By Ramona Taylor
My son Jacob and I decided to spend the day hiking to Little Stony Falls. The drive from the cabins took us approximately 35-40 minutes so we were on the hiking trail within one hour.
Little Stony Falls is a beautiful 40 foot waterfall located on the Little Stony National Recreation Trail. The falls are located approximately 2.6 miles from the trail head resulting in a 5.2 mile round trip hike. Beginning at the Hanging Rock Picnic Area follow the yellow blazes that mark the trail. This is a very scenic hike that follows Little Stony Creek upstream to the falls with bridges so that you can complete this hike dry.
Shortly after the first bridge there is a beautiful lagoon area fed by a small waterfall that is definitely worth the short off-trail detour.
There are several sections of rock scrambles and parts of the trail are steep and follow along narrow ledges. I recommend sturdy hiking shoes and my hiking poles were definitely helpful for the rocky areas and steeper sections of the trail.
At the falls there is a viewing platform or you can scramble down a steep hillside to the base of the falls.
The elevation gain for the trail is only about 500 feet so the difficulty is not in the climb, however, I would still rate this trail at moderate for the length and the number of difficult sections of rock scrambles. Jacob and I very much enjoyed this hike. The scenery all along Little Stony Creek is stunning with many small waterfalls and cascades. This hike is definitely on the list of hikes I would love to repeat.
For a shorter version of this hike see our next post on the Falls of Little Stony.
Directions: From Dungannon, Virginia take Highway 72 North to the Hanging Rock Recreation area. The recreation area was closed so we started our hike at the locked Forest Service gate with a ¼ mile walk to the trail head.