Lower Shamokin Falls in Virginia

Lower Shamokin Main Falls

Lower Shamokin Falls in Nelson County, Virginia

The 1.8 mile trail to Lower Shamokin Falls is one of our favorites, yet you will find very little information about it online!

The trailhead is easy to find at the end of a paved road (only 50 yards of gravel road), the trail is clearly marked and not steep and you can spend days trying to photograph all the waterfalls and water scenery along the way. Once you reach the main waterfalls there are at least 3 big ones to explore.

Scrambling (a short bushwack) is involved to reach the main falls, however.

Please watch the slide show below!

NOTE – If you are a visitor at Wintergreen Resort you can visit Upper Shamokin Falls then walk down the fire road to reach Lower Shamokin Falls BUT it is a boring walk. It is much more scenic to hike from the bottom as described here.

Directions

Drive south past the town of Nellysford on Nelson 151. Turn right on Old Stoney Creek Road (CR751) and follow the tarmac road for 2.1 miles to the small parking area at the trailhead. Please do not block the gate!

See our Map of Virginia Waterfalls for clear directions.

Walk past the gate and follow the road up to the power station then look for a footbridge (behind the building) to cross Stoney Creek. Walk around another gate.

Continue to follow the 4×4 road uphill to mile 1.25 (from the parking area)  – a sign on the left for Lower Shamokin Falls.  The road continues upwards towards Wintergreen Resort so do not miss the sign! From here the trail flattens out and you will reach the Falls after 0.6 miles.

Lower Shamokin Falls
Lower Shamokin Falls (just another waterfall below the Main Falls)

To reach the main Lower Shamokin Falls, cross the creek just below the large waterfall where the trail stops. Scramble up the hill to the top of this waterfall then you will see the main waterfall a bit further upstream.

Lower Shamokin Falls
Lower Shamokin Falls (cross the creek here)

Photography here is difficult due to debris but the Falls are beautiful!

Trail Map

Trail Map- Lower Shamokin Falls
Trail Map- Lower Shamokin Falls (click to enlarge)

Trail Profile

Lower Shamokin Trail Profile
Lower Shamokin Falls – Trail Profile

Slide Show

 

Overall Run Falls in Virginia

Overall Run Falls Overlook

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.

Overall Run Falls Base
Overall Run Falls Base

Directions

Please study my Virginia Waterfall Map for accurate locations.

The top parking area is at Mile 21.1 near Hogback Overlook.

Overall Run - Top Parking
Overall Run – Top Parking

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.

Overall Run - Lower Parking
Overall Run – Lower Parking (room for 10 or so vehicles)

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.

Trail Map

Trail Map - Overall Run Falls
Trail Map – Overall Run Falls (click to enlarge)

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.

Overall Run Falls Overlook
Overall Run Falls Overlook (falls on the left)

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.

Overall Run - Swim Hole
Overall Run – Swim Hole

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!

Overall Run - Crossing 1
Overall Run – Crossing 1
Overall Run - Crossing 2
Overall Run – Crossing 2

Trail Profile

This is the profile for the most popular route from Skyline Drive to the Overlook

Profile - Overall Run From Skyline
Profile – Overall Run From Skyline (click to enlarge)

 

Riprap Falls in Virginia

RipRap Falls

Riprap Falls in Shenandoah National Park – Augusta County, Virginia

Looking for a long, challenging hike with waterfalls, swimming holes, mountain vistas and wilderness? Then Riprap Falls should be on your list!

You can do an easier short hike up to Riprap and the swimming hole from a parking area in the valley but not today! Instead, let’s drive up to Shenandoah National Park and take the long trail down and back up!

For the best waterfall opportunities go when Meadow Run is flowing nicely – meaning after a rainy period.  The swimming hole is good even when the creeks are dry in summer.

You can do this hike in several ways but we prefer the 9.2 mile loop – combining the Riprap Trail, Wildcat Ridge Trail and Appalachian Trail.

This is wilderness hiking (a rough trail) and more secluded than many other trails in Shenandoah so please read of post about Hiking Safety.

Directions

Please look at our Virginia Waterfall Map for precise locations.

Since it is a long and steep 9.2 mile hike, it is best to get an early start! In Shenandoah NP, park at mile 90 in the small parking lot for the Riprap Trail.

The Trail

It is best to hike anti-clockwise in our opinion so you can catch the scenic views in the early morning.

