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Hiker Reviews for the Blue Suck Falls Hike - 1 to 17 of 17   
Review the Blue Suck Falls hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 21, 2019
This is an amazing hike! Don't let the difficulty rating scare you--as another reviewer said, the footbed is relatively easy with a long, gradual descent to the falls. The trail above the falls becomes a bit rockier, but not technical at all. The views above the hike, across the ridge, and the eventual descent are spectacular--some of the best in this area. Definitely take the time to look at the scenery! A word to the wise: the water levels are higher than normal now, and all stream crossings will result in wet feet (water can be up to ankle deep). There are also areas of running water on the trails. Mesh trail runners will dry out faster than waterproof hikers and this could make the hike much more enjoyable. This is one of my favorites, and definitely worth doing again.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 4, 2017
I only did the Blue Suck Falls trail (5.8 mi). Beautiful views and I hiked on a day when the fall foliage was at it's peak. This trail is rated difficult but I think it's because of the long, steep ascend. The trail bed itself is actually pretty easy--long stretches without rocks, boulders, etc. Lots of streams so next time (yes, I'll do it again--but a longer loop) I'll carry less water and use the sawyer. The Falls was nice but nothing dramatic. There was stone viewing bench there (natural)--nice touch and a good spot for a snack or lunch. You arrive at the Falls pretty soon after starting. The views are all beyond it. Incidentally, I wonder why it's called Blue Suck Falls? The topo map I printed from this site (I like to carry a paper copy) was accurate. I checked GPS on my phone at one point and had reception. For day hikes, park in the Carson Picnic Area parking lot to meet the Blue Trail head. Restrooms are nearby, a nice feature. On this day I was the only hiker (late season and it was raining) but quite a few trail bikers. I imagine on good days, peak times, bikers might be quite a presence.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 24, 2017
Overall a nice, longer day hike with varied terrain and a series of good views. I started from the Lakeside Campground - quite crowded at peak season, mainly RV's/campers. . .but all sites have a great view of the lake and there aren't too many in total and can be reserved ahead (although first-come, first serve among the sites). Don't hike just for Blue Suck falls, which was literally a trickle despite soaking rains the night before. Other than that, good views from a couple of different angles, and don't miss the side trail to the cabin or the brief hike to the second waterfall. Saw a few other hikers and three mountain bikers.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
This hike was fantastic! Kudos to Virginias DCR for well kept and clearly marked trails. It was quite warm when we hiked this but nearly all of the hike was shaded. Do not pass up the views at the Tuscarora overlook and its cabin! It was a long hike as our monitor device indicated 12 miles but whatever it was it was worth it! I would be prepared for deeper water on the stream crossings if you do this during a rainy spell.

By: Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Hiked this on a warmish afternoon, found it to be wonderful. Starts with a half-mile uphill right off the bat, which was difficult for not-yet-warmed up legs, but I was able to settle in before making the climb up to the falls. The quarter-mile of the Blue Suck Falls trail was the steepest pitch of the whole hike, with about 150' directly in the creek bed, and would probably be difficult the day after a big rain. After the falls, the trail climbs a dozen switchbacks up Middle Mountain, with rest benches made of stone on the second and sixth switchback. The Tuscarora trail was in good condition, though close to being overgrown in a couple of spots there was no danger of ever losing the trail.

Descending on the Stony Run trail was a nice cruise down mellow grades. Right after the trail crosses Stony Run Creek in the rhododendron stand, you can bear right 300' on a bandit trail to another pleasant waterfall. Closing the loop is mostly flat hiking with a couple of minor creek crossings. Look to the left after turning onto Beards Gap trail to see a some recently-burned forest.

I saw two families and one solo hiker, and one mountain biker on this trip. Of note, while Blue Suck, Tuscarora, and portions of Stony

Run are closed to horseback travel according to signs on the trail, I saw enough hoofprints and horse apples to make it worth keeping an eye out. Also, the forest canopy was pretty open on some parts of this hike and I caught more sun than I was expecting. Doing this hike on a really hot day would be a challenge between the sun and the climbing.

By: KarenNDkitchen Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 26, 2014
I have to agree with the other reviewers, this is one terrific hike. A little strenuous but many places to stop, rest, and take in the view - esp. Tuscarora Overlook! Blue Suck Falls was barely a trickle, which was a little surprising because it rained for a few days before. The trails are well-maintained, except for a few signs (an arrow pointing straight ahead to get to Blue Suck Falls Trail when in fact the trail turned either left or right. Also confusing signs near Tuscarora Overlook. Don't forget your awesome Hiking Upward Map :) ) We passed only one guy on a mountain bike the whole time.

