Apple Orchard Falls Trail and Cornelius Creek Circuit-Milepost 784

Buchanan, Virginia

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4 Reviews
5 out of 5
The Forest Service is justly proud of this waterfall circuit that features two scenic, well-maintained National Recreation Trails and spectacular Apple Orchard Falls. This figure- eight trail system explores a noteworthy north-facing watershed of old-growth forest below the highest peak in this part of the Blue Ridge. It’s a best-kept secret for backpackers and birders. Neotropical songbirds such as the ovenbird, red-eyed vireo, and scarlet tanager can be seen and heard here. (The rare Peaks of Otter salamander is also a resident.) In the early 1990s the Forest Service designated 1,825 acres as a Special Management Area; the trails were upgraded and the focus shifted away from potential timber harvesting to enhancing recreation and wildlife.
Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway

by Randy Johnson (Falcon Guides)

The Forest Service is justly proud of this waterfall circuit that features two scenic, well-maintained National Recreation Trails and spectacular Apple Orchard Falls. This figure- eight trail system explores a noteworthy north-facing watershed of old-growth forest below the highest peak in this part of the Blue Ridge.

It’s a best-kept secret for backpackers and birders. Neotropical songbirds such as the ovenbird, red-eyed vireo, and scarlet tanager can be seen and heard here. (The rare Peaks of Otter salamander is also a resident.) In the early 1990s the Forest Service designated 1,825 acres as a Special Management Area; the trails were upgraded and the focus shifted away from potential timber harvesting to enhancing recreation and wildlife.

© 2017 Randy Johnson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding, Hiking
Nearby City: Buchanan
Distance: 1.5-7.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: The Blue Ridge Parkway 199 Hemphill Knob Road Asheville, NC 28803-8686 (828) 271-4779 (828) 298-0398
Local Maps: USGS Arnold Valley; no Parkway map available
Driving Directions: Directions to Apple Orchard Falls Trail and Cornelius Creek Circuit-Milepost 78.4

Recent Trail Reviews

8/6/2011
0

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.


3/28/2009
0

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.


5/5/2007
0

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.


4/16/2006
0

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. Difficulty: Moderate



Activity Feed

Apr 2018