Balcony Falls Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Natural Bridge Station, Virginia that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and trail running.
Directions from Natural Bridge Station, VA: Take VA Route 130 at Natural Bridge Station, turn south on VA Route 759. Go 0.9 miles and turn east on VA Route 782. Where the paved road makes a sharp right turn, just past James River Recreation Area, keep straight ahead onto the gravel road. Go about 0.7 mile on VA Route 782 and Forest Service Road 3093 to the parking area (trailhead) at the Locher Tract at the end of the road.
A few things you need to know before you choose to hike the oddly named Balcony Falls Trail. First, Balcony Falls is a set of rapids at the confluence of the James and Maury Rivers. You aren't going to be hiking to a view of a waterfall, which most people probably expect. Second, we never found an overlook. So the only time of year you are going to see any views of any kind on this trail is during leaf-off. Even then, you don't get a very good view of Balcony Falls. Third, there was a major fire in this area a few years back and the first 3/4 miles is through a lot of scrubby new growth that isn't very pretty. That being said, we hiked this in January and enjoyed the hike. The best views were on a fire service road during the last 1 1/2 miles of the trail.
This trail is definitely a winter hike. I went May 24 and it was very overgrown. The view is not as visible because of the leaves. There is no waterfall either.