Explore the most popular trails in Thunder Ridge Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I wouldn’t say this is a moderate trail, but very fun. Definitely have to pay attention to the trail markers. Also, make sure to wear the right shoes. I decided to wear my Nike’s (rookie mistake maybe). During an impromptu photo op on a fallen log (at the midway point of the falls), as I was making my way back across the log, I took a 4 foot tumble into the ravine. I saw stars to say the very least. Expect steep inclines, and some climbing over fallen trees and natural rocks. Beautiful scenery (we went a little before Springtime). I would definitely recommend going after a heavy rain, just so you can enjoy the full effect of the falls. Pack something to eat for a day trip - you’ll be pretty hungry by the bottom of the trail. It took my husband, our dog, and me about 6 hours to complete the trail. Our dog was free leashed, me and my husband are mid 20’s and kept a pretty steady pace.

This trail kicked our butts! The "moderate" rating is misleading, this is a tough one. If you do the whole loop, you'll scramble over some boulders and cross water a few times. We went shortly after some rain, so we actually had to take off our hiking boots and wade across a few times. The falls are breathtaking. Overall a challenging but rewarding hike.
We did not bring our dog, and I'm glad we didn't. This trail would be impossible with a dog.

Did this loop plus an extra 6 miles of the Appalachin trail back in April, and it was absolutely amazing! Bring plenty of water. You can refill it at the stream several times (get a sawyer bottle and filter it that way, just to be safe), but the second third of the loop doesn’t have any water and that’s also the part that feels the longest. This is a great hike, and I definitely recommend it!

tough going up really steep all the way through but when you get to the top it's definitely worth it. I climbed the rocks all the way to the very top you cant go above the trees unless your really searching for a way. but it's amazing and worth every photo.

I was concerned about getting lost after reading reviews. Not sure how people got lost. There are signs everywhere. This was an amazing trail. The waterfalls are beautiful! Very peaceful fun hike. I even saw purple, bright orange and bright yellow mushrooms! I’ve never seen a purple mushroom or yellow and orange mushrooms that were so vibrant. Highly recommend this hike. When you come to first cascade, continue to walk over bridge and up many stairs to reach the waterfall.

We did the Apple Orchard trail, Cornelius creek and a little part of the AT. At one point we got turned around. All in all we hiked 8 Miles. My husband and I did it with our two small children aged 7 and 5. Climbing back up to the car was a little workout. Definitely beautiful scenery and the falls on Apple Orchard trail are very nice. Perfect for a picnic

We were surprised to have the trail and falls to ourselves on a Sunday in mid July. Having the ability to approach from the blue ridge parkway or back roads off 81 made this a nice stop going from Roanoke to DC

This was a good hike. We went counter clockwise and will do this trail the same way if done again. It was a little confusing at one point with the signage but we figured It Out with some help from the Alltrails map. We measured our loop at 7.9 miles.

Downhill to the falls. Uphill on the way back. Not to difficult terrain. Beautiful falls.

Great hike with beautiful waterfall, we did the route counterclockwise which we would recommend for trail running as the footing was more stable for the descent. Coming back up Cornelius Creek presented some creek crossing challenges due to the volume of water.

Beautiful views and well maintained trail.

Decent, short hike. The falls aren't amazing or anything.

Very scenic and beautiful after a days rain. We did the loop. Started on Apple Orchard Falls trail, turned onto Cornelius Creek then the Appalachian. My Apple Watch said we traveled near 8.5 miles, much longer than we expected. Going up the Cornelius was challenging and we took lots of breaks. Apple orchard falls was well worth it, though from here on our we will probably just hike to the falls and back.

Good hike and short backpacking trip if your looking to get a way for the night. Been a while since I've been able to do this and just moving to the area it was a good way to get back into hiking/backpacking and camping. Ran into a couple of snakes on the trail near the falls so just be on the lookout.

The first part of the trail was amazing, lots of beautiful sights and picture opportunities. After you get past the Falls and to the next Parking lot and turn on Cornealus Creek trail get ready for the incline! Especially when the Creek trail meets the AT. According to my GPS it was an 8.6mile hike not 7. If I go back I'll just hike down the Falls then turn around and go back. won't do the loop again

First so we did the short one and walk on the connect trail which only make it 5.6 mile and went in on rt 56.. the first half was ALL up hills/mountains which kick my group butt, then on the way down it was almost easier but the rock was very loose which make me move slow. I will do this hike again but be really to do some work.. on the way down we was about to get into the creek with some swimming holes but the water was cold..

Beautiful views and is on the AT trail for a mile and a half. Highly recommended but bring plenty of water since it does get hot along the ridgeline.

High water flooded streams, heavy rain night before. Tried to follow loop trail but lost trail at the falls right at bridges . We were hiking from bottom up apple orchard trail and return Cornelius trail.

This loop is not marked, and people should know this before beginning this venture. It was a long walk on a path that you will make on your own. Very fun if this is your sort of thing. Bring extra water, its slow moving in many areas. You will cross the stream several times as you make your way down the side of the mountain. I would not recommend this for a beginner or someone without a map or gps. If you just want to do the marble yard, do the out and and back..

It was a good hike. I would start at the bottom lot and not the top if we did it again. The falls are beautiful.

Beautiful hike. The first part is downhill and you walk along the developing stream from its inception to a raging waterfall. You cross over it several times on bridges. At the bottom of the valley you walk in wild Appalachia along the river. The last portion is very difficult with a sheer vertical climb. A slight break is given as you merge with the Appalachian Trail. Beautiful hike, a little bit of everything

Climb your way to the top!

Great Trail, make sure you see the top of the hike. Well worth it.

Great hike for exploring where others don't go

Really great hike! Loved being next to the creek most of the way. There are many opportunities to see little hidden waterfalls and pools. The Apple Orchard Falls was also really impressive. If you choose the loop trail, it's well worth it. Starting with the AOFT trail as the first part of the loop, be prepared for a pretty steady incline for the last couple miles, coming back Cornelius Spur.

So pretty & so worth it! The hike down is easy, as you're going down hill, but coming up is a bit challenging. Worth it for the view!

beautiful waterfalls. You will love it.

I was looking for a trail within one hour drive (around) from Roanoke, about 8 miles long. The Sulphur Springs trail seems good, but a little under my goal. Looking at the map, I decided to do this loop, using the Appalachian Trail, the Sulphur Springs Trail, and the Petites Gap road to come back to the parking.
I find it well balanced, with a first part climbing easily on the ridge, then a long descent to the junction of Sulphur Springs Trail and Petites Gap Road. Then a moderate climbing back to the car. There are a few places with an overlook, perfect to take a break and have some food, for instance!
Not to crowded, but in October its not a surprise...

Totally worth the pain. Amazing!

This is a nice trail. We just hiked the portion from the parkway Sunset or Sunrise overlook to the falls and back. It was about 2.5 miles total for this section. You hike down first, so it's obviously steep on the way back up.

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