Apple Orchard Falls Trail
Follows the stream to the falls
The trail leading to Apple Orchard Falls is a well maintained National Recreation Trail. It has a nice carefree pathway that follows the stream up to the falls. There are a number of locations to stop at and take pictures. You will find the trail itself is slightly more open than other trails. While you will not get a peak observation of either the valley or mountainside, ending up at the falls is a wonderful highlight\
Apple Orchard Falls itself is a beautiful waterfall with multiple levels of water cascading down from the various ledges and then off an abrupt cliff. It's one of the states tallest waterfalls. The Forest Service has built a wooden bridge with an observation deck just underneath the falls so you can stand, watch the falls and take great pictures. Another fantastic aspect of hiking in the area is that the trails and trailheads around Apple Orchard Falls allow a multitude of choices for taking loops and baktracking.
Directions: Google Directions
The Apple Orchard Falls-Cornelius Creek loop is east of Buchanan in the Jefferson ational Forest along the western side of the Blue Ridge below the Parkway. Best trailhead access is from the end of Forest Road 59 or from Sunset Field Overlook at milepost 78.7 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. To get to the FR 59 trailhead, take exit 168 off I-81 just north of Buchanan, follow Route 614 just over 3 miles through Arcadia, then turn left at the orth Creek Campground sign onto FR 59. In about 4 miles, past the camground, the road will end at a trailhead. The Apple Orchard Falls Trail leads left out of here; the Cornelius Creek Trail is to the right.
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