Explore VA Waterfalls - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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A short day hike. The best view was actually at the 3 overlooks.

I agree with all the reviews here. I both love this place and am disgusted by the way folks (particularly in the summer months) treat what has been set aside as a “nature preserve.” If you get the chance to enjoy the beauty and solitude of this natural escape by the Potomac, and feel strongly about protecting it, please contact Riverbend Nature Center about participating in Scotts Run clean ups or collect trash when you can and report any illegal activity. And if you get a chance to hike to the river overlooks watch out for my father’s memorial bench along the trail (the one with a river view when the leaves fall), have a seat and enjoy the woods!

Nice trail. Lots of stairs in the beginning but after the stairs it’s not too bad. We’re not in the best shape but we’re able to handle it just fine but it was tough. Saw a variety of people (kids, elders, runners) so it’s really not that hard of a trail.

Views at the top were very nice as were views of the falls on the way up. We went on a day it was a little rainy and it was a little slippery (wet rocks and wet leaves) but very doable even if the weather isn’t ideal.

It’s an out and back and my Fitbit clocked in just over 4 miles for the whole thing so I don’t think the distance is accurate on here.

Bring $3 for parking and ladies bring toilet paper if you plan on using the restrooms at the parking lot.

There had been lots of rain and the falls were fantastic. Glad we had our hiking poles for stability on the wet rocks and leaves.

hiking
11 days ago

It’s tough but the view is worth it!

Great, quick hike!!

Hiked this trail this past July. It was a well maintained trail and a good workout! It gets you sweating and feeling good. It is steep but nothing crazy. Pack snacks and bring plenty of water to enjoy the view at the top!

This trail was surprisingly fun with some decent incline and rock scrambles. Crowds are no joke but around the middle it was very thinned out (spent about 20 minutes just waiting to get to the gate of the park... then had to follow someone leaving in order to park). Annual passes to great falls are 30$ so might be worth it for people who plan on coming back a couple times. GORGEOUS fall colors.

hiking
12 days ago

Nice hike along water down to an overlook with a view of a waterfall. Many people hike down to the overlook and back the same way, but the loop was a less gradual/strenuous walk — even if it was a bit longer.

Indeed the best Waterfalls along Skyline Drive. Super crowded with hundreds of people on the trail during weekends. You will have better luck with parking if you go to the Big Meadows lot instead of the Falls lot along Skyline Drive. That way, you could hike the Story of the Forest too. This hike is a mile down to the 71 foot high Falls but it all up hill on the way back. You gotta climb 574 feet back up and the trail runs along a stream. There was many sections that were muddy so I do recommend hiking poles. There are sections with logs steps that create terraces to level things out but the trail is very steep and a long haul back up.

Nice little loop with a section that has great river views. Went during the fall and most of the trail is wooded, so I really enjoyed the hike. Mostly flat, but some rocky hill sections near the river. Parking is limited during peak times.

Sweet little hike. Great waterfalls. Although, being a non-frequent hiker, the climb was a bit tiresome(thanks for 600ft of elevation change).

This is a great “developed hike”. The trail is maintained , with wooden lookouts over the falls to keep visitors safe. Great trail for kids if they will listen and stay where instructed. The lower portion is accessible and when it isn’t too wet wheelchairs can even get access. Hmm. Go during an off season and avoid the crowds. We’ve done it while it was snowing lightly and were nearly alone.

Fun hike, view of the falls is ok

hiking
18 days ago

Very nice hike. The falls are beautiful. I love how the trail brings you back to the falls at several different levels.

nature trips
22 days ago

Trail is well marked and easy to follow. As others have said, the hardest part is the way back up. Lots of steps and incline most of the way up. Plenty of places to stop off and rest on the way back up. Many different views of the falls all the way down to the bottom. Plenty of cut ins to walk down to and take pictures of or feel the water throughout the different portions of the trail. A few small spots where it was muddy/slippery. Be mindful of this if it has rained recently. Plenty of older folks enjoying the trail as well if you are deterred by some of the reviews. Falls were flowing well with yellow trees above as a backdrop for picture takers

hiking
23 days ago

Good workout! Pretty steep uphill at parts. Our dog was worn out. Great views of the waterfall, and an amazing view of the mountains at the top made it worth it!

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful falls and creek! The trail can be a little slippery with the wrong footwear depending on how wet it is so be careful. It was a pretty easy hike, but very crowded when we went.

walking
27 days ago

Very very nice !!

Good hike, did the loop and appreciated the wide and relatively even Fire Road on the way back (uphill). Definitely worth the extra mile to go from the overlook all the way to the base of the falls.

Excellent and higher end of moderate for those hiking with kids.

Nice trail fits all purpose and all ages. Fatanstic view and many suprises if you like to explore.

Good trail. Can be a little tricky going downhill over wet rocks and timbers. Coming back up is no joke - got my heart rate up to jogging level. Really gorgeous cascade of little waterfalls near the bottom was worth it. Nice change from overlook views.

This Trail is definitely not meant for people that are out of shape. I do not think it is appropriate for children under the age of 4 and for people with walking disabilities.

beautiful

Beautiful water fall. The trail is great and well kept of course. We hiked on 9/29/18 with gorgeous weather. It’s a backwards hike. So after the falls be prepared for a work out. I’m a fat hiker so I just take lots of breaks

Great view

Took the kids (elementary school), had snacks and played in the water. Kind of a long hike on the way back entirely up hill, but definitely worth the trip. Will be back again when we have longer to stay. If taking kids, plan to get in the water and bring plenty of snacks.

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