Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway
by Randy Johnson (Falcon Guides)
© 2017 Randy Johnson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Great trip with trails that are very well maintained. With the lack of rain this summer the falls weren't really flowing. Will need to return in early Spring to enjoy all the falls have to offer.
Started at the the lower trailhead off FSR 59 and proceeded on Cornelius Creek trail for 2.3 miles where you take a hard left. It had just rained and the trail along the creek was beautiful with a gradual elevation grade and several easy creek crossing. Taking a break just before the left at the top of the trail is a good idea because the next section is a little steeper. Once you reach the the hard right the trail turns into the logging road where it's grassy and wide with a relaxed hike to the a marked intersection to the Falls on the left, it's all downhill now. Great view of the falls and some large rock formations. It took 4 1/2 hours with a lunch break.
To date, this has been one of our favorite trails. A nice easy going path that follows the stream all the way up to the falls. Several places to stop and take pictures, and we also enjoyed that the trail is a little more open than some others. Although you do not get the peak view of the valley or mountain line, the falls are quite an enjoyable climax to the trail. We will definitely do this one again, and bring our daughters ( 8&10) along. Lots for them to look at and can get close to the stream w/out any real hazards.
Hiked circuit via Cornelius Creek Trail, Old Logging Road and Apple Orchard Trail return to Trailhead on FSR 59. Excellent views of creek, falls and the Blue Ridge. Time: 4.25 hours including 15 minute stop at falls.
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