Cascades Recreation Area
Jefferson National Forest
Giles County, VA
Saturday, October 1st, 2011
After a great breakfast at the Huffman House Bed and Breakfast, I knew I wanted to go hiking. There are several excellent hiking options available nearby. I decided to revisit one of my favorite waterfalls.
Since it was cold, cloudy, and rainy Amy decided to hang back at the Bed and Breakfast. But for me, these are perfect conditions for waterfall photography!
Its about a 2-mile hike to Cascade Falls making for 4-mile round trip hike. You can do it as an out and back along the more scenic creekside trail, or use the easier but less scenic "Upper Trail" to make a loop. I decided to head up the creekside trail which follows Stony Creek all the way, crossing it twice on a couple of well constructed bridges.
The Cascades Creekside Trail
There are many spots along the creek to stop and take in the beautiful scenery and photograph a virtually endless series of cascades.
Cascades along Stony Creek
The trail gains about 800-feet of elevation making for a good little workout, but it is a gradual gain making it not overly difficult. The reward at the end is what I consider to be the nicest waterfall in Virginia, the 70-foot high Cascade Falls.
There is an awesome swimming hole at the base of the falls which during nice summer days fills up with beautiful Virginia Tech Bikini Babes. However with the rain and the cold, there were no babes in Bikinis out today. However, photo conditions were just about perfect. The rain had mostly stopped, but the cloudy skys still offered that perfect diffused light.
The water flow was lower than I have ever seen it, but that did not effect the beauty of this waterfall. And it enabled me to position myself in places which would be much more difficult to get to during high flow!
Cascade Falls from Downstream
It was a bit early for peak fall color, but there were still plenty of colorful leaves to add a bit of character to the photos.
Fall Leaves at Cascade Falls
After my hike, I still had a little bit of time before I told Amy I would be back, so I stopped to check out a couple of nearby Covered Bridges.
This first one is on private property and since there were some locals out and about I didn't want to press my luck and spend too much time. So I just snapped off a couple of hand held shots and headed on my way to the next one.
1st Covered Bridge - Mountain Lake Road / Covered Bridge Lane
This next Covered Bridge is located in a little park which I assume is open to the public, so I spent a little more time photographing this one utilizing some nearby flowers to make a nice foreground.
2nd Covered Bridge - Clover Hollow Road
The complete set of photos is posted here: