Just about 30 minutes drive from The Oaks Victorian Inn is the Jefferson National Forest. The hike along Little Stony Creek to Cascade Falls is gorgeous and it took Bernie and me way too long to actually do it. During our first 2 years at The Oaks we just kept giving brochures to guests telling them it was an incredible hike. So much for hearsay. One beautiful spring day we headed west on rt. 460 to Pembroke and SR 623/Cascades Dr. Just after the turn onto Cascades Dr. is Tangent Outfitters, my point of reference when giving directions.They have all kinds of sporting goods and the Cascades Cafe. Get something to go for lunch. You can even book an adventure along The New River while you’re there. Drive about 4 miles through a quiet little residential area to get to the trail head. It’s $3 on your honor to park.
There is an upper and lower trail. We took the lower trail in to the falls. It’s a little rocky with some tough steps along the way but if Bernie and I can do it anybody can do it. Benches along the way provide places to sit, rest, and just immerse yourself in the beauty of the forest. I think we “immersed” at every bench. After about 2 miles the forest opens up to 200 foot cliff walls surrounding a large pool and spectacular 69 ft waterfall. It took us about and hour and a half to get there but it was worth it. Don’t forget to bring a camera. It’s best to go on a weekday. Weekends can get pretty crowded.
Take the smoother upper trail back. It’s not as pretty but takes about half is long to hike. Of course I was great on the tougher lower trail and had to trip coming down the easy upper trail and Bernie is never going to let me forget it.