Best waterfalls in VA

15 Gorgeous Virginia Waterfalls (must-visit)

Rivers.

Mountains.

Coastline.

Virginia has it all.

So, it’s no wonder it is one of the top states for people who love an outdoor adventure – both visitors and locals alike.

And nothing says adventure like the roaring splendor of a waterfall!

There are countless falls in the state, from the wide and wonderful to the high and mighty (and not all of them need a day of hiking to get there!).

Here is our pick of the 15 best waterfalls in Virginia.

Looking for more locally approved Virginia guides? Check these out!

1. Great Falls National Park

Image: Cascading Falls. Terry Ott. [CC by 2.0] via Flickr

If you’re looking for where to find waterfalls in Virginia, this is the place to start!

The clue is really in the name of this one, or rather these ones plural.

Great Falls is a real natural marvel of the state, where the water of the Potomac River plunges over the rock face to flow through Mather Gorge.

As the falls are popular with visitors from Washington D.C. (the Nation’s Capital is only 15 miles away), you’re best to arrive early on weekends or in peak season.

The falls themselves are only a short walk from the Visitor’s Center, making them super accessible for most people. Want a longer walk?

The 800-acre National Park is full of tracks and trails for hiking, so bring your tennis shoes!

Top tip: cell coverage is limited, so collect a map at the entrance

2. Dark Hollow Falls

Image: Dark Hollow Falls. Jim Lukach. [CC by 2.0] via Flickr

Located in Shenandoah National Park (the first of Virginia’s 22 National Parks to be created) is Dark Hollow Falls.

They are picturesque falls at the end of a hike from the Big Meadows Area of the Park down the Dark Hollow Falls Trail.

You can pick up a map at the Visitor Center, which is handily located at the start of the trail!

About this hike… It’s marked as an ‘Easy’ on some guides, and that’s probably due to its length – 1.8 miles total.

However, that short distance covers a lot of elevation over uneven ground, so come prepared for that!

The scenery along the path and of course the falls at the bottom are well worth the walk, with many considering this an unmissable waterfall in Shenandoah.

3. Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls
Image: Cascade Falls. Nicholas Schooley. [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

If you picture an impressive woodland waterfall in your mind, chances are it bears a striking resemblance to Cascade Falls.

Cascade is a 66-foot waterfall in Jefferson National Forest, and you get there via a 4-mile total path, which trails through fairytale scenery before arriving at the falls.

There are several paths you can choose from, some narrow and twisting others wider and generally easier going.

Either way, it will be 2-miles to the falls and you’ll need your hiking shoes!

Bring a picnic with you and enjoy it while soaking your feet in the cool water, or find a quiet spot and lose yourself in the natural white noise of the falls.

4. Roaring Run Falls

Photo credit: Roaring Run Falls Facebook Page

Yet another aptly named set of falls, Roaring Run Falls pushes through a gorge and crashes spectacularly down to Craig Creek.

There are two trails leading to the falls, so combine them to make a loop – you’ll have gorgeous views all the way around.

At 2 miles, this hike won’t be too much of a challenge, making it one of the more accessible waterfalls hikes in Virginia.

Make sure you pass the 19th-century Roaring Run iron furnace on your way back from the falls – it’s still intact and is a real piece of history!

5. Dismal Falls

Standing on the rocks on the Appalachian Trail
Image: Appalachian Trail 2007. John Hayes. [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Never has there been a more unfortunately named waterfall than Dismal Falls in Bland.

The reality is far from dismal or bland!

The 50 feet wide falls drop a relatively short 10 feet down into a pool – dabble your toes, or even swim in hot weather!

This is a really easy fall to get to – it’s a 5-minute walk from the parking area, and a gravel path makes access suitable for the majority of people.

Want a longer hike?

The Appalachian Trail runs close to the falls, alongside Dismal Creek.

We promise the views are anything but dismal! (Badum tish…)

6. Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls in Virginia
Image: Crabtree Falls. The Last Cookie. [CC by 2.0] via Flickr

From one of the widest falls to the tallest waterfalls in Virginia, Crabtree Falls.

At a staggering 1,200 feet drop, Crabtree has to be on the list of best Virginia falls.

In fact, depending on how you measure waterfalls, this is the tallest vertical drop falls east of the Mississippi River!

There are five cascades, with each of them having a different viewing station, so depending on your level of fitness you can make the hike as short as you like.

There is wheelchair accessibility up to the first level of the falls, but the path can be slippery in wet weather.

It’s a popular spot with hikers so best to visit out of season or early in the morning.

Trust us, the views will be worth the early rise!

Make sure you have some dollars on you for parking, oh and bring your hiking shoes for this one!

7. Falling Spring Falls

Falling Spring Falls waterfall
Image: Get outdoors photo contest entries from Douthat State Park. Virginia State Parks. [CC by 2.0] via Flickr

After an awesome view without a hike?

Look no further than Falling Spring Falls!

Park on the roadside pull-off and you’re a (very) short walk away from one of the most photographed and best waterfalls in Virginia.

Looking at the way it bursts over the rocky ledge, you can see why!

Falling Springs has been popular with visitors going back hundreds of years, with Thomas Jefferson calling it a “remarkable cascade” – what an endorsement!

Great for a quick visit with maximum Instagram potential!

8. Overall Run Falls & Swimming Hole

Back to Shenandoah National Park for a long 7-mile hike to Overall Run Falls, the highest falls in the park.

The swimming hole is around 2-miles from Overall Run Falls, so make it a combined day trip and cool off after the slightly more difficult hike!

The hike to the falls is 6.5-miles, with the falls at the halfway point.