By: Shawn R. Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
This was the first hike that I've been on and I really enjoyed it.  As clearly stated, this is a difficult climb for the first part up to the overlook, but it is well worth it.  The directions are clear and the paths are clearly marked.  The signs were a little bit unclear heading towards the Tuscarora Overlook (on the recommended route), but if you continue straight on the trail that you were on, then you will end up seeing the cabin and a phenomenal overlooking view.  As some other reviews mention, Tuscarora Overlook is definitely the best place to stop for lunch.  The hike took about five hours, including the breaks that we took, including about a 15 minute break for lunch.  In total we saw one other hiker, which was very nice.  I would certainly recommend this hike to others for the great vistas.  There was little to no water flowing down the Falls and the other creeks at the time, but the hike was still great. 

By: B. Love Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Some parking areas were closed directions to trailhead I thought were confusing. I parked at Camp Malone (childrens playground on site) near lake and the walked through the Discovery Area Center to come up to the trailhead for Blue Suck falls - and started with blue blazed trail up to falls - after that went by directions on this awesome site.

As for the hike wow this was a great winter hike. Did this hike on a beautiful day felt about 40-45 degrees and no wind. Peaceful. The falls didn't have a lot of flow probably because snow and ice still thawing from recent snow and freeze. The vistas were amazing and I would recommend this hike more for the vistas at Overlook Rock and Tuscarora Overlook than the falls - and a few other nice vistas along the way up. I took lunch at Overlook Rock and that was a mistake - still quite a ways up after that to the cabin and best vista on trail. Have lunch there.....when you see the cabin. I took 20 mins. for lunch - spent a few minutes at each vista and did the trail in 5-3/4 hours by myself. I encountered a nice family of 3 (we helped each other find trailhead) - a couple - 2 solo hikers and 1 mountain biker on the trail.

After the vistas the trail is nearly all down. After the first crossing on Stony Creek on descent the trail goes left and right - directions say go down but at that point a little bit hard to figure where down is. Down is left and then after awhile the trail splits up (right) or down (left). Stay left. I guessed right on both occasions - other than that directions were spot on. I came out by the directions at white oak parking and had to hike up on rte. 629 about 1/4 mile back to Camp Malone where I parked.

Trails were well marked - sometimes snowy because of recent snowfall sometimes a little muddy but I never worried about my footing too much.

I recommend starting from the Blue Suck Falls trailhead (at Camp Malone through Discovery Area Center). Less colors to worry about when your first starting the hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 9, 2013
Douthat Park is stunning! The Lake is nestled right in the middle of the Alleghany (want to spell 3rd syllable with an "e"...but wrong) Mountains and plenty to do in and around it. Lots of picnic areas and campgrounds. There is even a restaurant as you may have read before on this site. I have wanted to do this hike for the map had been sitting on my desk...impatiently waiting to be utilized.

Having read about the Beards Mountain Hike (also in this park) recommended early June for the mountain laurel...

This beautiful white/pink flowering specimen almost rivals DC's Cherry Blossoms with its abundance and beauty...the Laurel was pleasantly Everywhere!

I am usually in agreement with the publishers on the ratings but I do not see how this hike can get only a "2" for streams...(it helps to have benefitted from a tropical storm skirting the area only a day or two prior)...

Naturally it is not Great Falls...but what about the Lake?

Blue Suck Falls was a miniature Crabtree Falls...very nice...

And after the descent...there was Stony Run...a comforting vision and a pleasantly noisy gushing sound after a rather demanding ascent...not to mention Wilson soon as you get out of your car! People were fishing and swimming in it!

I would give it at least a 3...if not a 4...for "Streams"

I've seen better vistas...but only because of the vegetation growth which hides a lot of the panorama at Lookout Rock and Tuscarora...however the mountain laurel made up for it..

Altogether a tough...rewarding...lengthy day hike in a State Park nationally rated as Virginia's Best...even with the mountain bikers steeling the trail for what? two seconds? saw a total of four on this Sunday morning...shared Tuscarora Overlook with one...

Cannot wait to come back in the fall...

By: James Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 12, 2012
What a good hike. One of the nicer state parks I've visted recently, there is a 3.00 parking fee but well worth it for the views. I took the Blue Suck Falls trail up and then went to the vista ( which was worth every step) and doubled back putting me at just over 10 miles.  Great workout and trails, as explained earlier the trail is "rocky" but thats what you have to expect. Trails marked perfectly and easy to use. No real need for bug spray though parts of the upper BSF trail is very meadowy and just scream ticks, not one was found though. Do it, you come back again and not only this time to just hike.

