Cascades Falls Trail

MODERATE 136 reviews

Cascades Falls Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pembroke, 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.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
725 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

The Cascades National Recreation Trail is a highly scenic, easy to moderate 4 or 5 mile out and back round-trip trail features a shaded mountain creek to a 66-foot waterfall within Jefferson National Forest. Cascades 66 Foot Waterfall Hike is the same trail as the Cascades National Recreation Trail, a highly scenic, easy to moderate 4 or 5 mile out and back round-trip trail featuring a shaded mountain creek to primarily a cascading waterfall within Jefferson National Forest. Near Pembroke in Southwest VA, the hike up the lower trail travels 2 miles along Little Stony Creek before reaching the 66 lower falls and in another half-mile the Upper Cascades. Travel uphill another 2 miles and reach a view of the New River Valley from 700 cliffs at Barneys Wall (8 mile RT and 1600 elevation gain). The trail begins to the right of the bathroom and Information Center at the far end of the Cascades parking lot. Go across the first bridge and take the lower trail as it is the more scenic route. If you want, you can return on the upper trail to get a different view of the creek. The lower trail travels alongside the creek for a mile before reaching the second bridge and rejoining the upper trail. From the 2nd bridge to the lower falls is another mile. The lower falls is a turn-around point or you can continue to the Upper Cascades and/or Barneys Wall. To continue to the Upper Cascades and Barneys Wall, head up the wooden stairs to the left opposite the falls observation deck. In about 200 yards reach an open area with a sign post showing the Conservancy Trail, a 0.4 mile fire road. At the fork in the road bear left and take another left in about 50 yards at the Conservancy Trail sign post. This trail is Yellow-blazed and crosses a small creek and reaches the Barneys Wall intersection on the left in 1.1 miles. The trail to Barneys Wall is also yellow-blazed and passes through a few stands of Hemlocks, and just before the cliffs take the trail past the campsite to the right. Barneys Wall features a view of the New River Valley looking towards Blacksburg. If you take the right at the fork exactly one half mile above the lower falls there is an unmarked but well established path that leads downhill to the Upper Cascades located about a tenth of a mile down the hill.

23 days ago

I live here so I hike this trail atleast once a year. I love how you have two options to hike up it. Gives it a new twist for people who return. This is a very poplar trail so you have to watch out for parking. A lot of times they run out and you have to wait till someone returns. Also it cost 3 dollars to park so make sure you bring change!

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful 2 mile hike that was done a few days after some rain which made the waterfall much more enjoyable.

There is a $3 (cash) fee to park your vehicle, and although it appears to go by the honor system, a park ranger pulled in who said he checks the grounds regularly.

There are two paths to take: 1. A dirt path that’s relatively straight with a steady incline, and 2. A winding dirt/sting path that traverses 2 bridges and follows the river to provide more scenic views. I would strongly recommend crossing the bridge at the start of the hike to enjoy closer views of the water. Both trails converge after 1 mile at the 2nd bridge that follows a moderately steep path up to the waterfall. There is a relatively steep stairwell about 1.5 miles up which was slippery due to the recent rain. At the falls, you can follow the stone steps up to the top of the falls for a more captivating view.

This was my 3rd trip to the cascades and the first time going on a Monday. Normally the trail can be rather crowded during the weekend but we only encountered 5 other people.

hiking
23 days ago

Easy hike. A little disappointed but a beautiful end of April day for a 5.98 mile out and back walk to the Upper Falls. The sign for the impassable lower trail due damage from high water is still hanging, also the sign indicating the cascades overlook closed due fallen rocks, reopen in spring? Still there.

1 month ago

Beautiful river and falls

hiking
1 month ago

Nice family hike. Beautiful scenery of little Stoney Creek and the falls.

hiking
1 month ago

Always a beautiful view of the falls whether it be summer or in the dead of winter when they are frozen. Sizable parking lot that stays full. If you’re looking to be alone with your thoughts and to enjoy nature, this trail is not for you. Heavily trafficked

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views of the waterfall! Easy-going, low impact hike!