On the walk, you’re treated to views of Massanutten Mountain, Shenandoah Valley and Twin Falls, before you reach the panoramic view of Overall Run Falls – all 95-feet of it!

Visit this waterfall in Spring or Fall – it can dry out in hot weather.

The swimming hole on the Overall Run river is definitely worth a visit too, particularly if you have kids – there’s a natural slide between two of the three pools!

Get to it from the start of the Thompson Hollow Trail, it’s then a short walk to the river and the pools.

9. Whiteoak Canyon Falls

Water rushing at Whiteoak Canyon
Image: Water at Whiteoak Canyon. Shenandoah National Park. via Flickr

Whiteoak Canyon Falls is actually a series of six falls along the Whiteoak Canyon Trail through the gorge of Whiteoak Run (do you think there might be white oaks around?).

Hike the 5.5-mile walk and spot all six falls, ranging from 35 to 86-feet, on your way.

There are swimming holes at the bottom of each of the six falls.

They tend to get busy, so despite what you might read on TripAdvisor, this isn’t the place to skinny dip!

This is a good option if you aren’t totally sure if you want a strenuous hike.

Feeling adventurous? Trek the 4.5 miles to the Upper Falls, but be warned – it’s steep!

The lower falls are better if you just want a good view and a stroll.

Or if you want a challenge take the harder hike around the Cedar Run – Whiteoak 8-mile circuit.

10. White Rock Falls

White Rock Falls
Image: White Rock Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway. Patrick Mueller. [CC by 2.0] via Flickr

We’re taking the adventure level down a notch for White Rock Falls.

This hike is a chilled-out 2-mile round trip off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

So we know that the previous set of falls was named for the white oaks in the area, well this was named for the quartz that was found there.

Start your hike at Slacks Overlook and head down the east side of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Head along the rocky gorge, gouged out by the small creek over millennia, and enjoy the ancient trees towering above you – this is another trek straight out of a fairytale!

The fall itself is a skinny 30-foot drop, that bubbles into a plunge pool at the bottom, so bring your swimsuit!

11. Statons Fall

Photo credit: Blue Ridge Country

Alert!

A waterfall with no hike required!

Welcome to Statons Falls, or Staton Creek Falls, just a short 100-meter walk from the parking area.

The falls have a recognizable zig-zagged look created by the water tumbling over the multi-faceted rocks.

All that water crashing into itself creates a lot of mist and foam, refreshing in summer and brisk in winter – bring a poncho!

Statons is one of the best Virginia waterfalls to come to if accessibility is an issue or if you want a quick bonus stop when you’re in the George Washington National Forest.

12. Panther Falls

Image: Virginia.org

Along the same river as Statons is Panther Falls, a popular swimming destination for locals and visitors alike.

The hike from the parking lot to the falls is short but not for the faint-hearted due to the muddy and slippery path.

But have courage!

Once you’re there, it will be worth it!

The falls are on the smaller side, so the draw here is the pool at the bottom.

If you’re a confident swimmer you can jump the 10-foot from the top of the falls into the water – just be prepared for the cool mountain water!

Rumor has it there’s even a secret underwater tunnel from the plunge pool to behind the falls.

13. Lace Falls

Lace Falls in Natural Bridge state park
Image: Lace Falls seating area Natural Bridge State Park. Virginia State Parks. [CC by 2.0] via Flickr

Located in Natural Bridge State Park, 50-foot Lace Falls is a bit upstaged by the impressive limestone natural bridge, but still very much worth a visit.

If you’d like to visit a falls whilst having a more ‘touristy’ day out, or with more for the kids to enjoy, then Lace Falls is a great option.

In the state park, you’ll find a visitor center, exhibits, a gift shop and a Children’s Discovery Area.

You can also head under the Natural Bridge to the Monacan Indian Village.

There are so many trails to take through the state park, including Cedar Creek Trail which will lead you to Lace Falls.

Park Rangers are often accommodating to people with accessibility needs, so this really is one for the whole family.

14. Little Stony Creek Falls

Waterfall in Little Stony National Trail
Image: Little Stony – Lower. DM. [CC BY-ND 2.0] via Flickr

Head to Jefferson National Forest and the Little Stony National Recreation Trail if you’re after a gentle hike with stunning creekside views.

The two falls on Little Stony Creek can be reached by this trail, which has been built on a 1900s narrow gauge railroad bed originally used for logging.

No logging traffic along the route now, but plenty of rocky outcrops, trailing branches and picturesque wooden footbridges for you to enjoy!

A major bonus of Little Stony Creek Falls is that the trail there is well-maintained.

Though it’s still not great for anyone who isn’t sure of foot, there is a handrail to help you over the bigger boulders.

You can also fish along the creek, so bring your rod and make a day of it!

15. Jones Hollow Falls and Devil’s Bathtub

Devil's Bathtub
Image: DSCF1447. Corrina Beall. [CC by 2.0] via Flickr

Are you up for a challenge?

Try the Devil’s Fork Loop Trail, perfect if you want a hike with a bit more adventure (read rock scrambling and multiple creek crossings) and a major payoff at the end!

Once you reach the culmination of the 7-mile hike, you’ll be ready for a plunge in the ominously named Devil’s Bathtub – a smooth bowl cut into the rock face at the bottom of a small waterfall.

For the Jones Hollow Falls, head further along the trail where you’ll find the falls off the beaten path.

There’s a pool at the bottom of the 45-foot falls, but be careful as the area is very slippery – best to save your swimming for the Devil’s Bathtub!

Now for the downside: the route is super popular, and people being people in recent years has caused the area to have issues with parking and litter.

It goes without saying that if you bring stuff with you, take it home again!

That way Jones Hollow Falls and the Devil’s Bathtub can remain one of the best waterfalls in Virginia.

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