Hiking to Cascade Falls
Hiking to Cascade Falls (also called The Cascades) has been another one of those hikes that I've always wanted to do but I've never gone because it's a little far away from me (like over three hours). But now that my brother goes to Virginia Tech I have an awesome excuse to head down to the Blacksburg area. It was a rainy day in Blacksburg, although my drive down was nothing but blue skies, but we decided to hike anyways.
It's a relatively easy, two mile trail to the waterfall and then two miles back. There are two ways to get to the falls, the lower trail and the upper trail. I highly reccomend the lower trail. It's more scenic and winds along right beside the river. The upper trail is just flat, wide and more like a fire road then a trail. To get to the lower trail, after you being your hike you'll see a big bridge to your right, cross the bridge and follow that trail. You'll connect with the upper trail a little bit later in the hike and continue on to the waterfall.
Coordinates to the parking area can be found here: 37.353837, -80.599160
Also, you can keep on hiking up the trail about half a mile to the upper falls (much smaller) or keep hiking for another two miles up to Barney's Wall. It's an outlook that looks out over the New River Valley towards Blacksburg. For additional directions on that hike go here. We just didn't have the time to do the whole 8 mile hike to Barney's Wall and back so we opted to hike to Cascade Falls and head back. I'm already planning a weekend that I can go back with Michael because I spotted a handful of trout lazily feeding along the bottom of the river so I really want to fly fish here!
** Note this waterfall is super, super crowded. On any given weekend the parking lot is full so be sure to get there early. Also in the summertime this is a very popular swimming hole for locals and college students. If you go to swim be advised that the currents running out of the base of the waterfall are strong so swim at your own risk. **
After spending the morning hiking with my brother I drove up to Spy Rock to do a short overnight backpacking trip with some friends. More pictures on that to come!