State Park that follows an abandoned railroad. It parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles and passes through four counties and the city of Galax. The trail’s flat profile makes it great for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
The nearest parking is where Iron Ridge Road (607) crosses Chestnut Creek next to the Trail. The town of Fries is nearby. Being a State Park, there is a pay kiosk for parking ($5 in 2018).
Grayson Highlands State Park in Grayson County is home to at least 3 smaller waterfalls with Lower Cabin Creek being the most photogenic.
The Lower Cabin Creek Trail is a moderate 1.9 mile loop hike with the Lower Cabin Creek Falls as its main attraction. The Upper Cabin Creek Falls is not visible unless the Creek is flowing very hard.
Further to the east, the Wilson Creek Trail is a completely different matter! The 2.1 mile loop is a rough trail and steep with several options to enhance the hike. While the complete loop is best suited for serious hikers, everone can make it down to the Creek to fish and walk around.
There are several waterfalls along Wilson Creek but these look much better after heavy rains! The main waterfall is really a large cascade but it can be powerfull when the Creek is up.
Both trails are reached from inside the State Park (entrance fee).
For Cabin Creek drive up to the Massie Gap parking area. It is best to hike clockwise once you reach the junction after 0.2 miles. Lower Cabin Creek Falls are at 0.75 miles. The Upper Falls are at mile 1.1
For Wilson Creek, drive east towards the Hickory Ridge Campground and park near the Country Store. Waterfall lovers not afraid of rough trails should hike the anti-clockwise loop – basically following the Creek upstream. The Falls are at 0.95 miles.
For a somewhat easier hike, you can do an out-and-back along Orchard Road.
Lands Run Falls in Shenandoah National Park – Warren County
Lands Run Falls is a great little leg-stretcher hike not far for the northern entrance to Shenandoah National Park. It is only 0.6 miles to the Falls with a gentle profile.
BUT – the Falls require a bit of bushwhacking and it is very steep next to the creek. Use caution.
Most folks do not know about this waterfall and in summer it is a tiny trickle so do plan to visit after heavy rains!
Park at the Lands Run parking area at mile 9.2 then follow the fire road down until you cross Lands Run. You are now at the top of the Falls.
At that point retrace your steps a few yards and turn downhill. The creek should be on your left as you scramble down. Soon you will hear and see the Lands Run Falls then it is time to be extra careful!
Overall Run Falls in Shenandoah National Park – Warren County
At 93 feet, Overall Run Falls is the highest in Shenandoah National Park but also the most frustrating to visit and photograph!
We all want beautiful photos of this waterfall but the Park Services seemingly do not want to clear a few obstructive trees! Whatever their reasons, it is a shame because it could have been an incredible reward after such a long and steep hike to get there.
I hiked to the Falls from both the top and bottom parking areas and the easiest way is from the camping area at Mathews Arm. If you do not want to camp then the hike from the bottom is more scenic. Most visitors, however, park at Mile 21.1 and hike down.
The base of Overall Run Falls looks impossible to reach but it is actually not that hard! Just follow the directions below.
The top parking area is at Mile 21.1 near Hogback Overlook.
The bottom parking area is a small turnout at the end of CR630 near Bentonville. Do not block any entrances! Please find it on my map. Then follow the road into the Park where you will trail markers.
From Mathews Arm camping area just look for the Mathews Arm Trail. You can park in the Amphitheater parking lot if the roads are open.
There are two waterfalls of note. The first is called Twin Falls and you can see it after 2.7 miles when hiking from Skyline Drive.
The Overlook for Overall Run Falls is at about 3 miles.
To reach the base, continue down to mile 3.3 where you will find a camping area. Behind the camp site, bushwhack down to Overall Run Creek and up to the base just a short distance away. It is not a difficult bushwhack.
If you hike from the bottom parking area, there is a very popular swim hole at mile 1.
You will coss Overall Run twice on your way uphill. If these crossings are dry as shown in the ohotos below, you can expect Overall Run Falls to be just a trickle unfortunately!
This is the profile for the most popular route from Skyline Drive to the Overlook
To hike the complete 7.9 mile loop, I suggest to park in the lower lot then hike anti-clockwise – start uphill in Whiteoak Canyon, cut across using the fire road and descend on the Cedar Run Trail. This is a VERY CHALLENGING hike.
Most Park visitors just park at mile 42.6 and hike down Whiteoak Canyon and back up! It is 2.3 miles to the first waterfall – Whiteoak Canyon Waterfall #! It is 4.4 miles all the way down to waterfall #7 (including all the bushwhacking). This means you have a very steep – making this a 8.8 mile return hike!
Whiteoak Canyon Falls #1 (the topmost waterfall) is 2.3 miles from the top parking area. There is an overlook where you get a limited view of the Falls from a distance. Most folks turn around there. DO NOT!
Continue down the trail for a short distance until you reach the creek. Then bushwhack upstream untl you reach the base of Whiteoak Canyon Waterfall #1.
On high water days you can hear #2 from the trail but it cannot be seen.
From the base of #1, return to the trail and hike about 0.5 miles until the trail returns to the creek. At that point, turn right and bushwack upstream to the base of Waterfall #2.
Return to the trail then hike 0.2 miles where you will hear and see Waterfall #3 from the trail at a small clearing high above it. Honestly this may be the best view of #3 if the creek runs high and fast because it will be near impossible to make it to the base!
Nevertheless, to get to the base hike down the trail a short distance until you reach the creek then bushwhack upstream. Please know the creek is narrow near the base with high rocks and the shear force of the water and spray over the Falls will soak your camera! This will work much better when flow is low.
Let’s continue down to Waterfall #6 which is right next to the trail and a very popular swimming hole for locals hiking up from the lower parking area.
#6 is a beautiful split waterfall – the prettiest in Whiteoak Canyon.
Then look for a small trail to the right leading to the top of the falls. Scramble up there then continue to bushwhack until you reach Waterfall #5!
But you are not done yet! Cross the creek and scramble up the steep bank to the top of #5 and you will see Waterfall #4 reveal itself just a short scramble away!
Back on the trail walk down just a few steps and you will see Tim’s Creek coming in from the left. Cross the creek and turn left. Scramble up the bank and bushwhack upstream until you reach Tim’s Creek Falls (Waterfall #7)