Explore Backbone Rock and Falls

Backbone Rock

This is a roadside stop near Damascus, Virginia with a neat rock tunnel constructed in 1901 known as the "shortest tunnel in the world" and a 45 foot waterfall.

First, from the parking lot, there is a trail which climbs up to walk on top of the rock. The top of the rock is narrow, but has hand rails to hold on to.  

Once finished walking on top of the rock, cross the road (be extremely careful) and walk away from the tunnel. Here is a good angle to take a photo of the tunnel which was created in 1901.  

Still walking away from the tunnel, there will be a well-marked trail that breaks off to your left. This is a very short loop trail leading to the 45' Backbone Falls.  The loop trail will lead back to the road, and you will simply have to carefully cross the road again to return to your car. 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Water
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Activities Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Unique structure with plenty to keep you occupied!

These pictures does not do the tunnel justice. The walk on top of the tunnel features several guardrails and wooden bridges. The waterfall is small but intimate. You can walk right up under it and a large rock sitting directly in front is the perfect place to stand for a picture. This location also features a day camping area and stream that you could tube down. Overall, an easily-accessible place for all skill levels.

Rainy Day

I went on this hike on an extremely dreary day which causes the stone pathway to be a bit slippery but it was still absolutely beautiful and I am hoping to go back once the weather is a bit better.


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