The 10 Most Gorgeous Waterfalls in Virginia – Trail Maps and Photos

A reader bought my book and suggested I compile a list of the 10 most gorgeous waterfalls in Virginia! I should be qualified because over the last few years I hiked to 95+ publicly accessible waterfalls in the Commonwealth of Virginia; I’ve seen most of them if not all!

If you are unfamiliar with VIrginia waterfalls, here is a relaxing video showing about a dozen waterfalls for your inspiration to get out and explore!

The Task

At first, it sounded like an easy task. I sat down, looked at my photos and videos and wrote down my favorites. Unfortunately, I ended up with not 10, but 26 gorgeous waterfalls and unsure about a few more! I was in trouble! It became a much tougher project because there are so many stunning waterfalls to choose from.

Now, several weeks later after some serious internal turmoil, doubts and many changes, I am finally ready to reveal my Top 10 list! But first, let me start with a few disclaimers.

Waterfall Selection Criteria

Any compilation of “best” waterfalls should be read with some scepticism. I’ve see very popular but totally ridiculous lists. Were those written by writers in armchairs depending on Google Searches for their information?

You may disagree with my list, but rest assured I physically hiked to every qualified waterfall shown in my book and on this website! My selection is based on personal experience and not on Photoshopped images of waterfalls from the internet! Let me explain my selection process.

  • Publicly accessible – Virginia has a handful of beautiful waterfalls located on private properties. A few owners allow access when contacted but I decided to exclude those from my research for safety and privacy reasons.
  • Drop Falls versus Cascades – The geography of the Commonwealth (basically the lack of high mountains) is more suited for cascading waterfalls. Think of these as a series of giant steps with water crashing over it. Many are impossible to photograph in whole due to the rough terrain, thick vegetation, and sheer height of the cascade. For this reason, I prefer waterfalls with larger drop zones -think of these as water tumbling over a cliff.
  • Seasons matter – I compared the waterfalls based on their impact when in full flow. For example, in early Fall most waterfalls in Virginia run almost dry with a very weak flow. I suggest you explore my selection in late Winter/early Spring or after sustained periods of heavy rain.
  • Access trails – A few of the waterfalls on my list require serious bushwhacking. Others can be seen from your car as you drive by! I did not consider ease of access as a selection criterion!

Words of Caution

Virginia is a large State with long distances between waterfalls, often requiring driving over curvy backroads in mountainous terrain. It is challenging to photograph every waterfall in full flow especially after or during heavy rain. Do not rush and please drive safe!

When venturing off-trail to visit some of the waterfalls on my list, please prepare yourself using my “Bushwhacking Guide“. It’s rough out there!

Use My Book to Guide You

My book covers all the waterfalls on my list and many more – it is basically the complete guide to waterfalls in Virginia! You will find photos, maps, directions, and profile information of each trail.

The 10 Most Gorgeous Waterfalls in Virginia

Here is my list IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER! It is nearly impossible to rank them!

Just click on each to read more about the location, directions, trail, profile, etc.

NOTE – Some of the articles below describe a series of waterfalls along a creek. I use the number system that’s common in Shenandoah National Park – #1 is closest to the main road, then #2 then #3, and so on.

My particular choices along each creek are:

  • Falls of Big Creek #3
  • Falls of Naked Creek #2
  • Falls of Doyles River #1
Roaring Run Falls

Roaring Run Falls in Virginia

Roaring Run Falls in Botetourt County, Virginia If you are looking for an exciting hike next to a stream to ...
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Falls Run Waterfall

Falls Run Waterfall in Virginia

Falls Run Waterfall in Shenandoah County, Virginia If you thought there are no waterfall surprises left in Virginia, think again ...
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Tank Hollow Falls in Virginia

Tank Hollow Falls is a very scenic 60 feet waterfall in the town of Cleveland in Russell County, Virginia. What ...
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Upper Waterfall of Little Stony

Waterfalls of the Little Stony National Recreation Trail in Virginia

Waterfalls of the Little Stony National Recreation Trail in Scott County, Virginia The waterfalls of the Little Stony is an ...
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Lower Cascades Falls

Cascade Falls in Virginia

Cascade Falls in Giles County, Virginia As one of the most popular waterfalls in Virginia, the 66-foot Cascade Falls is ...
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Lower Shamokin Main Falls

Lower Shamokin Falls in Virginia

Lower Shamokin Falls in Nelson County, Virginia The 1.8 mile trail to Lower Shamokin Falls is one of our favorites, ...
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Falling Spring Falls

Falling Spring Falls in Virginia

Falling Spring Falls in Alleghany County, Virginia Here it is, the most beautiful roadside waterfall in Virginia and a must-see ...
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Doyles River Falls #1

Falls of the Doyles River in Virginia

Doyles River Falls in Shenandoah National Park (Albermarle County) Doyles River Falls (there are two waterfalls to be exact), is ...
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Falls of Naked Creek 2

Falls of Naked Creek in Virginia

Falls of Naked Creek in Shenandoah National Park - Page County The East Branch of Naked Creek is a waterfall-rich ...
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Falls of Big Creek 3

Falls of Big Creek in Virginia

Falls of Big Creek in Shenandoah National Park - Page County The amazing Falls of Big Creek are no longer ...
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