Waterfalls in Virginia

March 10, 2023

waterfalls in Virginia

Virginia is known for its incredible natural beauty and, in the spring and summer, there are many waterfalls that decorate the landscape.

Waterfalls are a unique way to explore nature and, in Virginia, you can find them on any hiking adventure. A fall hike may include stunning autumn colors, while a winter trek could offer beautiful ice formations along the river.

Falls Ridge Preserve

Virginia is a state that offers some of the most beautiful natural waterfalls in the country. These waterfalls are a treat to see any time of year, but they really shine during the spring and summer.

A visit to Falls Ridge Preserve in Elliston is a must for any nature enthusiast. This preserve features several waterfalls, including a spring-fed travertine waterfall that stands 80 feet high.

The water flows through a series of stair-step falls that result from the formation of one of the world’s largest deposits of exposed calcium carbonate known as travertine. Minerals and lime dissolved in the water over thousands of years, causing it to slowly build up and steepen its gradient.

This is a great place to stop for a quick view and some photos, but you can also take the time to enjoy some of the hiking trails in the area. These trails can be a little difficult to navigate at times, so you may want to consider wearing shoes with grip or carrying a small backpack for the hike.

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls is a great destination for anyone who loves hiking and wants to experience the natural beauty of Virginia. This 4-mile round-trip hike in the Jefferson National Forest offers stunning views of Little Stony Creek and a nearly 70-foot waterfall.

This trail is mellow and offers plenty of spots to sit down and relax, especially if you’re visiting in the winter. It also has a viewing platform with stairs to an upper portion of the waterfall.

The trails are relatively easy to follow and the parking lot is well maintained. There’s a $3 parking fee and restrooms are located at the trailhead.

The waterfall is one of the most beautiful in Virginia and possibly on the East Coast. Little Stony Creek cascades over a vertical cliff in several different streams, making for an incredible display.

Dismal Falls

Dismal Falls is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Virginia. It’s a 10-foot multi-tiered cascade that sits along Dismal Creek, which is part of a sandstone formation 400 million years old.

It’s a great spot for hiking, and you can also find a beautiful swimming hole at the bottom of the falls. The waterfall is easily accessible from a side trail off of the Appalachian Trail.

The trail is a bit of a hike, but the waterfall itself is only a short 0.1-mile walk from the parking area. Make sure you wear good shoes as the rocks can be slick.

It’s a good idea to check park and state websites for any trail closures, as some trails may be closed during certain times of the year. The best time to see the waterfalls is in spring and autumn when they are at their best.

Devil’s Bathtub

Throughout the world, there are a few types of waterfalls that are known as Devil’s Bathtub. These include whirlpools and hot springs that are sometimes thought to be haunted.

The Devil’s Bathtub in Virginia is one of these special places. It was first discovered by a local woman in 2014 and has since become the nation’s latest “viral trail.”

She started her hike from a trailhead on a backcountry road that loops up Devil’s Fork and eventually scales a small cliff. Once there, the creek flows over a series of mossy ledges that create pools and cascades.

After a mile, there is a swimming hole that many people mistake for the actual Devil’s Bathtub, which lies a few hundred feet further upstream. This is a very large blue-green pool with a small waterfall that is a great spot to take a dip in.

Hikers should wear water shoes as there are numerous creek crossings. The trail is also prone to flash flooding during summer, so be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out.


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