Map - Riprap Falls
Trail Map – Riprap Falls (click to enlarge)

As you start on the trail, turn right and follow the Appalachian Trail (White-blazed) for about 0.35 miles then turn left on the Blue-blazed Riprap Trail.

Riprap Trail Sign
Riprap Trail Sign

At the 1 mile mark you will get a great view of the valley below. There are even better views at 1.3 miles (Calvary Rock) and 1.5 miles (Chimney Rock).

Chimney Rock Views

The trail will now head downhill rather steeply. At around 3 miles you will hear water to your left as Meadow Run comes into view. You will now follow the stream all the way until you head uphill again.

Riprap Falls begins at 3.15 miles and is a series of cascades. You can bushwack downstream to find your perfect scene but our photo was taken from the trail!

At 3.3 miles you will cross Meadow Run and shortly after the swimming hole appears to your left!

Meadow Run Crossing #1
Meadow Run Crossing #1
Riprap Swim Hole
Riprap Swim Hole

After crossing back over Meadow Run at 3.5 miles your next goal is to find the trail leading you back up the mountain!

Meadow Run Crossing #2
Meadow Run Crossing #2

At 4.1 miles the Wildcat Ridge Trail appears suddenly and you may miss it if not attentive.

Turn left, cross Meadow Run and begin the long and steady climb.

Meadow Run Crossing #3
Meadow Run Crossing #3

You are now in deep woods and there won’t be any views until high up along the trail.

Wildcat Ridge Trail Views
Wildcat Ridge Trail Views

At 6.5 miles you will reach the Appalachian Trail. Turn left and hike north for 2.7 miles back to your vehicle.

Trail Profile

 

Riprap Trail Profile
Riprap Trail Profile (click to enlarge)

Lace Falls in Virginia

Lace Falls

Lace Falls in Natural Bridge State Park – Rockbridge County

Lace Falls is a wonderful surprise at the end of the Cedar Creek Trail in Natural Bridge State Park! What makes the 30-feet cascade even more special is the path; it is accessible to all!

But be warned – the start of the trail is down a long and steep flight of stairs. There is scheduled transportation down to the Natural Bridge if you do not want to tackle this steep section on foot!

Along the 1.1 mile trail there is a cafe, the stunning 215-feet tall Natural Bridge, a recreation of a Monacan Village, a cave and other interesting stops!

And then there is the romantic Natural Bridge Hotel!

Natural Bridge Hotel
Natural Bridge Hotel

Directions

Take Rte 11 to the Visitor Center across the road from the Natural Bridge Hotel.

Please look at my Virginia Waterfalls Map for accurate locations.

After paying the entrance fee, proceed down to the Trail. Do stop to look at the limestone cascade to your left as you reach the bottom.

Limestone Cascade
Limestone Cascade

Then proceed to your right past the Cafe.

Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge
Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek
Saltpeter Cave
Saltpeter Cave
Monacan Village
Monacan Village
Lost Cave
Lost Cave

Trail Map

Trail Map - Lace Falls
Trail Map – Lace Falls (Click to enlarge)

Falling Spring Falls in Virginia

Falling Spring Falls

Falling Spring Falls in Alleghany County, Virginia

Here it is, the most beautiful roadside waterfall in Virginia and a must-see for any waterfall-loving visitor to the Commonwealth!

About 8 miles north of Covington, the unassuming Falling Spring Creek flows south through farmland and rolling hills and crosses underneath busy US-220. Then suddenly it meets a mighty rock face and the stream becomes a towering waterfall tumbling 80 feet into the valley below!

It is a breathtaking sight – even Thomas Jefferson wrote about the Falls in 1781!

Unfortunately the Falls were moved in 1941 as part of a mining operation! It used to be much higher and wider!

Directions

From near the Pizza Hut in Covington drive north on 220 for about 8.4 miles. If you somehow did not see the Falls on your left when you reach Falls Road (640), turn around – you just missed it!

Please study our Virginia Waterfall Map for the exact location.

There is a small parking area with some information about the Falls as well as a couple of walking trails to the Creek near the top of the Falls as well as the main viewing point next to 220.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation do not want visitors to scramble down to the base of the Falls. We did not but we see folks down at the base all the time despite the fencing. Visit at your own risk!

