Apple Orchard Falls Trail and Cornelius Creek Circuits Trail

MODERATE 56 reviews

Apple Orchard Falls Trail and Cornelius Creek Circuits Trail is a 7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bedford, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.0 miles
2,247 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


8 days ago

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.

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

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.

8 months ago

Beautiful views and well maintained trail.

9 months ago

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

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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

11 months ago

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..

Friday, June 30, 2017

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.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

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.

Monday, April 10, 2017

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.

Monday, April 10, 2017

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

beautiful waterfalls. You will love it.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Totally worth the pain. Amazing!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

I think this trail is located near Buchanan in Botetourt County, not Bedford. It has been a few years for me so I am ready to go again. I have hiked it from the parkway down to the falls and I have hiked it up to the falls. From the bottom it is about an 8 mile round trip. It is one of my favorite hikes in the Roanoke area. Make sure you go after a lot of rain because the falls are so much better!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Did this loop in May 2015. The circuit named above (AOF and Cornelius Creek) is not nearly that long. If you start from the bottom, it's a little more than 5 miles - just guessing. We saw a couple of parking areas there. However, we started from Sunset Field overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 78.4). That makes it a little more than 7 miles. From the bottom, the description we had read used the Apple Orchard Fire Road. But if you start at the top, there is extra distance on a connector trail (just more of the Cornelius trail) and the AT. Either way, it's a spectacular hike. Both AOF and Cornelius follow creeks with innumerable little cascades on them. And the weekend of our hike saw Rhododendron in full bloom (mountain laurel looked to be a few days behind). The main falls are 200 feet. That section of the trail has many steps, as you would expect on a sheer drop that creates such a waterfall. From the Parkway, we descended those steps, meaning we were going down the steepest part. If that sounds good to you, be sure to do this loop in counterclockwise fashion (all lefts). The Cornelius trail is a longer, more steady grade. No matter what direction you take, this is a fantastic hike. Not to be missed!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Great hike. We did the out and back from the Parkway. Perfect hike for the kids to try out their new packs!

Friday, August 23, 2013

This is one of my favorite hikes/runs and is part of the Promise Land 50k course. I park at Sunset Field and head down the Apple Orchard Falls Trail to the AT. Turn left on the AT, go about 1.2 miles and then right at the sign for Cornelius Creek. The Cornelius Creek Trail is very runnable. There is a somewhat confusing intersection where the trail crosses the Apple Orchard road. It appears you should go straight across to continue on the trail, but really you should turn left. If you look left, you will see the blue blazes for Cornelius Creek. If you make the mistake and go straight, very soon the "trail" will end... where I guess most people realize their mistake and turn around.

After you get to the bottom of Cornelius Creek at North Creek Road, you take the Apple Orchard Falls trail back up. What to remember is, don't go over the bridges to the left. Always stay right. I ended this track when we reached the AT again because we then continued our hike north on the AT this particular day. We ascended Apple Orchard Mountain via the AT all the way to the radar base and then ran down the parkway back to Sunset Field. I didn't want that showing up in the track, though. I think my GPS lost a bit of mileage because I believe this hike (if I had continued the final 0.2 to the parking lot) should read about 7.5 miles. That is what the signage on the trail seems to indicate.

The scenery is very beautiful on this trail and I love it. Promise Land 50K is my favorite ultra race and the Cornelius Creek Trail is my favorite part of it.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

You can do this hike from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Less than 3 miles one way. Beautiful waterfall, just can't miss this one. Have nice deck with seats to suit and enjoyed. Don't forget your camera.

1 day ago

2 months ago

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