Scenic USA - Virginia

Cascade Falls

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Cascades Recreation Area - Pembroke, Virginia

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

     A three dollar day-use fee and an hour long hike is just a small investment when it comes to the ultimate payoff, a view of the thundering 70 foot Cascade Falls. Not far from Interstate-81 and Christiansburg, the beautiful Cascades Recreation Area is located in the Jefferson National Forest. This day hike includes two trails to the falls area. The upper trail follows a service road to the left of Little Stony Creek and looks like the easy route to the Upper Falls. Footbridge - Cascades Recreation Area, Virginia Taking the easy way means passing up the lower trail and missing out on a wonderful scenic hike along Little Stony Creek. The lower trail, designated a National Recreation Trail, has been carved through rock crevices, around massive boulders and old trees, while following along the creek-side. While you pick your way along the trail, carefully stepping over tree roots and rock-tops, it's often refreshing to stop and admire the bubbling rapids, the rocks covered in delicate moss, and the creek's quiet pools.
      A 1996 flood devastated the lower trail, but the Forest Service was quick to respond with a restoration project. Three crossing bridges were replaced and the trail repaired, all without heavy equipment. Some of the old stairways, carved into the rock, survived, reminding visitors of the fine craftsmanship seen over the years.
      Whether you decide between the upper or lower trails, either way the waterfall views are splendid, a delightful sight that won't disappoint.

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