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Hiking, Fallingwater Cascades Loop

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg

Waterfall

There are so many great hiking trails in the area so it is hard to choose which one to visit, but we decided to try the Fallingwater Cascades Loop off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford County.  It was one of those rare August mornings where the humidity was low and we had a couple days of unseasonably cool weather with lows in the upper 50’s at night and it was even more unusual that we didn’t have guests the night before so we could get up and hit the trails and take advantage of the weather.  The hike is a short (about 1.5 miles) with an elevation change of about 1000 feet.  It would take the typical person about 90 minutes to complete the loop, but it always takes me a lot longer because I stop to take lots of photos.  Below are several photos I shoot, including a photo of a couple of nude sunbathers.  The trail is well marked and it is classified as moderately difficult.  The first half of the hike is all downhill and the second half is uphill.  The grade is not steep but we recommend you wear the appropriate foot wear.

Fog Crossing top of mountain

Fog Crossing top of mountain

 

Hiking Fallingwater Cascades Loop

Fallingwater Cascades

We started our hike by driving up to the Peaks of Otter to get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Traveling north  on the Parkway which winds along the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the left side (west) was foggy (really heavy fog up to the ridge tops of the mountain) while the other side was clear.  Remember the song you heard as a child about the bear going to the other side of the mountain…Well, now you know why he went to the other side, probably because he couldn’t see anything on the western side.  There was a  dip on the ridge top where the fog was flowing from the western side of the mountain to the eastern side and I was able to capture the above shot.

The hike is mostly through the woods so if you burn easily you don’t need to worry about getting sunburn.  This would be a spectacular hike in mid October when all the leaves are turning colors.  After about 20-25 minutes you come to the stream/water falls.  You will spend about 20 minutes walking along the stream and falls until you start heading back up the trail to the parking area.  As we parked and started hiking down the western slope of the mountain the fog instantly disappeared.  Below are several photos that I took that morning.  I hope you enjoy them.

Directions from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast are below these photos:

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Tree roots along the path

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Lush green moss and fern along path

Photo by the carriage house Inn bed and breakfast in Lynchburg, Virginia

Water flowing over moss covered rocks

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Fungus growing on tree

Now, for the nudes sunbathing.  As I mentioned above, it was a cool morning and this couple found a sunny spot on a fallen tree and decided to catch some sunshine….

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Snakes sunbathing off the trail

What were you expecting?  I guess you could call them nude!

 

Directions (provided by Mapquest and edited by Mike Bedsworth):

1. Start out going southeast on Cabell Sttoward D St.

0.01 mi
2. Take the 1st right onto D St.

  • If you reach C St you’ve gone a little too far
0.2 mi
3. Turn left onto Rivermont Ave. 0.8 mi
4. Rivermont Ave. becomes Church St. after you cross over 5th Street

0.2 mi
5. Stay in the Right lane of Church Street and take the US-29 S ramp.

0.1 mi
6. Merge onto US-29-BR S, also known as the Lynchburg Expressway

3.8 mi
7. Exit via EXIT 8B towards US-460 onto Candlers Mountain Road.

0.9 mi
8. Merge onto US-460 W towardRoanoke/Danville.

20.8 mi
9. Take the US-221 N/VA-122 N exit towardBedford/VA-43 N.

0.2 mi
10. Turn slight right onto US-221/US-460-BR/E Main St/VA-43/VA-122/N Bridge St.

1.3 mi
11. Turn right onto US-221/N Bridge St/VA-43/VA-122.

  • US-221 is just past VA-43 S
  • Wells Fargo Of Bedford is on the corner
  • If you reach Market Sq you’ve gone a little too far
0.3 mi
12. Take the 3rd left onto VA-43/Peaks St. Continue to follow VA-43.

  • VA-43 is just past Lee St
  • Blimpie is on the left
  • If you reach Westview Ave you’ve gone a little too far
10.3 mi

When you reach the “T” in the road turn Right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and take the parkway heading north.  Access to the trail head is near milepost 83.  There will be a parking area on the left (Western Slope) and a sign on the Parkway will say Fallingwater Cascades Overlook.

Enjoy the hike!