Waterfalls don’t get any prettier than the Cascade Waterfall, located near Pembroke in the Jefferson National Forest in western Virginia.
To reach this 69-foot-tall beauty surrounded by 200-foot-tall cliff walls, follow the Cascades National Recreation Trail, a 4-mile round-trip hike along Little Stony Creek, a native trout stream. The trail splits into two different routes; the Lower Trail is rocky and hugs the creek bank, and the Upper Trail is flatter, winding through the dense forest above the creek.
The water at the base of the falls spreads out into a chilly, but inviting swimming hole, so be sure to bring along a swimsuit. After a dip, you can sun yourself on the large flat rocks surrounding the pool.
The trail is open year-round, and the falls are beautiful when they freeze in the winter.
Pembroke is on U.S Highway 460, about 26 miles north of I-81. To reach the falls, take Exit 118 off I-81 and head north on Highway 460 for 26.6 miles. Then turn north on Cascade Drive (State Highway T623) in Pembroke and follow the signs.
To find out more, visit http://virginiasmtnplayground.com/cascades/.
Interested in camping nearby? Check out KOA campgrounds in Virginia.