Cascades Trail is a hiking trail in Wilkes County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 0.7 miles long and begins at 3,571 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 458 feet. The Cascades Picnic Area picnic site is near the trailhead. There are also a parking and restrooms. Near the end of the trail are viewpoints.
Cascades Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"“Water . . . like liquid lace from overhead . . . dashes past to swirl and slide downward in an abandon of spray and foam ripples.” The quote is from a plaque near the top of the Cascades, and it is an accurate description because the narrow, 50-foot waterfall rolls and rushes past you, rather than falling at your feet. The waters from Falls Creek are bound for the ocean at Winyah Bay, South Carolina, after flowing into the Yadkin River, which in turn flows into the Pee Dee River."
--Nicole Blouin, Steve Bordonaro, & Marilou Wier Bordonaro, Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge: A Hiking Guide to the Cascades of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Within E. B. Jeffress Park, a small recreation area off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this hike is advertised as a leisurely walk, but that’s simply not so. It begins as a stroll through the forest with interpretive signs identifying a variety of flora. You then cross a footbridge near some cascades, which is a great place for the dogs to play in the creek. Beyond the footbridge keep them on a tight leash. The trail leads past the brink of Cascades Falls and then steeply down to a pair of overlooks amid this 200-foot waterfall."
--Melissa Watson, Best Dog Hikes North Carolina (Falcon Guides).
"One of the Parkway’s best interpretive nature trails leads to a wonderful waterfall. This trail offers a great sense of the ecological community that teeters on the escarpment of the Blue Ridge. The path wanders the crest of cliffs overlooking the Piedmont and brings hikers to Falls Creek just as a waterfall leaps over the edge. The trail then swings back from the brink along the stream as it tumbles through a quiet valley toward the falls."
--Randy Johnson, Best Easy Day Hikes: Blue Ridge Parkway (Falcon Guides).
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