Cascades National Recreation Trail

Cascades National Recreation Trail

Cascades National Recreation Trail
4.5
Monday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles71 reviews
Excellent
57
Very good
10
Average
2
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Alee J
Tampa, FL7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Family
We had a wonderful day hiking the cascades! We hiked the lower trail up and enjoyed the walk on the river. Then took the upper trail back which was definitely the quicker option. It was incredibly gorgeous and well kept. There was a lot of foot traffic though and we were pacing other groups the whole time. I’d definitely return!
Written May 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alicia
Roanoke, VA418 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Couples
We do this hike about once every year. It’s always been a great trail. After a week of hard rain and the creek finally settling , the lower part of the trail was open, however, there were some parts washed out and fallen trees you had to maneuver around. The scenery never gets old and once you get to the falls, it’s breathtaking. If you’ve never been there, be prepared for almost freezing water that’s all year round!- at the least - the water is very refreshing to take a dip in. When we went the restrooms were not open: so if you gotta go, better get creative :-).
Written June 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christen A
Albemarle, NC243 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
We visited for the first time Sunday afternoon. The scenery was just gorgeous. It started storming when we were near the end so we didn't make it all the way to the falls. The beauty surrounding us made the trip worth while and we will return to finish it.
Written June 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ginny C
Bloomfield, NJ12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This was a beautiful hike that ended in a spectacular waterfall. I am strictly a casual hiker and also well over 50, although in good shape. It was just challenging enough to be a bit of a workout. If you're worn out after the climb, there is an easier way back which we gladly took. The water in the stream is FREEZING cold even in June, but that didn't seem to stop hikers from wading in. I was happy just to dip my feet in. I would say be careful if hiking with small children because there are areas where you are hiking right next to a steep dropoff. I would worry if small kids were with me. Make sure you talk to children beforehand and instruct them to stay on the trail for their own safety.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather P
Peterstown, WV29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Friends
This is the most beautiful place.
You want to take a picture every few feet.
There are two trails. Upper and lower. I recommend taking the lower one up ,as the scenery is better and the upper one back as it is quicker. Either way you won’t be disappointed. FYI the waterfall is beautiful.
Written July 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marina M
Newport News, VA330 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
Worth the 2.05 mile hike up (beautiful woodsy lower hike) Took us a while with younger children(8) and teens. There’s some steep spots, only rocks and narrow parts so be careful.

Walking back we walked the upper easy stretch which was mostly downhill, dry and no stairs. Pretty tiring but glad we did it.

Take $3 cash. Go early to miss the traffic and parking congestion. It’s slippery (saw several people fall bad) when you get to the falls, so walk carefully. Water is freezing and feels great after sweating so much while hiking up.
Written July 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jay G
Bethesda, MD151 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Awesome trail. Well maintained. It got crowded later in the day. I want early at 9 am . When I got tack to my car by Noon the lot was packed. I took the lower train to the falls. It was a lot smoother and level. If you want a workout take the upper trail to the falls.
Written August 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mom_of_2_nyc
New York City, NY85 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
Get rewarded at this easy out and back trail in Jefferson State Park. The Falls are beautiful. Hiking on the right side of the stream can be a little slippery and parts of the trail were a bit wet as we ascended. On the way back, it was an easy trek down the lose gravel walkway.
Written May 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

peachy326
7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Family
By the way, this a part of the JEFFERSON NATIONAL FOREST, not a national recreation trail. See Cascades Falls for other reviews.

