• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    0 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Hike the widest and most complex waterfall in West Virginia—Sandstone Falls. Plunging 10 to 25 feet across the entire 1,500 foot breadth of the New River, these falls are quite a spectacle.

Starting at the trailhead, follow signs for the falls. After a short walk, hikers will reach the walkway bridge where they can snap a couple shots of the minor Sandstone Falls to the right. Many hikers stop here, thinking these falls are the final destination. Do not make this mistake—the best is yet to come!

Follow the trail until it ends at a viewing area of the main stream of the New River. Although there is no formal path to the main falls from here, they are easily accessible by following the rocky shoreline upriver, keeping the main stream to the left. The trip involves only minor rock scrambling, which any person of average physique should have no problem completing.

The shoreline will curve around to the right to form a point facing the main falls. Stay a while, grab some great panoramic snaps of the falls, look for crayfish in the pools among the rocks, and return the way you came.

Pack List

  • Backpack (for hands-free rock scrambling)
  • Camera
  • Tripod (if intending to take long exposures)
  • ND and circular polarizing lens filters (if taking long exposures—the river creates quite a glare, these filters will really help step down the exposures)
  • Water (although a short hike, the humidity builds up at the base of the falls and it can get very hot during warmer months)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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I was blown away by the beauty of these falls! The directions in the write-up are spot on for the best views of the falls. Definitely worth a side trip to see.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Matthew Ady

Atlanta-based and outdoor-inspired adventurer, traveler, runner, photographer, and Emory University law student.

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