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Hiker Comments for the The Cascades/Barney''s Wall Hike - 1 to 22 of 22   
Average Rating:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 26, 2019
The high point of the hike is the 66 foot waterfall, but I find the entire trail next to Little Stony Creek is an important aspect that makes the hike great. The way the creek winds through the valley creates many open looks with the forest providing an arching tunnel. The lower trail has been fixed and is reopened for hiking. Barneys Wall and the Upper Cascades by themselves are good view points though the trail to get to them may just be in a tunnel of trees, but they can provide additional solitude to juxtapose against the typically busy Cascades trails. The forest walk was nice on a peak foliage day and I hit it right on this time around. For full report, see:

By: Ray Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 4, 2018
I hiked this back in college and thought it would be fun to take the family. When we arrived the lower trail was closed due to washout (after reading reviews, apparently this was a couple years ago). We took the high trail to the second bridge, and then took the low trail. Only once there was an area where we had to climb over a fallen tree's roots where the path was gone, but the rest of the trail was in fine condition.

We left the parking lot about 10am, and there were about three other people we saw on the trail. When we go to the falls, the water is cold. We had just received 5 days worth of storms, so the falls were roaring. No one got in the water except us, which was nice. However, when we got done with swimming and taking pictures (about 30 minutes), it went from 6 people at the falls to 20 with more coming in.

We had a 7 year old with us, and tried to make the trip to Barney's Wall. The trail was easy enough to follow and all the signs where there. (Thanks HikingUpward for the directions - I had been to the Cascades about 10 times and never knew this was there). While the hike is only 4 miles there, it is a decent uphill climb and ultimately proved too much for our daughter after the trip to the falls, swimming in the cold water, and then continuing onward. We turned back about a half mile away from the cliff (just on the other side of the stream you walk through) so never made it the entire way.

We're heading back in a month with just the adults to camp on the rock ledge, so I'll update.

In summation:
Trip to the lower falls - Definitely family friendly, but go early to avoid the crowds. Be prepared for cooler water than the beach or New River.
Trip to Barney's Wall - Decently marked trails, but a bit more strenuous of a hike than to the lower falls. Wouldn't suggest for the younger kids.

By: D Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 13, 2016
The description mentions that above the Cascades there is "conservancy land" so camping rules are unclear. That is all still Jefferson National Forest, Eastern Divide Ranger District. Dispersed camping is allowed.

By: Medic G Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, August 1, 2016
I would agree with the ratings of this hike.  The lower falls are pretty crowded and this is a VERY popular hike. 

The upper falls are worth the "side trip".  As stated, to get to the upper falls, you take the unmarked side trail to the right.  The side trail to the upper falls looks like a Y in the trail when you are hiking up the fire service road towards Barney's wall.  If you reach the trail marker indicating a left turn off of the fire service road, you have just missed the unmarked side trail.

Like I said, the hike to the lower falls was pretty crowded and the lower falls were crowded.  We went a little earlier in the morning and avoided the larger afternoon crowd we saw on our return.  Once we were past the lower falls, the crowd did thin out and we didn't see too many people.  We saw a group of about 6 overnight hikers at the upper falls who were in the process of leaving and passed about 8 people along the trail to Barney's wall.  We did have Barney's Wall to ourselves when we were there.

The "lower trail" from the parking area to the lower falls was pretty damp/wet.  Watch you footing on the slick rocks!  I took a slip and fall on the return trip landing pretty hard on one of the rocks.

By: Medic G Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, August 1, 2016
Sorry, one additional comment.  The trail signage to Barney's Wall was all in place.  The description stated a sign for the side trail to Barney's Wall was leaning on a tree.  This was not the case when we went.  All trails, with the exception of the side trail to the upper falls, were well marked.

By: Harry Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 16, 2016
This hike is not very difficult and a popular spot for VT students. The main falls get rather crowded, however, I have never seen anyone at the upper falls. You can actually climb down the upper falls. Across the river at the top of the upper falls there is a good area to hang a hammock. I have friends who have gotten to an additional waterfall further upstream by walking up the river/bushwhacking but I have yet to explore further up.

By: Allen Leibrand Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 20, 2015
There was a very light dusting of snow today. The hike was great.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 9, 2015
I hiked the Lower Trail to The Cascades, then went to Upper Cascades before climbing to Barney's Wall and continuing onto Butt Mountain fire tower. Even though there were 50+ cars by 11:30 AM, I saw hardly any people on the Lower Trail. I highly recommend the Lower Trail, it stays by the creek the entire way and passes by numerous small waterfalls and a slot gorge. The Upper Trail people miss everything. Even with drought-like conditions The Cascades were spectacular. I've seen pictures with a lot more water, it looks better with less water because the slanted lower section is more distinguishable. Upper Cascades is easy to find, and there is a scramble path to the base that is easy. Only 2 other people were there. The climb to Barney's Wall was much steeper than expected, but the vertical cliff is quite stunning. I only passed 2 groups of people here. I continued on the Conservancy Trail and picked up the forest road to Butt Mountain. At the summit is an old fire tower, you cannot safely get to the top because most stairs have been removed. There are cliffs on the southwest side with views of Pearisburg and the New River, this might be called Lookoff Rock. I went searching for the actual topo summit Lookoff Rock, I highly advise even thinking about this unless you have a GPS and full bushwhacking gear. Otherwise it was a great hike!

