Cascades National Recreation Trail to Barney's Wall

EASY 90 reviews

Cascades National Recreation Trail to Barney's Wall is a 12.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pembroke, Virginia that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. 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
12.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3116 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

washed out

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 National Recreation Trail is 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.

hiking
7 days ago

Amazing, vibrant trail! Coming back from the falls at the top of the stairs take the right if you want to trail run back (it's a broader easier path)

hiking
1 month ago

I haven't been hiking in a long time, so I was a bit worn out. Once I got to the waterfalls though, it was worth every moment. Beautiful place and the other visitors were friendly which is always a plus.

Loved it..the creek next to the trail..hearing the water running...and you can choose hard or easy route

hiking
1 month ago

The hike to the Cascades is easy but if you continue up to Barney's Wall it is moderate-hard.
I'm a 35 year old female with no health conditions, not overweight and don't smoke. I hike & backpack 15+ times per year.
At the beginning of the trail there's two paths. To the left is the "fire road" but we crossed the bridge over the stream that takes the trail to the right of the run off from the waterfall. The foliage over head was nice. The winding and narrow trail with rocks jutting out made it easy for me to trip a lot because I love to look at the view haha Our dogs enjoyed getting their bellies wet in the ice cold stream. After we passed the cascades we then ascended up the trail to the left of the waterfall, climbing the switchback stairs to a crossroads. At the sign the trail splits; to the right, the path continues to a view looking down from above the cascade waterfall. To the left, Barney's wall.
We pushed up the trail to Barney's wall and once we arrived we dumped out our lunch and sat eyes fixed on the sprawling hills and valleys. Then we stretched out on the rock and took a mini nap. We then headed down the trail. When we got back to the sign where the trail splits we took the "fire road" down to the right. It's a wide and easy road but it hurt my hips because the rocks are large and rolled under my feet. I wish I had my hiking poles with me.

1 month ago

Great hike if you want something quick with an awesome view. Go in the off season when students are out of town and you'll enjoy your experience much more.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Nice hike, elevation gets to you on your way up to Barney's Wall but worth the view, bring plenty of water

1 month ago

Great hike and beautiful waterfall ❤️.

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Ascended via the lower trail, more technical of the two trails but great views of the creek. Very crowded but no rudeness was encountered. Visited another water fall around ½ mile past the Cascades worth the stop. The views from Barney’s Wall was amazing. Descended via the upper trail, easier but had some great rock formations to observe.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail, although I wouldn't say it was easy. The trail is pretty rocky, when we went it was really muddy and the rocks were extremely slick. However it was one of the prettiest hikes I've been on in the east coast, to many waterfalls to count.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great trip! Lower trail way more intensive than the upper and a little longer. Choose wisely.

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago