The Cascades, One of the Prettiest Waterfalls to Visit

Randall Sanger, author of Waterfalls of Virginia & West Virginia: 174 Falls in the Old Dominion and the Mountain State, recalls the Cascades being one of the first waterfalls he visited as a young teen.

The Cascades is one of the first waterfalls I can recall seeing. As a young teen on a trip to visit my grandparents’ place in nearby West Virginia, my Aunt Sue gathered up a few of my cousins and me for a hike there. I’ve been back numerous times since then, and on my most recent visit, I met my friend Kevin there. We had both hiked it about nine years previous to the day, and it was good to hike to the falls with him again.

The Cascades

If you’re like me, you’ll spend more time photographing the many stream scenes along the hike than photographing the main feature. It is such an incredible creek, with cascade after cascade; you’ll find it is especially beautiful with the new greenery of spring and during fall foliage season.

You can make your way up to the Cascades via two routes. The upper trail is an old fire road and is pretty much uphill all the way, with few views of Little Stony Creek. I always save the upper trail for the trip back to the parking area because it’s more of a direct route and downhill all the way. The lower trail is a gem, offering countless opportunities to take in the scenic stream and all of the cascades and small waterfalls. You’ll hear the roar of the Cascades before you see them, and at about 0.1 mile from the falls, you’ll catch your first glimpse of this Virginia classic.

There are a couple of viewing platforms and several vantage points near the trail, but I always like hopping in the creek and shooting from various positions there. To access the upper trail for your trek back down to the parking area, climb some steps and follow the path up to the upper trail. If you want to return to the parking area, go left.

If you want to find out about more beautiful waterfalls, check out Waterfalls of Virginia & West Virginia: 174 Falls in the Old Dominion and the Mountain State by Randall Sanger.

You might also like Randall Sanger’s post about Sandstone Falls in West Virginia.

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Liliane Opsomer
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