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Hiker Reviews for the Apple Orchard Falls Hike - 1 to 40 of 40   
Review the Apple Orchard Falls hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Stephanie Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 28, 2017
My husband, myself and our 2 dogs hiked this trail. We had a great time although the elevation was pretty tough at some points. We did see some snakes along the trail. The falls were beautiful and if you go further up there's a beautiful view of the mountains. We were on the trail mostly by ourselves until we got closer to the falls.

By: Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
This hike punches above its weight in difficulty, but is worth the work! We set out from the upper trailhead (Sunset Field, on the BRP) around 8:30 intending to hike this loop clockwise, with a small detour. From the intersection of the AT and Cornelius Creek Trail, we continued Southbound on the AT for just over a half mile, up a modest hill, to the Black Rock Overlook. I think it offers a better view of the valley than anything you'll see on the loop itself, and is absolutely worth the sidetrip.

Continuing back along the trail, we found the descent along Cornelius Creek Trail to be a leg-burner (this would be a theme for the day) as it was pretty steep, prolonged, and had plenty of cobble-sized stones to mess up your footing. Hiking along Cornelius Creek was lovely, with an abundance of swimming holes, shelfs, cascades, etc. There were a few large-ish trees down across the trail here, but nothing we or the dog couldn't navigate.

Heading up Apple Orchard Falls Trail was less remarkable both in views and character until we got closer to the falls. The trail steepens considerably below the falls, so we took a long break for water and snacks at the platform there. Following this, it was 1.5 miles back uphill to the trailhead. We'd hiked down the falls and back before without any complaint, but doing the same trail after 7 miles is a much harder story. A very worthwhile hike, but not as easy as you may think looking at the mileage and elevation if you're hiking from the top.

By: Shawn R. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 09, 2016
This is a wonderful hike which is alongside of a creek a majority of the way. We went on a day which was very foggy and cool which meant two things: no other people and no view(s). Although we weren't able to see anything where the overlook was, this was still a phenomenal hike. There were a couple of areas which could be used as swimming holes during much warmer weather. Also, there were two areas with creek crossings that almost guaranteed some wet feet.

It's important to note that it is fairly easy to get "lost." We had to retrace our steps a couple of times. The blazes were spread out far too much and at one point misleading. There was a blue blaze on a tree on what looked like where the trail could go, but it turned out the trail kept going a different direction which had no blazes. This trail then led to fire road. From there it was fairly straightforward. Just keep walking on that road until you reach a sign which will lead you in the right direction.

Despite needing to backtrack a few times the hike only took a little more than 4 hours with several small breaks to enjoy the falls.

By: Lostgypsy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 22, 2015
Great hike even if I took a wrong turn, which led me covering some of the same trail twice.  The falls are beautiful and the walk on Cornelius was quite relaxing with all the solitude.

By: Sterling Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 22, 2015
I'm a 61 year old photographer and a moderate hiker. This was a great hike with water everywhere. So many great photo opportunities. A steady uphill trek to the Falls with many photo spots of the stream. The hike down the mountain on the Cornelius Creek Trail was very rocky and dry. Upon arriving at Cornelius Creek for the rest of the hike out was awesome with many falling water scenes and several nice pools. Review said swimming holes but water is mountain stream cold and just right for soaking your feet and splashing your face. I will be returning just to do the Cornelius Creek Trail again. Great photos ! I'll add for people with pets that a hikers dog took a 20 foot fall near the small fall above the big falls. It was not on leash and actually seemed ok, hard to believe. The owner put it back on leash and continued on. Great solitude and peaceful hike with lots of water.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 12, 2015
I hiked down to the falls from the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We enjoyed the crispness and coolness of the air.  It was 85 F in Roanoke that day but it was crisp and cool on the mountain.  The trail is completely enclosed in a shade canopy, which is especially good for my heavy coated dog.  It was a Wednesday and we saw only four couples on the train during our down and back.  I'll be back during the autumn colors!