Side note: Blue Suck Falls was bone dry so come for the vista, and wait for the weather for the falls.

By: sbct Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 16, 2012

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 19, 2009
First, let me thank the designers of this web site... what a wonderful resource!

Now for the hike. I'd like to just add a few additional notes. The trail is indeed everything promised in the previous reviews. Also, if you're bringing the family, there's a great playground just before the dam (down near where you park the car) and also a sandy beach on the lake, a fantastic restaurant, etc. This makes for a wonderful all-family day trip. In my case, the wife and kids play on the beach while the dog and I hit the mountain.

Great views, beautiful trail.

However, Douthat state park is looking to position itself as a destination for mountain bikers. To that end, they've recently improved and widened all of their trails. On the plus side, this means that two hikers can walk abreast on most parts of most trails, which is nice for groups. On the minus side, this means that you occasionally run into cyclists (who are usually quite polite), and that the trail surface is mostly rocks and such, rather than the softer forest loam and pine needles and such that I really enjoy hiking on. For longer hikes, my tender feet can't handle all those rocks.

So, it really all depends on what you're looking for.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 25, 2008
We did this lovely hike while staying two nights in one of the Lake Douthat Cabins over the Memorial Day weekend.  The trail is clear and well marked and the directions from Hiking Upward are spot on.  The views from Overlook Rock and Tuscarora were amazing, and we could just see the lake through the leaves.  The rhododendron stand and the latter portion on the Locust Grove trail were particularly beautiful.  Blue Suck falls was impressive as there was quite a bit of flow due to the recent rains.

We started hiking before 7 am on sunday and only saw a single other person (a mountain biker) the whole time. 

If you do this hike and are feeling hungry afterwards, I can't recommend the Lakeview restaurant enough.  It's about a 1 minute drive from the trailhead and is open fridays, saturdays, and sundays.  Try the ribs or the barbecue, both were delicious.

By: Frank Ian Ryan & Andy Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 21, 2008
A terrific day-hike on beautifully maintained, well-marked trails ... Your long climb up the Blue Suck Falls is rewarded by one glorious vista after another.  Before the trees acquire leaves, a hiker often views three or four ranges of the Virginia Alleghenies.  We can't wait to go back to Douthat State Park to hike some more, and maybe bring our mountain bikes!   FYI for those who are camping, local rules prohibit open fires before 4 pm until April 31 (I think), meaning your morning may start out pretty chilly.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 29, 2007
We took advantage of a relatively warm Winter day to do this hike.  Due to the abundance of wet leaves on the trail, we did it in reverse of what is depicted here (we did the falls at the end, not the beginning) and had a great hike.  Without all the leaves on the trees, good views start almost immediately, although the finest is of course from the cabin at the Tuscarora Overlook.  Although we were worred about mud due to recent rain, this particular trail is unlikely to develop much mud due the the composition of the soil on Middle Mountain, so keep this in mind if you end up hiking just after a rain - it's a good choice for that. Our group of four moved fairly quickly along the trail and finished the hike in 4 1/2 hours including 15-20 minutes at the Overlook. 

By: B. Gordon Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 26, 2007

I hiked this with my friend on Saturday after reading Paul's review of it last week.  This was well worth the 2.5 hour drive from the West End of Richmond.  The Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron were blooming all over the place.  Don't expect the Falls to be like Crabtree Falls, there was just a trickle flowing.  I am sure after a good rain it is a little more dramatic.  The Falls are not the draw of this hike. The hike up to the top was pretty exhausting and if you can hold out, wait and have your lunch at the cabin at the Tuscarora Overlook.  You will have a hard time getting back on the trail as the views from the cabin are as good as it gets.  The low, thin clouds broke just before we got to the cabin and then we could see for miles. Bring plenty of water, we each finished our two 1 liter bottles just before we finished the hike.  We started the hike around 9:45am and finished around 3:45pm.  This was a little longer than the hike estimate but only because we had a hard time leaving the cabin and the great views!!!!

By: Maha Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 26, 2007

It was a perfect day, when I hiked along with my friend. We started the trial around 9.45AM the first 2.5 hrs is an elevation gaining and its really worth when we reached the top it's a spectacular view. There is a old cabin which directly overlooks the mountain..beautiful scene. I would suggest plan on spending atleast 30 mins.While coming along there is small creek flowing along and there is a rhododendent flowers along the line. Finally we reached back around 3.45PM and drenched our feet in the flowing stream...felt very good. Good hike / workout for me. My friend is a pro I believe he can go even for the next 10 miles.

Also I would like to thank the person who has created this's really an excellent job. Can't ask anything more than this.

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