Trail Map

Map - Falling Spring Falls
Map – Falling Spring Falls (click to enlarge)

Dark Hollow Falls in Virginia

Dark Hollow Falls

Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park – Madison County

Dark Hollow Falls is one of the shortest waterfall trails in Shenandoah but be prepared for a steep return hike!

At 70 ft it is one of the higher waterfalls in Shenandoah and very visible from two viewing areas.

At 0.55 miles you can view the falls from an observation point but it is most rewarding to continue down the steep and sometimes slippery trail to the base of the falls at 0.72 miles.

Dark Hollow Falls is practically across the road from the Big Meadows tourist area and the parking lot fills early on busy days.

Dark Hollow Falls - Fall
Dark Hollow Falls – Fall View!

Directions

Park at the Dark Hollow Falls parking area at mile 50.7. Please study my Virginia Waterfall Map for precise locations.

Dark Hollow Falls - Parking
Dark Hollow Falls – Parking

You will immediately cross Hogcamp Branch creek and stay on the left bank all the way down until it drains into the Rose River.

Continue on the left bank of the Rose River until the observation point and then down to the base of the falls.

It is a 1.44 mile return hike.

Dark Hollow Falls - Observation Point View
Dark Hollow Falls – Observation Point View

Trail Map

Trail Map - Dark Hollow Falls
Trail Map – Dark Hollow Falls (click to enlarge)

Trail Profile

Profile - Dark Hollow Falls
Profile – Dark Hollow Falls

Overstreet Creek Falls in Virginia

Overstreet Creek Falls - Virginia

Overstreet Creek Falls is a pretty roadside waterfall just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford County, Virginia.

It is virtually unknown which is a good thing because there is parking for one maybe two vehicles only and the waterfall is at a turn in the road. Please drive slowly when approaching the turn because folks may be walking there.

Directions

To find Overstreet Creek Falls, drive north or south along the Parkway just north of Peaks of Otter. At mile 80.2, turn south onto Overstreet Creek Road (CR-765) – a dirt road. There is a gate but I’ve not seen it closed. If closed you have to park there and walk down the road to the Falls (1.78 miles). Or you can turn around and drive up CR-765 from the Bedford area – a long detour!

Study our Google Map for the exact location.

I always recommend a high-clearance 4WD vehicle when driving the unpaved mountain roads near the Blue Ridge. It is possible to drive down this winding road in a standard vehicle but avoid rainy days and take it slow.

Overstreet Creek Falls - Virginia
Overstreet Creek Falls – Virginia (click to enlarge)

Trail Map

Map-Overstreet Falls-3D
Map-Overstreet Falls-3D (click to enlarge)

 

 

Logan Creek Falls in Virginia

Logan Creek Falls

Logan Creek Falls in Washington County, Virginia

Logan Creek Falls is surprisingly large for a road-side waterfall! And with very easy access if you can handle mud, some poison ivy and a slippery scramble down to its base!

But you can also view the Falls from the top after a very short walk from your vehicle.

Directions to Logan Falls

Logan Creek Falls is to the northwest of Meadowview. You simply pick up VA-80 (Lindell Rd) in town and follow Logan Creek straight to the Falls! At Rich Valley Rd make a left then a right to continue on VA-80 on Hayters Gap Rd.

Follow Hayters Gap Rd for 1.6 miles and you will see the small parking area on the right.  There is room for 4 or 5 vehicles.

Logan Creek Falls Parking
Logan Creek Falls Parking

The trail starts to your left.

Logan Creek Falls Trail
Logan Creek Falls Trail

After just 50 yards or so you will hear the Falls and then it is just a matter of finding your perfect viewing spot! The trail continues with several access areas to the base of the Falls but these are slippery!

Trail Map

Trail Map-Logan Creek Falls
Trail Map-Logan Creek Falls (click to enlarge)

Falls of Dry Run Creek in Virginia

Falls of Dry Run #7

Falls of Dry Run Creek in Shenandoah National Park (Rockingham County)

I challenge all hardcore hikers to go and see the Falls of Dry Run Creek in Shenandoah NP!

So far I documented seven waterfalls – during my research I saw photos of only 3, meaning I hiked in an area that’s rather unknown even to experienced waterfall enthusiasts.

I must start with a warning – do not hike down Dry Run Creek unless you are VERY comfortable with insane terrain. It is wet, slippery, steep and plain dangerous. It is much easier in summer but you need to go when the Creek is flowing hard; early Spring. Or after several days of heavy rain in the area.

