Backpacking with Brooke: Falls Ridge Preserve

This preserve has a 3 mile loop and a 1 mile loop, both with scenic views

ELLISTON, Va. – Falls Ridge Preserve just outside of Blacksburg has a nice one mile or three mile loop option to get out in nature. You’ll navigate to Falls Ridge Preserve and park in the gravel lot. We opted to do the scenic one mile loop.

You’ll walk along some tall grass for a few minutes then come up on a fork in the trail. We decided to go right on the Bradley Trail to the falls first.

We headed up a big set of stairs with the sound of the falls in the back. You have the option to head down to the water to get a closer look, but we decided to save that for last

The stairs will take you to the top of the falls where there’s numerous deep blue swimming holes. Yes, I did want to swim. But there were also signs for people like me, explicitly stating not to! Still pretty to look at though.

You’ll continue down the trail for a few meters, and come to another bend. Head left and continue on the trail.

Follow down a set of stairs and you’ll start to notice mini clearings heading up to caves. These looked like ones bears or snakes would sleep in so I kept my distance.

As you continue down the path, there is an option to get on the three mile loop, but we stayed on the one miler.

You’ll then round the corner and see the bigger caves. You can explore these as deep as you want, but for someone who is afraid of the dark, I let my friend Mary handle the exploration.

After looking through the caves we headed back to the waterfall. Head down the set of stairs we passed earlier, and you’ll be at the bottom of the falls.

I’ll admit, I definitely am the kind of hiker who likes to travel upward to a view, but this short hike is for anyone, and was gorgeous, the best part was sitting on the sunny rock and taking in all the vitamin D.

When you’re done, head back out the way you came in.

About the Author:

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.