By: Rob B Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 11, 2015
This was a great hike and we hiked the exact path that the map followed.  From the parking lot up to the falls, then using the connector road, and down Cornelius trail is actually ~7.5 miles.  It's a great hike but be ready for the extra mileage!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 24, 2015
We started at the Sunset Field Overlook (MP 78.4). Our group: Amy and I our three sons (ages 10, 8, and 6) and our black Lab. The trail is in reasonably good shape. Rocks and roots in spots, but generally good with just one small, narrow, mucky stream crossing with rocks to hop across. If you are reasonably-observant and careful, you can do this trail in running or trail shoes. If you're not, you can trip or tweak an ankle.

A stream parallels the trail for a while, and you'll descend a set of wooden stairs and a wooden bridge and see what shall forever be known to me as "Little Apple Orchard Falls." (More on that later.)

The small waterfall area offers places to sit on big rocks, enjoy the scenery, and take a break. From here, the trail starts to descend quickly and constantly through big stands of rhododendron, intermittent views, and multiple sets of wooden stairs. At some point, the voice in your head will say, "Uh oh. We have to go back *up,* but ignore it because at the base of the falls, there's a very nice wooden platform with benches that offers a great view of the 200' falls.

Did I mention that the elevation change from the parking area to the wooden platform at the base of the falls is 1000'? On your return to the parking area, you'll do the wooden stairs, pass the small falls, hit another set of stairs, and then begin a nearly-constant climb back up to the parking area. There are plenty of spots to rest along the way. (Watch for a big rock that looks like it has a bench built into it. On your way back up, the trail veers sharply to the right at that spot and isn't marked very clearly.) If you're hiking with kids, plan on taking a few breaks. The trail didn't feel crowded, even on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It's possible that some folks hit the AT (about .25 from the trailhead) to summit Apple Orchard Mountain. You'll probably see AT thru- or section-hikers taking a side trip to see the falls.

Summary: An easy trail because of its condition, but a tough trail because of the elevation change. Definitely worth the time to see the falls.

Ok, more on "Little Apple Orchard Falls." This was our *second* visit to this trail. On our first trip a week earlier, we got to the stairs and wooden bridge, saw the small falls and a thru-hiker, and just *assumed* that we'd arrived at the falls. After all, if a thru-hiker was stopping to eat and purify some water, this had to be the end of the side trail, right? We took some pictures, marveled at the beauty of it all--and then a couple days later found photos of the *real* Apple Orchard Falls on Google. The decision to go back and do it right came swiftly and with little discussion. It was worth the return trip.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 12, 2015
Note: The fire road is closed to vehicle traffic 2 miles before the normal parking area, so add 4mi to your total hiking distance/time.

By: S.Zanatakos Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 09, 2014
I did not enjoy this hike. I found the trail to be very poorly marked in areas. A few markings where misleading and or missing. The ground was fully covered by leaves making it difficult in areas to determine where the trail continues and made it difficult to not twist an ankle. The terrain is very inconstant. The falls where disappointing compared to other VA waterfalls. The Cornelius Creek trail is not scenic at all.. Went through some Bear territory getting back to the parking lot... Took 3.15 hours to do the hike roundtrip and stopping a few times. The series of wooden steps where the highlight of the trail. Wouldn't recommend this hike, at least this part of the year in early Nov. Limited on daylight and easy to get lost, even with the typography map offered here. The trail is clean of trash overall which is always a plus. but the parking lot is down a ways from the campsite. It may have a different aspect in the spring but regardless I Won't be doing this hike again.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 30, 2014
My 11-year old and I hit the trail for a weekend backpacking trip.  We only hiked about 1/4 of the route (from the north end, clockwise to the falls) before setting up camp for the weekend, and although the portion of the circuit that we backpacked on was definitely easy, as you approach the falls the terrain gets steep...and rocky.  My son and I just threw on daypacks for that hike up to the falls and the ankle-busting trail was making us sweat like pigs! 

At sunrise the coyotes were howlin', and one even ran past the campsite!  We saw bear droppings on the trail, but never saw a bear.

If you are looking for solitude, then this probably isn't the trail for you.

By: Mark Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 12, 2014
It may seem like you are on the wrong road once it turns to gravel, but stick with it until the last 2.23 miles as listed on the summary of directions. We camped on the Cornelius Creek side of the bridge on Friday night. It was walking distance to the parking area, so we were able to enjoy a little car camping the first night. Enjoyed being close to the creek and the rope swing, overall nice campsite. Packed up Saturday morning and hiked down the Cornelius Creek Trail (backwards of the route on the summary). Pretty steep grade going that way. I would recommend the other direction to keep the grades more manageable. Took the connector trail vice going all the way to the AT and around. Connector trail was noticeably thick with grass (seems as if its not used alot), plenty of Blackberry bushes. If you head up there in a few weeks they will be ripe with berries. Made it around to the falls. Nice view worth the hike. Followed the Apple Orchard Trail around to the campsite shown halfway up the trail. CAUTION: BEAR... didnt bother us, but there was a friend hanging out across the creek. If you overnight this Bear bag is a necessity. Overall a nice hike, especially when we made it into a weekender.

By: Zach Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Our group of four spent two nights on this trail over the weekend. It's well marked and easy to follow. Take the steep parts slow and it will be a breeze. We basically hiked the entire loop the first day and spent the whole second day swimming in the creek and swinging on a rope swing someone left. The best swimming hole is mentioned in the description and the rope swing is really close to the parking lot on the Cornelius Creek trail. The campsites are well used and really close to the trail. Privacy might be an issue if the trail was crowded. Watch out for stinging nettle.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 05, 2014
Decided to drive to the trail access of of FR 3034 which will take you in below the falls. This was not a good idea for someone in marginal health. The trail was steep and rocky. My ascent according to my handheld GPS was about 487 feet and at a 17 grade.

Of course some sections were a relative breeze, but the steep and rocky sections will make your pay for your euphoria. I turned around at the wooden footbridge that was the beginning of the switch back leading to the lower part of the falls. With only a tenth of a mile to go this was dissapointing, but based on my questionalble knee and the reports of the intensity of the climb from others knowlegble, the right thing to do! I will attempt the climb from the Sunset Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway as it is reported that the trail albeit steep is better maintained and therefore safer for someone at my climbing level.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 20, 2014
I was excited for this hike, but it didn't really live up to my expectations. I found it to be much more strenuous than I was expecting (and I hike a LOT), the trails were not clearly marked (the sign for the AT and the rest of the Apple Orchard trail about half way up would freely spin in its hole), and parts of the trail was overgrown with thick waist-high weeds (to be expected, of course, but makes me wish I had chosen spring/fall to hike this trail instead). Also, don't be like the boob that I hiked with who parked at the beginning of the gravel road and forced us to walk to the trailhead. By all means, DRIVE up the length of that gravel road if the gate is open! It is by my rough estimate at least 1.5-2 miles, which wastes your energy for the real trail. I am not completely writing off this hike, but I definitely had a poor experience my first time hiking it. I would recommend going in early/mid spring or mid/late fall through winter. Keep in mind that the trail is UP UP UP there are practically no flat spots until you begin the ascent downward. The grade is fairly steep with lots of little rocks to trip over. I think the difficulty of this hike is harder than it is portrayed here. This means that if you are an inexperienced hiker or looking for a fun family outing you really should look elsewhere. The only saving grace about this LONG day hike is the copious amount of streams and swimming holes, although when I went the water was still pretty chilly (probably 65 degrees).

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, June 16, 2014
So 6\16 I wanted to go on small camping trip to get the camping bug out of me. I drove 3 1\2 hours to craptree mountain with two freinds and a dog.

The drive up was alright. Though I read the dirrections wrong and drove up the camping area road with my non 4 by 4 car lol only to figure out the trails off the  main road and not the camping trail. Trust me you guys. Gps will sit you by the old cabin. Follow the main road, dont go down the road by the cabin.

The hike was also interesting. The very begining was boring. Most of the falls were covered. The camp sites all rocky and not close to the water. It was all...ehh.borrring....untill we went past the bridges. We actualy put our tent up, and set everything at the campsite before the bridges so we did not have to walk up the mountain with the gear. GOOD Idea.

The hike up wasnt bad. I guess I am more fit at 226lbs verses my 160lb stick figured tall guy freind and his skinny girlfreind because I had to wait for them a good few minuets at times. I did not mind though. I do have to complain that while most of the hike was by water...it was a hill, couple yard walk down to it. I did find a spot with some large rocks makeing a cave that was cool to climb on, sit in, cool down by. My mastive climbed up the rocks and was 15ft over our head. Lol. Dumb dog. I climbed up a rock face to get to where he was and sat there to relax.

After the rock cave hang out, It was all small hills and rock scrambles. Or atleast I believe they are rock scrambles? I love the rocky parts ether way. Expecialy at the end where you had to use your hands a little to kind of hop down from the rocks. The coolest parts of the hike was of course everything at the end. It was a small hike and very rewarding. I think I would bring my nephews here to go as their first camping trip since if you do half the trail, you can just camp mid way between the car and falls.

All together...I liked it but its not one of my favorits. I give this a 4 start reveiw but also a 3 star in sollitude. We ran into like 8 people on a monday afternoon. And our camp site was right off the main trail. It felt more like camping in my back yard.

By: Chantilly Hokie Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 27, 2014
A friend and I did this hike and it is not a difficult hike. We parked at the loop off FS59 and followed the blue blazed trail up to the falls and did the return back. The falls had good flow and was able to capture some great shots. The views were great of the area with the tree canopies only now beginning to bud out. In a few weeks this will be much more difficult to observe many of the streams and falls from afar as things bloom out completely.

By: Chantilly Hokie Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 26, 2014
I am wondering if anyone has done this recently and if the access road to the parking area is open?

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Make sure you read the local road closures before you check this hike out.  They are doing some road work, maybe through the end of this year on the road going to the trail head.  The Apple Orchard Access Road is still open, and you can get to it from Sunset overlook on the Blueridge Pkwy.  This will take you mid-way up the Apple Orchard Falls trail, which isn't a bad place to start.  Be warned, that camping there (as I did) should be taken with great caution.  There are a lot of open woods and lingering forest roads that are used by various people for various things.  Just be mindful of yourself, and what is going on around you.  Otherwise, this was a great way for us to hike up into the AT and onto a larger 30 mile section.  The colors are just perfect right now, maybe for another week or so.  The stream was running nicely, and the waterfalls were beautiful, although I imainge they were not at their peak flow right now. 

By: KR Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 10, 2013
I love this hike but I do agree with another person that it is not marked well enough for someone with less experience. We come from a state with very well marked trails and this one was hard to follow in comparison. It took us a half hour just to find the head of this trail and some markers were hard to find. We navigated, in part, by using a cell phone GPS. As this is advertised on the Internet to people who may not be used to such trails I would highly suggest knowing what supplies you will need, enough water for instance. A guide might be a good idea. We ran into 3 people, one an elderly man, out on the trail who weren't sure which direction they needed to go. It would be easy to get lost out there. This trail takes quite a bit of stamina to go the entire loop. For those who have less stamina and endurance, a walk down to the falls and back would be easier and much less time consuming. It can still be a challenge as there is a lot of climbing up the mountain. Get in shape before taking this on. We also met a guy out there who had injured his ankle and had to call someone in to pick him up. There is some cell phone receptivity out there but don't count on it.

By: Jessica Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 11, 2013
Over all this was a very enjoyable trail with beautiful streams and water falls. Not too difficult but very steep at times.

By: Jon E Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 12, 2012
Despite seemingly much recent rain, the falls was more than a trickle and pleasant to see, as always--but not really running hard. The forest road to the parking lot/kiosk is indeed open now. Lots of apples trees dropping their fruit--good snack for the squirrels and bears (we only saw the former). Some high hanging fruit too. We added a little bit of length to this loop by heading north on the AT until we hit the Thunder Ridge shelter--about 11.5 mi total. Then linked back on the Cornelius Creek trail on the descent. Some of the swimming holes are quite inviting. Lush, green, and beautiful all around.

By: James Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 05, 2012
Great hike! The main service road accessing the trailhead was closed so it adds another 2 miles (there and back for 4). Alot of downed trees due to the storms this year and trail cutting has already become apparent. There was a sign stating the trail was closed if you came from Parkers gap and was dated May 15th so who knows when the trail will be cleared completey. The trail was open just fine. Be safe while hiking. Amazing falls but not in full bloom due to it being July. Definitely will be back after early spring /late fall rains. Ranks up there with the casacades. Do it.

P.S. You'll come across a sign that says Apple Orchard Falls Trail while you are on the trail and pointing in another direction, both are trails and a journeyman already carved an arrow in the right direction and probably was confusing due to the trail cutting and bushwhacking.

By: Jon Dow Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A great hike. We ended up parking at the end of Forest Road 59 and walking the road to the trail head so that added four miles to the length, but it was still a great hike. We'd done the route down from the Blue Ridge Parkway (find the geocache if you go that way!) but had never tried the Forest Road approach. I definitely would recommend this route as it seemed MUCH easier and allowed us to see more of the area. There are still several sizable downed trees from the large storm earlier this month, but they were all navigable without too much difficulty. Personally, I love the bench at the overlook above the falls, and was disappointed that there weren't any photos of it on here. (HU Note: Jon - did you take a photo of the bench? If so, send us a copy and we'll post it, info@hikingupward.com)

By: James Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Forest Road 59 is CLOSED until the week of or after july 4th said the construction worker, the road closed sign actually meant road closed. Good luck getting to the falls until then :(

Rating it 3 star as not to hurt the actual average. I will be back in July to finish what I started.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 23, 2012
As pointed out, the Forest Rd is closed, so you have to come at it from the BRP. If I read the other reviews BEFORE hiking, I'd have saved myself 45 minutes or so of driving.

That being said, it's a great hike.  The falls compare favorably with White Oak Canyon and Jones Run.  

Maybe I'm just getting old, or maybe the hike is tougher coming down from the parkway, but when you start at the BWP and work your way down, it's pretty tough.  It's a just a long, steep slog down and up.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 06, 2012
** Found wedding ring at camp site just north of swimming hole on cornelius creek trail - same site as Stauby describes in post of Saturday, October 24, 2009 below. Contact me via screen name link, describe ring and I will mail it. **

My 13 yo son and I hiked this trail for 2.5 days. Just fabulous. Perfect weather, no bugs, beautiful water everywhere, few other hikers but those that we encountered were very nice. We had full packs and were so taken with the scenery that we completed the entire loop of CCT and AOFT(approx 7 miles in one day). Then hiked it again next day. A bit of confusion of signage as you cross from CCT, to connector and over to the AOFT. As you head south on CCT and gain last elevation before reaching area of connector trail, stay straight on main trail/connector. AT trail is to the right and smaller foot trail and overgrown fire road is on left. Stay straight to connector. Will do this hike again.! Wished we had stayed at camp site above falls but we just kept walking to see it all. If I do it again I would break up hike into small segments, stay at two or three camp sites and take our time over a long weekend here.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 06, 2012
We came in from the Blue Ridge Parkway (at the top of the Mountain) we had to hike down to get to the apple orchard falls trail about an hour downhill very steep and rocky terrain until we hit Apple Orchard Road (the grass road) and there was still another mile downhill to get to the falls. I reccomend hiking up to the falls from the lower parking lot (this is possibly the north creek road) We have never hiked here before and We never did make it to the falls but we will give it another try and try this mile shortcut that site claims. BTW DONT!! go down Access road 812 that google maps will send you down its a one way gravel road down the side of a mountain! that doesnt! lead to apple orchard falls trail. Better luck next time!

By: LightFoot Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 18, 2012
This was a wonderful hike! The Apple Orchard Falls was spectacular. This is a great spot for a picnic/lunch. The park service did a great job building the overlooks and bridges that are on this trail. The last part of this hike along the Cornelius Creek trail was so unbelievable! The creek was flowing and casading down the large boulders and river rocks that made all the smaller waterfalls really fantastic. I highly recommend taking some precautions against Ticks. We picked up several on the fire-road.

By: Claudia Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 17, 2012
This hike descends downward for eternity.  Getting back up the mountain is no easy task.  We did this hike in an afternoon after reading the reviews on this site.  No where in the reviews does it reveal the difficulty level.  This is not for anyone whi is not in top notch shape.  Would NEVER do this hike again!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 15, 2011
I started from the Sunset Overlook on the BRPW, the trails were not to busy because of the recent rain i only saw one other person the whole day until the end of the hike. I went down the apple orchard trail and came back up the cornelius creek trail using the AT branch back to the AOT. My only suggestion would be to go the oppisite way if you want to save the falls for last. It was a Great hike very peaceful.

By: Damien Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 11, 2011
DO NOT USE GOOGLE'S DIRECTIONS!!!  They are wrong, and my girlfriend and I spent a long time trying to find the right way.  Definitely use the directions posted in the other review.

Aside from this mishap, this was a great hike!  Since we did it in the spring, the streams were full of water and the waterfall itself was great.  It's a relatively short loop, and our camping spot was also really nice.  I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for only a moderate work-out and lots of streams.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 10, 2010

Great Hike - did it as a backpacking trip with my daughter this weekend and we had a blast.

UPDATE TO DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD:

VA-759 S IS CLOSED - YOU CANNOT TAKE VA-759 S FROM HOPPER CREEK ROAD TO THE TRAILHEAD. As this is how google maps will send you to the trailhead (at least if you are coming from Hampton Roads), the following update will probably help you.

FOREST SERVICE DIRECTIONS FOR HOW TO GET TO THE TRAILHEAD MARKED ON THE MAP:

INTERSTATE 81 TO EXIT 168

STATE ROAD 614 (JENNINGS ROAD) FOR 3 MILES

LEFT ONTO FORREST ROAD 59 UNTIL ROAD ENDS

As I said, great hike.  This was my 6 year old's first backpacking trip, and she loved it.  We camped at Stauby's site (listed in the other comments) which is close to water, and shouldn't get overrun in a flash flood - unsure of actual risk, but the canyons are a testiment to the power of water in motion.  The site 1 mile up the Cornelius trail from the parking lot is near the swimming hole, and is probably a better site - we'd have camped there if we hadn't gotten behind due to the directions mix up.  Again, I'd be wary of a lot of rain upstream if you camped here, but someone with more experience than I in the Blue Ridge could judge this risk better.

Forrest Service signage recommends doing this site in the opposite direction, but I liked the more gentle down hill that you get from following the directions on the site.

Be aware that fire bans are going up in the area this summer due to lack of rain.  Plenty of driftwood for firewood if that changes, however.

Sincerely,

Steadman

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 15, 2009
Terrific Hike!  This really is a top notch stream  hike... Nearly the entire thing is a gorgeous roaring cascade.  And the actual falls are something special.  The forest service did a terrific job with the viewing platform.  I did the longer look starting from the bottom, up Apple Orchard Falls trail, crossing over on the AT, and coming back down Cornelius Creek trail.  There had been a lot of rain recently so the water was up.  Great for the views, but not as good for the stream crossings on Cornelius Creek.  A large group was there and they apparently had several spills....  I, forewarned, was more lucky.  Highly recommended!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Did a quick overnite with my 15 lb. trail dog Willie while in Lynchburg for business this weekend.  I was initially disappointed with this hike, as it was basically a walk in the woods, complete with bridges and walkways.  But, from the falls up (and over) it was fantastic.  I hiked up to the AT and hike the 2 miles or so over to Cornelius, then down to the lower campsite noted in the write up.  Great firewood, great water source, great site.  The AT was spectacular with several great overlooks, and the campsite was perfect.  This is a great dog hike, and a nice hike for novice hikers.  The fall colors were truly amazing.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Added note:  The campsite I used was about 1 mile up Cornelius Trail from the parking lot, on the south (left) side as you descend . . . not the campsite noted in the write up.  This new site was on a small ledge just above the creek, with water access a few feet below, and a truly fantastic perch.  Shallow topsoil made for a hard bed, so bring a thicker bed roll!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 23, 2009
Additional Campsite Info:
There is a small campsite located at the very top of the falls. Ascend up the wooden stairs and after the wooden bench overlook, a small offshoot trail will lead you to the top of the falls. A clearing for a 2 man tent can be found with a fire pit and even an old log for seating. Stream is literally 20 yds away...soothing sound thoughout the night. Best experience is waking up and as you're boiling the water for your coffee, enjoy the incredible view from your campsite on the ledge of Apple Orchard Falls!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 03, 2009
What a wonderful hike. Can't say enough good things about Apple Orchard Falls. Three of my friends and I drove 3 hours from Richmond and were not disapointed. We arrived around 7am to find only one car in the parking lot. Passed them at the first camping area you come to (which is a lovely camp site). You're next to streams the whole way and as the previous posters described if you're not next to a stream, you can hear it (until the top around the Fire Trail or AT). The streams were running well, but not enough to create problems when crossing the streams (on the back end of the trail). The climb gets your blood going and also has some good rock hopping on the way up (especially around the falls). The weather was wonderful, chilly in the morning and perfect around noon. We didn't see anyone till we were past the big falls and up towards Apple Orchard Falls Road. By this time, the BRP people were up and making their way down from the road. The AOFR was a little over grown in spots, but just a nice walk through some tall weeds. The final leg of the hike (Cornelius Creek Trail) was wonderful. Cool, beautiful and near the end, a fawn met us in the stream and we followed him/her down stream until it got on the trail and took off up the mountain. A splendid finish to a lovely hike. On another note - we didn't see anyone all day except for the BRP people coming down to the falls. Once we hit the parking lot around 1pm, there were 9 cars parked in the lot. Not bad considering it is July 4th weekend. Found a few ticks on us when we reached the parking lot, but that's to be expected. You're in the woods after all.
 
The only irritating thing about the hike is the amount of trash people left through-out the trail. I guess the more populated hikes bring people who don't value nature or the effects their trash leaves behind. The Mountains are not a trash can. Cigarette butts don't just disappear. So please pack out what you pack in!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 14, 2009

We did this as just a day hike with our two dogs and loved it.  You're pretty much along the stream the whole time and when you aren't you can hear it in the background.  As the previous reviewer stated, we also had a hard time finding the parking area.  The directions left a few things out but we got there eventually after asking around for directions.  Only bad part was the fire road was grown up to knee high and sometimes thigh high but the trail was still visable.  Also, loads of tics! Picked off about 4 from my pup and 3 from myself. Only saw one other couple on the hike eventhough there was about 3 cars parked.  Overall, would do this hike again!


By: A J Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wow.. What a great hike!..It was beautiful..most of the trail is along the creek. We started on the Apple Orchard Falls trail and completed to loop coimg down Cornelius Creek Trail . The greenary along the trail was incredible. Also there were many small waterfalls. Over all a great experience. highly recommended.

We had a little trouble finding the falls. you have to make a left on North Creek road (Off  Archadia) and drive abt 4 miles before you touch a gravel road to the parking area (another 2 miles on the gravel rd.)


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