By Ramona Taylor
I hope you enjoyed our previous post on Little Stony Falls. This post will feature a shorter hike to the Falls of Little Stony which will allow you to see all three waterfalls in under an hour. For this version of the hike you will take Hwy 72 to Hwy 664 and then follow the signs. You will follow a gravel forest service road to the northern trail head for this hike. Follow this sign to the forest road that leads to the Little Stony Falls trail head.
After arriving at the northern trail head entrance you will hike a short distance to a bridge, which is actually directly over the first waterfall.
This beautiful and scenic waterfall is the Upper Stony Falls. After crossing the bridge, hike a short distance to a set of stone stairs that will lead you to the foot of the second falls where there is a beautiful lagoon area below it. You can also walk behind this one.
After climbing the stairs, return to the trail and continue left to the next falls also located almost directly under another bridge. This is the smallest of the falls and it is an unmarked trail that is difficult to find, but persist and you can hike close to the base of them. During times of low water this set of falls will not be as scenic as the others but on this day the fall colors were spectacular!
Again, return to the trail and you are just a short distance from the crown jewel, Little Stony Falls itself. This is a beautiful trail, especially colorful during fall.
This is a spectacular 40ft waterfall, and as you can see, on this day it is surrounded by blooming rhododendrons. There is a viewing platform for the main falls, or you can make the scramble to the bottom of the falls (I made this largely scooting on my bottom, ahem…) and feel the cool spray of the water and take some spectacular pictures.
I love both versions of this hike and have been fortunate enough to enjoy them in all seasons. If I’m looking for instant gratification and do not have the extra time for the 5 mile version, I will take the alternate shorter version of the hike. However, the hike from the Hanging Rock Recreation Area is beautiful and one of my favorite trails. The longer version has rock scrambles, beautiful cascades all along the trail, and is enough of a challenge to feel accomplished, but it is probably best taken in early spring or late fall because parts of the trail can become overgrown. To read about this trail see our recent post on Little Stony Falls.
These beautiful falls do not get the attention of the nearby Devil’s Bathtub, but they are absolutely beautiful and a hidden gem in this area. Also, unlike Devil’s Bathtub, you can complete this hike totally dry. Happy Hiking!!