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Hike to Cascade Falls

Ripplemead, Virginia

4.9/5
based on 14 reviews

Details

Distance

4 miles

Elevation Gain

800 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Elyse Clark

Cascade Falls is one of Virginia's most beautiful waterfalls and a great summer swimming hole! The trailhead has easy parking and accessible bathrooms. 

The 66' Cascade Falls located in Giles Count is arguably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia. This classic hike is 4.0 miles and gains 800' in elevation.

Located in Pembroke, Virginia, access the trail head by taking Cascade Drive (VA-623) off of US-460 and drive 3.3 miles to the parking lot. Hikers must register their vehicle and pay $3.00 to access the day use area. Once you park, walk towards the bathrooms to find the trail head. Within 0.2 miles you'll arrive at an intersection by a bridge. You can either choose to take the direct, steep route (Upper Trail), or the scenic trail (Lower Trail) to the falls. Both trails are the same length and the Lower Trail is the one that branches off to the right at this intersection.

If you take the Upper Trail, you'll come to an intersection around 1.6 miles. Take the trail to the right to go to the falls. After 2.0 miles you'll arrive at the falls, and there is ample room to spread out on the multiple benches and observation decks.

Enjoy feeling the cool mist blowing off the falls on a hot summer day. You can even bring your bathing suit for a brisk dip in the pool at the base of the falls. If you visit in the winter, chances are it might be frozen, but don't let that stop you from visiting-this waterfall is beautiful any day of the year.

To return to your car choose either the Upper Trail or Lower Trail and retrace your steps. Personally, I find that the best approach (especially for first time hikers of Cascade Falls) is to hike in on the Lower Trail and out on the Upper Trail; however, that decision is up to you.

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Features

Chillin
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

The lower pools made for a fun dip during the summer. Cold water! Bring sandals like Chacos for grip/comfort on the rocks.

It’s really nice and a bit of a hike being 2 miles one way but it was worth it

The hike was harder than I thought but will be easy for someone who is a little more advanced in hiking. But the hike to the falls itself was gorgeous everywhere you looked. Although it was hot outside being June, the actual waterfall was pretty cold but that's too be expected being so deep in the mountains. There was a good amount of people at the falls and plenty of places to hangout whether at the viewing area or on the flat rocks. Definately recommend!

One of my favorite hikes to introduce people to the idea of hiking it's very family & pet friendly and the end is worth every second.

I finally got around to hiking to the waterfall and it was everything I hoped it would be even on a rainy fall day. Gorgeous trails and beautiful waterfall! I highly recommend going.

Easy hike passing many nice small swimming holes. Big flat rocks at the base of the falls make a good rest spot.

A very nice waterfall and will worth the nice hike to reach it. - Roger Younce Photography

Also very beautiful when it's frozen during winter!

It's hard to say words about the Cascades. The hike to the falls is majestic. Following the river through the woods, with countless stopping points to enjoy the atmosphere, the Cascades is truly a great piece of art. You know you're getting close to the waterfall by the unmistakable crashing sound. Coming around the last corner to be greeted, continues to take my breath away, even after hiking it 7 times.

Well Worth The Hike! Beautiful scenery and nice people!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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