My husband and I have been the site hosts for 6 yrs now.  As we end our last season here, I thought I'd write a review of my own. The Cascades are beautiful.  This site has grown exponentially over the years.   On any given weekend from April thru Oct., (into Nov. for VT home games) the 83 car lot is filled before noon.  At that point, all you can do is pay the $3,  1.  get your hang tag, and politely circle until someone leaves, 2.  come back on a weekday when there will be a space, or...3.  Park outside the Jefferson National Forest site and walk back in.   If you choose #3, be sure to PARK LEGALLY -- you are not on Federal Property and that side is rightfully monitored by Giles County.
.   Back to that $3 per carload -- they mean $3 in exact change!!!  People complain about it asking why we have no change or card reader. A card reader or person to manage change would entail a full time paid person or two and salaries.  That would entail a raise in fee.  I don't think folks really want that.  ALWAYS STOP AND PAY AT THE KIOSK PRIOR TO ENTERING THE PARKING LOT!!!!!  Way too many people think it is cool not to pay at all.  In order to stem this tide and help the site pay for its own upkeep, forest personnel intermittently check the lot.  If your car does not have that hang tag easily visible on your dash, you will return to find a $75 federal ticket.  Don't bother telling them you were walking down to the pay kiosk or that you were planning to pay on the way out.  They've heard it all.  So has the judge in Roanoke.  If you need change or only have a credit card, stop at a store before you go.  If you dont have $3, dont come to the Cascades.  Stop and pay;  don't risk the ticket.
.   On to the trail.  It was totally rebuilt in the late 1990's after a major flood.  A stone building with flush toilets was built and the parking lot was paved.  The parking lot was engineered to hold the amount of visitors geared to not excessively stress the trail and natural area.  That's why there are only 83 spaces.  On any given weekend day those 83 spaces may change 3 or 4 times, plus the people walking in from the cars off site.  If you figure an average of at least 3 people and one dog in each car, you may well be hiking up to the Cascades with 600 people and 200 dogs.
.  The 4 mile loop trail starts together just to the right of the bathrooms.  Water in the bathrooms is potable and please, please bring down all trash and anything else you take up with you.  If you must take babies and biddy little toddlers, please hold hands.  All dogs on a leash, even if you dont normally leash your dog !!!  Start off hiking.  In about 1/4 mile you will come to the first bridge.  Cross it and you will be on the low trail.  The low trail is cut from the rocks directly at creekside.  It is more scenic, but it in definitely tougher.  This is not tough for experienced hikers, but trust me it is not a walk in the park for everyone.  The high trail is the same distance, but is easier due to being laid for the rescue 4×4.  Tradition says up the low and down the high but it's not a rule.  If you are concerned for your ability to hike this, don't cross the bridge and you will stay on the easier high trail.  If it feels too tame when you reach the falls, then come down the low side.  BTW, strollers will NOT make the low trail.  You will wind up carrying both the child and the stroller.  Trust me here...
.   You've made it to the falls.  Take pictures.  It is gorgeous!!!!  Be careful about playing in the water. Do not allow children out of site.  It is always ice cold and can be dangerous, especially when the water is high. Do not climb the falls.  The water is posted AT YOUR OWN RISK.  In 2016 there were 2 drowning fatalities and many injuries.  By the way, Giles County Rescue Squad answers 911 calls.  Call them if you need them, but don't call frivolously.  If you do call them, don't vanish without letting them know you are better and have gone home.  I have seen them search for hours after someone called then came down on their own and went on home without even the courtesy of a call back.
.  When you're done playing and snapping photos at the falls, come on down. Be safe.  Bring down everything you brought up, especially your trash.  The waterfall fairy does not make trash pick up on the mountain. 
.  At the bathrooms, please be thoughtful.  Cleanliness may be next to Godliness, but no one's soul was ever saved by trashing the bathrooms.  If you line the commode with toilet paper before sitting, then make sure the paper is flushed away.  If you get messy and wash up at the sink basin, kindly clean up after.  Men, too.  I think you folks get the drift here.  I actually had one person tell me that they had left me a mess so I'd get overtime.  I dont think they got the concept of Volunteer.  I had another ask who I knew to make the forest service provide me with such a nice RV.  I'm still snickering over that one..
.    Did I tell you I love this place?  Did I tell you I go down to the third tier of the picnic grounds where the table is almost in the creek to meditate and soak up the beauty? Did I tell you I sit silently for hours to watch the deer, that I recognize some of them and have watched them grow from year to year. Did I tell you I wait impatiently each year for those brief weeks when the blue butterflies flock everywhere and for the time when the buckeyes begin to fall.  I know fall is coming then.
.  I love it here!!!  I love the wonderful people I've met in the forest service. I feel like I have watched some of their kids grow up. A more caring, giving group I can't imagine.  I love the many, people I've made friends with in this area.  How special they have all made it!!  I have loved my interactions with the masses of people who have come to visit "my" waterfall.  98% of you were awesome.  The other 2% were memorable, LOLOL!!!
..   Okay,  I've said enough.   I hope I've told you what you wanted or needed to know.  Come to the Cascades!  Bring your walking shoes, $3 in exact change, water, a camera, and a good attitude. 

.   It is nearly the end of our last season here.  I'll be 64 at the end of this week and this place will always be a part of me.  I hope when you come to my waterfall you will feel the same way.   Treat it well.  Care for it and all the earth.  Keep it safe for generations yet to come.  Make it yours.

Written September 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jabaileyest2004
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Family
This is one of the most beautiful hikes and falls I've ever been to including Hawaiian waterfalls but do NOT get in the water anywhere! About an hour after we had waded in the water on the slippery stones and as we made our way back to the parking lot, tons of first responders headed toward the falls. What had happened was a little boy and father were out on the shallow part of the falls trying to get a better view. The son fell in the deeper pool like part of the water (which several people were swimming in) and when the father jumped in to get him, the current pulled him under the waterfall. Later, we talked to a variety of locals and they said a) that same thing happened two weeks ago and b) they would never go in that water PERIOD. It's like a washing machine agitator a local had put it. The rest of the lower trail ... Which is the most rewarding and beautiful of all trails is very close to intense rapid water. We have a had a lot of rainfall this summer but it is always dangerous and rapid. Go ...just be cautious of your kids and make smart choices near the water.
Written July 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Cascades National Recreation Trail - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cascades National Recreation Trail

Cascades National Recreation Trail is open:
  • Mon - Sat 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM



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