By: Gabe Anaya Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 21, 2015
I arrived at 7:00 AM and the park was almost completely empty all the way to the falls (barring the fisherman at the end and 1 or two people all the way up). The lower trail in the morning light of summer has almost a mythical feel, especially when there is no one around.

The hike to Barney's Wall is pretty much a straight uphill climb, though you get to enter a considerably different ecozone on the way up. The view from the cliff is spectacular and well worth the climb though. I took the trip to the upper falls after Barney's Wall and it was well worth it - it was nearly deserted and was the perfect spot to jump in the water after such a grueling hike.

Once I returned to the lower falls around noon, the scene was completely different. There were probably 30-40 people swimming around the falls, and dozens more were coming up the trail. Thanks everyone for the suggestions to get there is definitely worth it. The parking lot was a similar story - it was full at about 2:00 when I left and there was a line of about 20 cars waiting to get in.

All-in-all this was one of the most beautiful and peaceful hikes I've taken on the East Coast, though getting there very early is the key to making this such a wonderful experience.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Led a group of 7 hikers and English Lab to Cascades and then Barneys Wall.   Note: Parking lot was full when we arrived at 1130 and was 30 minute wait to get both vehicles parked, but well organized by the Cascade parking attendants.  Took a dip to cool off in a pool just below the 2nd bridge and water was very refreshing.

By: G.Zanatakos Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 10, 2015
Great hike for winter! Definitely recommend. The frozen water is beautiful. This trail is very easy for hikers of all ages. Quite a contrast between summer and winter. This was the second time I've done this hike and plan to go back again in the spring.

By: Pat Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, January 9, 2015
After this cold snap....thought they be more frozen than they were. Great Hike. Probably my 20th time but only my second in the winter.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 7, 2013
Great hike but remember the $3 entrance fee. If you forget the trail store at the turn off is a good place to buy some stuff and get 3 dollars. We arrived at the trail around 9:30 (as stated by others get there early, parking lot fills up quickly) started with the scenic route to the falls which is worth it, a lot of good spots to stop and take pictures if you want too. There are a lot of people who take the hike to the falls but heading to the wall is really secluded. We passed a group about a mile up while heading towards the wall. We got some great photos at the wall and enjoyed a great lunch without anybody else. On the way back to the falls we passed another group but that's it, so if you are looking for remote quiet spot go to the wall. On our way back from the falls we took the high trail which is wide and easy. We did pass a lot of people (this was around 1:00) but still had room to walk with out any bother.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 20, 2013
Great hike. The lower trail to the falls is a lot of fun. It was quite muddy due to all the rain we had, but there was some great spots along the river for views. It was crowded until I passed the falls at which point I only saw 2 other people the entire last two miles. There is quite an elevation change so the hike up is quite a workout. The view at the top and the peacefulness of it is well worth the trek!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Awesome hike, great waterfall!  Please watch my video review here:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

AWESOME HIKE!!!  Check out my video slideshow here:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, December 24, 2012
Despite the cold (approx. 36-39 degrees) & the fact that it rained for about 90 minutes, we Loved this trail!! I have been hiking for 15+ yrs. & have been to every trail in Shenandoah/Skyline/B.R.P (VA) & many in Costa Rica & THIS trail was the prettiest, most scenic trail & most powerful waterfall of any I have seen! It was my boyfriend's first hike ever & I was so happy that this was the one he got to experience first!! We stopped many times on the way up to take photos. It took us approx. 2 hrs. to get to the waterfall via the more difficult/more scenic lower trail. We took the upper trail back to the parking lot (from the split from Cascades/Barney's Wall/Conservancy Trail signpost) & it only took us 38 minutes! (no photo stops on the way out because we were trying to get back to the car before dark). Blacksburg had a few inches of snow a few days prior to our visit & their were still many areas with ice on the trail, icicles hanging from rocks & the waterfall was extremely powerful & much more full than photos I had seen on internet images so I was extremely happy we hiked this post-snowfall!
Next time we will do the Barney's Wall hike & on up to Mountain Lake or hike down from there. The Cascades is Definitely worth the effort!!

By: Clara Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 4, 2011
Went past the Cascades all the way to Barney's Wall. The signpost for the last left onto the Barney's Wall spur is standing up straight, no longer leaning against a tree. The hike is shady almost the whole time, no need to take extreme sun precautions. The Upper Falls are beautiful and solitary, highly recommended. There are places where you can hop down to get a better view. The view from Barney's Wall is great, quite different from the usual overlooks in this area.

By: Nikki Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Very Beautiful Hike! We only hiked to the falls but it was amazing! I definitely plan on coming back to complete the hike! And to visit the hotel! :)

By: 3 Guys Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 This video explains it all.

By: Trail Whisperer & Brave Hear Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 12, 2010
It was pretty chilly for a swim but we took our water shoes and a towel and took a cold dip up at the top.   Went up the scenic trail on the right. or the rustic trail as we call it.  We love to see where the old trail was before the flood. I hiked the trail as a 12 year old back in the 70's.  We always take visitors to the Cascades when they come to town. Great exercise. It is great to be able to take your dogs if they are on leashes. Enjoyable hike for all that are able. You do  need to be in fairly good shape to really enjoy it all. But the scenery is awesome.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 5, 2010
We only went as far as the cascades. The weather was perfect and the water was cold.Be careful if you take the lower trail because of some old storm damage.there are a few narrow places to watch out for.Overall it was a great hike   

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