|1 hour and 30 minutes with 10 minutes of breaks
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Falls Ridge Preserve is located in the North Fork Roanoke River Valley close to Blacksburg, VA. This small preserve is held by The Nature Conservancy and protects a spring-fed travertine waterfall. Travertine describes limestone created by the build-up of spring water with high mineral concentrations. Over thousands of years the rocks grow in size, calcifying plants and other organic materials in the process. This waterfall was formed by the process, and has an interesting array of bulbous rocks at each cascade. It is clearly evident where moss and plants have calcified because there are many shades of green streaks in the rocks. The total height of the cascades is roughly 50-60 feet high and the upper cascades are particularly delightful. You can also add some mileage by taking the Chamberlain Trail loop along the ridges above the valley. On the way back be sure to check out the caves at the base of the limestone cliffs, another feature of travertine formations.