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Little Stony Falls - Stony, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
1.5 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
1.0 hour
240 ft
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Park at the Little Stony trailhead. 36.86940, -82.46361

By Trail Contributor: Jeff Monroe (Email Jeff)

This very short hike still manages views of three different waterfalls along Little Stony Creek.  The trail is known as the Little Stony National Recreation Trail, however this hike is short because much of the Little Stony Trail’s original length washed out in 2018, and the Forest Service closed access until it can repair the trail – something that has seen little progress over the past several years.  If interested in a guide to the rest of this trail and other nearby trails, we recommend purchasing a copy of High Lonesome Trails: Hiking Virginia’s High Knob Region, published in 2021 by Wally Smith, a Biology professor at the nearby University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Despite the shortened trail, the first part of this hike remains very popular in the Summer, as locals use the stream below the first waterfall as a swimming hole. We went in October so we saw no swimmers, but the changing leaves made for beautiful views of the waterfalls.  This trail still has much to offer hikers despite its currently short length, thanks to views of three separate waterfalls. This hike is well worth the trouble it takes to find the trail’s remote trailhead.

  • Mile 0.0 – The trailhead for this hike is a parking area that also serves as the eastern end of the yellow blazed Chief Benge Trail.  The yellow blazed trail starts at the far end of the parking lot, next to a trail kiosk.  Begin the hike by descending towards Little Stony Creek.

  • Mile 0.2 – Cross a wooden pedestrian bridge that crosses Little Stony Creek and looks down on the first waterfall.  You cannot see the falls from here, but you can hear it, and may see folks swimming in the pool below the falls.

  • Mile 1.6 – The trail comes to some stonework on the downslope side, and there are stone steps down to the creek.  Take these steps a short distance for the best views of the first waterfall. This waterfall is the prettiest of the three, and one of the prettiest waterfalls in all of Virginia.  This waterfall alone would be worth the trip, but there is more to see, so head back up the stone steps and turn left onto the original trail to continue. 

  • Mile 1.7 – The trail passes close to some rocks that jut out over the trail.  Shortly after, cross the second bridge over Little Stony Creek.  There are nice views both upstream and downstream.  Shortly after the bridge, an unblazed side trail to the right descends to Little Stony Creek providing views of the second waterfall.  Like the first waterfall, this one is located below the trail bridge. Continue back to the main trail and take a right.

  • Mile 1.8 – The trail reaches a point where the majority of the trail has washed out.  The final viewing platform is just after this washed out section of the trail. 

  • Mile 1.9 – Reach the viewing platform, with views of the third waterfall.  From this point, retrace your steps back to your vehicle.

  • Mile 4.3 – Reach the Little Stony Creek Falls Parking Lot, and return to your vehicle.

Mid October
Third Waterfall On Little Stony Creek
Little Stony Falls Hike Comments
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