2 months ago

Hiked on 2/28/18. Lower trail is washed out right before the falls. I suggest taking it to that point for beautiful approaching views of the falls. You can turn around and meet back up with the upper trail in just .3 miles. Also at the first bridge the lower trail is to the right and upper is to the left. The upper trail is beautiful, a very gradual climb and you are by the water for much of the trail. Parking is $3 ( correct change).

hiking
3 months ago

Fantastic hike. I went on 1/27/18. There were signs from the USFS indicating the lower Trail was washed out in one spot, so I took the upper trail. With no leaves on the trees, I could see the creek the whole way up the trail. Part of the falls were still frozen. Added on the extra miles to the Upper Falls and Barney’s Wall for an 8 mile trek. Well worth the extra miles! I was one of two cars in the parking lot at 9 am, and the parking lot was full when I got back down, so an early start makes for a quieter visit.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved the frozen falls after weeks of frigid temps. We went on New Year’s Day 2018.

4 months ago

Trail features beautiful both a lower route along a mountain stream which is scenic, and an upper trail which is much more accessible. Amazing payoff at the end. A staple Western Virginia hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Very easy hike. Waterfall is currently frozen and really pretty.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike along a frozen stream to frozen falls. Beautiful!

hiking
5 months ago

beautiful hike along the river to the falls...

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful. Large amount of rain from Spring has left the area very green.

hiking
8 months ago

Simply stunning. A couple different paths to choose from that will take you to the falls. Definitely plan on coming back during the Summer.

hiking
9 months ago

Gorgeous views from beginning to end with lots of fun to be had in the water along the way. Picturesque spots are abundant.

9 months ago

this Trail is beautiful all year round. and the winter time you get to look at the Frozen waterfall and the beautiful winter trees. And the spring and summer time it's great to hike up to the waterfall and play in the waterfall and pond underneath. In the fall it's beautiful to look at all of the turning leaves.

fishing
10 months ago

We took a group of Scouts here and had great success fishing the native brook trout in the ever-climbing waters. Beautiful stream and hike that should be tackled by any skill level, although it gets pretty crowded at the falls mid-afternoon. Would like to return for an early morning view of the falls.

10 months ago

Great trail. Very well maintained.

10 months ago

took the lower trail and it was so beautiful. next time i will take the upper trail and compare. one of the nicest hikes ive been on.

10 months ago

This is a beautiful hike that I have enjoyed since childhood. I only regret that I forgot the end of the trail near the falls was not stroller friendly. My toddler ended up turning around with his dad to head back because our stroller just wasn't going to make the last part with stone steps.

Don't repeat our mistake. Baby wear!

hiking
10 months ago

We loved this trail. I had a 7 and 11 year old in tow. We took the lower trail on the way there. Lots of steps in the last half to the falls. My 7 year old grew a little weary of them, but did fine. It follows close to the creek the entire length. The fall was beautiful. The kids cooled off around the water and we took the upper trail back. Upper trail was easy and quick walk back to the start. Saw plenty of dogs and hikers of all ages. Highly recommend.

hiking
10 months ago

This was a great hike. i did the bottom trail which goes along the creek and it was absolutely beautiful. although it says this was an easy hike i would say it was moderate. make sure to bring enough water, there is nowhere to get water in the park area.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful sight at the end! :)

10 months ago

Amazing waterfall at the end of the trail. Totally worth it!

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail for families. Lower trail has beautiful scenery along the river.

hiking
10 months ago

Upper trail is easy and gradual climb but boring. Lower trail is right along the stream with 2 bridges and truly exceptional scenery. I would say lower trail is moderate.

10 months ago

Beautiful hike, all along water, great for dogs, not very hard

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful!!! i split the hike between the upper and lower trails.

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