AGAIN – When the Dry Run area is in flow, you will face danger down near the waterfalls.

I urge you to read my article about bushwhacking in Shenandoah!

Now for some good news!

Dry Run Creek is flanked by a Fire Road that runs all the way from Skyline Drive to roads down in the valley. This means you have a relatively easy trail to navigate in order to get down – BUT you have to leave this road and bushwack in order to see any of the seven waterfalls listed here.

It is not all about waterfalls! About 0.7 miles down this Fire Road is a small trail on your right that leads to the top of a scenic rocky outcrop called the Lost Cliffs!  So check that out for a nice landscape photo opportunity.

Directions

On Skyline Drive, park at the South River Overlook at mile 62.5 then cross the road and look for the gated fire road slightly north of the outlook (on the west side of Skyline Dr).

Dry Run Trail Start
Dry Run Trail Start

The fire road is not in good condition so expect tall grasses and mud, etc.

At 0.7 miles you can take the short side trail to the top of Lost Cliffs. Scrambling required.

Dry Run Trail - Lost Cliffs
Dry Run Trail – Lost Cliffs

Continue down the road until is crosses Dry Run Creek at mile 1.3. This is where the fun starts!

The Trail and Map

You can see the Fire Road, the parking area and the location of the Lost Cliffs on the map below.

Also look at our Virginia Waterfall Map for precise locations.

The seven waterfall locations are accurate as per my GPS. You may discover other waterfalls either upstream of downstream so do not hesitate to explore on your own.

You will note a vague green trail on the map. That is my bushwhacking route. It does not mean it is the best way to reach the waterfalls, or the safest or the easiest! I was exploring with no markers or waypoints to guide me.

Basically I hiked down the Fire Road to the Park’s western boundary, bushwhacked down to Dry Run Creek at the boundary, then followed the creek upstream.

Waterfalls #3 and #5 are both massive cascades. Most folks who hiked in the area made it to #3. But #5 is even more impressive. It is a huge and tall cascade.

Trail Map - Falls of Dry Run
Trail Map – Falls of Dry Run (click to enlarge)

Falls of Dry Run 1
Falls of Dry Run 1

Falls of Dry Run #2
Falls of Dry Run #2

Falls of Dry Run #3
Falls of Dry Run #3

Falls of Dry Run #4
Falls of Dry Run #4

Falls of Dry Run #5
Falls of Dry Run #5

Dry Run Falls #5 - Vista
Dry Run Falls #5 – Vista

Falls of Dry Run #6
Falls of Dry Run #6

Falls of Dry Run #7
Falls of Dry Run #7

Profile – Fire Road

NOTE – This is a profile of the fire road down to the park boundary and not the bushwhack trails down to the Falls which are much much steeper!

Trail Profile - Falls of Dry Run Fire Road
Trail Profile – Falls of Dry Run Fire Road (click to enlarge)

Nottoway Falls in Virginia

Nottoway Falls

Nottoway Falls in Lunenburg County

One would not expect to see waterfalls in the Piedmont Region of Virginia, but the Nottoway Falls is actually a fun place to visit!

No, it is not much of a waterfall in terms of height but it offers a very wide cascade of slides and small drops that will keep you and the kids wet and busy for hours!

You have to time your visit, however, and Spring to early Summer will be best when the upstream lake is full and water is spilling over the dam.

Directions

Please study our Google Map of Virginia Waterfalls for precise directions.

From the town of Victoria drive north on VA49 also known as Falls Road. Just before the bridge over the Nottoway River, turn left on Marshall Town Road and park near the dam. It is a large unpaved parking area.

Nottoway Falls Parking
Nottoway Falls Parking

Walk east past the gate towards the bridge and walk underneath to follow the trail. You may get your feet wet when the water runs high.

The trail now swings slightly away from the river. Keep on going and look left for a side trail down to the first cascade.

Return to the trail and walk uphill (again away from the river)  then back down to a side trail for a different cascade. Return and continue the trail to a small waterfall at the 0.5 mile mark.

Depending on the water level, you can skip the trail and walk along the rocks all the way from the bridge to the 0.5 mile mark and beyond (we did not find anything interesting further downstream).

Trail Map

Trail Map-Nottoway Falls
Trail Map-Nottoway Falls (click to enlarge)

Profile – Nottoway Falls Trail

Profile-Nottoway Falls Trail
Profile-Nottoway Falls Trail (click to enlarge)