Hike to Apple Orchard Falls

Wildcat Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Lucas Moore

There is the loop (from North Creek campground) or an in & out (from Sunset Field Overlook). You will be Near streams most of the hike with Awesome waterfalls. There are Great photo opportunities and this is a Dog & Family friendly hike.

There are a few different ways that you can do this hike. One way is to start at the North Creek campground (37.54244, -79.58531) and do a loop hike that's about 6 miles, which will take you to the falls up along a stream with some swimming holes and nice campsites. I did it the other way, which is to start at the Sunset Field Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hike down to the falls, which is about 2.5 miles in and out. I enjoyed it from the BRP, but would like to try the bottom sometime.

From Sunset Field Overlook at MP 78.4, you begin to hike down the trail to the falls which is 1.2 miles. It's a fairly steep descent, with the elevation changing over 1,000 ft in that one mile. So, hiking back up is definitely a nice little workout.

About half way down, you come to a stream and from there on you are pretty much beside some water the rest of the way down. The first little falls you come to are really nice, and are in big open area with a wooden bridge and lots of rocks where you can take a little rest and get some great pictures! From there you continue down and you'll get to some steep stairs, which can really slippery if it's wet out (trust me, I know). At the bottom of those stairs you reach the base of the falls, which has a nice wooden platform where you can chill out and admire God's handiwork. From there it's back up the mountain if you started from the overlook, or you can go down some more and explore the creek if you're feeling adventurous!

Distance

5.6 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1000 ft Gain

Type

Loop

Activities

Rock Climbing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Nearby Lodging

Natural Bridge / Lexington KOA

Natural Bridge, Virginia

Charlottesville KOA

Charlottesville, Virginia

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Waterfall

The hike can definitely be on the steep side if you're not used to it, and plenty of stairs to navigate once you get close, but it's very much worth it. Recommended.

Beautiful falls

The hike can get quite steep if hiking from the Sunset Field Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. But it's short enough that it is not too strenuous. Well worth the trip to see this waterfall. For long exposures the early morning hours would be best for photographs.

Nice

Beautiful bridges, creeks and falls along the way.

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