Shame on me…I am about to let the seasons change without sharing one of my favorite new waterfalls visited this winter. Between hiking trips, working some overtime, ACC basketball, and trying to learn more about using Lightroom and Photoshop, I have gotten somewhat behind on keeping up with my blogs. Now that ice waterfalls season is all but over, and waiting for the green of spring to arrive, I will have a little time to catch up.
This was a cold trip into the mountains of SW Virginia. It was in one of those arctic blast periods in early February that was coming in wave after wave, just before the real ice and snows moved in later in the month. My goal this day was to see Little Stony Falls, well up in the hills, north of Dungannon, VA. Coming from north Central North Carolina, I chose a route that would take a side track first. I figured I had the time to drive by and get some ice shots of the Waterfall on Logan Creek and visit Cobweb falls for the second time. This was a really neat area that I enjoyed on my first visit here, where both creeks fall down the mountain and flow into the North Fork of the Holston River. Here are some shots from this cold, clear day. There was some nice ice on these falls, really making them sparkle in the bright sunshine.
Here are some photos of Cobweb Falls, located several miles upstream just off the Holston on Big Creek. This short walk requires crossing the Holston on a wobbly foot bridge. For more info and photos on this waterfall, check out my trip report from December, 2014…..
Waterfalls Hiker Cobweb Falls First Visit
I really like this waterfall, still working on a way to get a photograph that I really like…one that does its size and beauty some justice. After playing around at these waterfalls for awhile, I knew had better get to get moving if I was to see Little Stony Falls today. Time kind of slips away on these trips faster than I would like. Instead on backtracking to I-81, I mapped out another way, heading west on Brumley Gap Rd. This 35 mph residential farm road took forever to get to US 19. Once there, I headed north for a very interesting and scenic SW VA mountain ride, that ran into US 58, and then finally VA 65 to Dungannon. I remember seeing the Clinch River for the first time and thinking…”What a beautiful place this is”. From here it was VA 72 north for a short ways to the Hanging Rock Natural Area where I first laid eyes on the Little Stony Creek. It was gorgeous…but I had some issues. The parking area was closed off and it was now after 3 pm. There was no way I could make this half day hike now, with darkness only 2 hours away. Luckily, a resource I use regularly ….”Waterfall Picture Guide“, offers directions to a trailhead several miles upstream, up some pretty steep and rugged terrain. When I do go back and hike this in from the bottom, it promises to be a fun hike. Anyways, after driving up to this turn off, there are some familiar waterfall signs to help guide you to the parking area.
I only had time for the Upper Little Stony Falls at this point, and it was supposed to be just a short ways downstream from this “Upper Trailhead”. Within minutes I was crossing the Little Stony Creek on a nice bridge just up from the falls. This was going to be good. The trail curls down and around with a nice rock/concrete stairway right to the base of a very large pool and a picturesque 20 ft plunging waterfall that was flowing very nice on this day. It had ice and snow all around it but was largely ice free. It was a beautiful waterfall that I plan to bring others to see and hike in from the bottom as well. It is my understanding that there are more waterfalls between here and the Hanging Rock area. I would love to see more of this stream.
Here is some video of this beautiful waterfall: