One of our very best “flat land” friends came to visit us a couple of weekends ago, so we decided to check out some new territory and hike the loop at Cascade Falls.
We drove north on the parkway from Blowing Rock and headed to E.B. Jeffress Park. (If you have never made this drive, I highly recommend adding it to your “To Do” list! Pick a clear, sunny day, pack a picnic, and plan to make pit stops at the overlooks along the way. You won’t be disappointed!)
When we arrived at the park (MP #272), the parking area was buzzing with activity; cars in, cars out, motorcycles, children running through the parking lot, dogs . . . . . Being on the parkway, combined with a very easy less than 1 mile loop trail, a waterfall, and a great picnic area makes for a great family day trip, so I can see the appeal.
The trail begins as a paved portion to the left of the restrooms.
(FYI Charlotte is just pouting in this picture, not sad. She despises walking on a leash.)
As you continue on, the trail turns to a very well maintained, heavily traveled dirt path. At the fork, we continued on to the right, as most do. We did pass a few trail rebels around the loop though.
After the creek crossing on a small wooden bridge, you start to encounter a bit more of a rocky terrain . . . . .
then so begins the stairs.
Down the stairs to the top overlook of the cascade.
Which looks like an enormous, fun water slide!
Then back up to the trail.
Then down to the falls.
Here we are. Just us three. Doing our thing. Hanging out in front of a waterfall.
Then up. (Last one. I promise!)
There is not much other than foliage to see as you make your way around the other half of the loop. But it is a great time to stop, drop, and yoga.
Or check out a massive fallen tree.
You end the trail the same way you entered, so take some time on your way out to read some of the signs telling you about the local vegetation.
Overall we found The Cascades to be a good
hike leg stretcher; not strenuous in the least with a reward at the end of all those stairs. Stay tuned for the second stop of the day . . . . . The Lump.
How To Get There:
Cascade Falls is located in E.B. Jeffress Park at MP #272 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.