Posts filed under ‘Waterfall’

“Penn Compare”: Falls Ridge

One of my favorite hiking buddies is my friend’s son, Penn. He has been accompanying me on outings for six years now! Penn and his family now live about 11 hours from me, but we got to have a little hiking reunion this past weekend.

We chose to hike to the Nature Conservancy’s Falls Ridge Preserve near Blacksburg, Virginia. Penn had been there twice before. In fact, I had pictures documenting his previous visits. So it is with great pleasure I get share young Penn in front of the same waterfall on three seperate occassions— Age 2, Age 5 and now Age 8.


Two year old Penn at Falls – June 2004


Five year old Penn at Falls – May 2007

Falls Ridge - Penn at Age 8
Eight year old Penn at Falls – June 2010

The falls look pretty much the same, but Penn has definitely grown!

Falls Ridge Preserve

Length: You can make it as long or as short as you want

Elevation Gain: Flat, except for a hill to the top of the falls.

Driving and Parking: The final approach to the preserve is a flat gravel road. There is plenty of parking.

Directions from Blacksburg, VA
From Main Street, turn on Ellett Road.
Turn left on Jennelle Road and cross over railroad tracks
Turn right on Den Hill Road
Turn left on Northfork
Turn right on Falls Ridge Rd.
Turn left immediately after the railroad tracks and follow the gravel road to the preserve.

June 29, 2010 at 10:41 am 2 comments

Creative Commons Frozen Waterfalls

Alas, I can’t hike to frozen waterfalls every day. I, unfortunately, have a career to attend to. But continuing the celebration of Frozen Waterfall Season, I did spot some great Creative Commons shots from across the continent on Flickr. Enjoy!


Bridal Veil Falls, Utah on December 27, 2009 (Photo by BG’Photo Billy)


Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota on January 6, 2010 (Photo by Nick R.O.)


Horsetooth Falls, Colorado on December 31, 2009 (Photo by Whirling Phoenix)


Tiffany Falls, Ontario on January 3, 2010 (Photo by Rodney Buike)


Multnomah Falls, Oregon on December 10, 2009 (Photo by YM Arki)

January 12, 2010 at 3:53 pm 3 comments

Frozen Cascades 2010

Ryan had to leave Blacksburg at noon today to return to Elizabeth City. But it’s Frozen Waterfall Season! I couldn’t in good conscience let him leave without seeing Pembroke’s 69 foot Cascades!

So this morning, we woke up at 6 AM. It was 10 degrees out when we started our journey to the trailhead. It may sound cold, but believe it or not, we were taking off layers as we hiked the two miles to the falls.

The waterfall was BEAUTIFUL. Incredibly, Ryan and I had it all to ourselves. This was a first for me. The Cascades are exceedingly popular and regardless of weather or season, I have always found other people there. This time, we just so happened to be early enough to beat all the other hikers. We saw many on our return trip to the car… but those precious moments standing on top of Little Stony Creek surrounded by exquisite deity-sized draperies of flowing ice were ours and ours alone.

Although that surprise solitude was precious, I certainly don’t mind sharing on this blog. 🙂 Here are some of my favorite shots of our trip.

Cascades 2010 - Falls Close
Frozen Cascades 2010

Cascades 2010 - Vicky with Falls  (By Ryan Somma)
Me with Falls

Cascades 2010 - Ryan with Falls (Portrait)
Ryan with Falls

Cascades 2010 - Gradient Rocks
Layers of Ice Around Rocks

Cascades 2010 - Ryan with Icicles (Portrait)
Ryan with Draping Icicles

Cascades 2010 - Vicky
Self Portrait at Falls

Cascades 2010 - Vicky and Ryan Under Falls (Portrait)
Me and Ryan (After we figured out the self timer and sacrificed a scarf to hold up the camera)

I had another “Cascades First” this trip. As we walked to the falls, I reflected back on all my previous trips over the last decade.

“You know,” I told Ryan, “I have never kissed anyone at the Cascades.”

“You’ll have to do that sometime,” Ryan said.

We voluntarily woke up before dawn on a Sunday to hike in the cold– today was not a day of procrastination. We made sure to knock that milestone right out. 🙂

Cascades 2010 - Vicky and Ryan Kiss Under Falls
First Kiss at Cascades

More pictures from our Frozen Cascades Hike can be found on my Flickr site.

Cascade Falls

Length: 4 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: ~500 feet

Driving and Parking: Large parking lot at trailhead with water fountain and full restrooms.

Directions from Blacksburg, VA

Take 460 West to Pembroke
Turn right on Cascade Dr (SR-T623)
Park entrance is in 3.3 miles.

January 10, 2010 at 11:57 pm 6 comments

Frozen Waterfall Season!

Greetings from Blacksburg, Virginia! I have meetings in town in the coming week and Ryan came up with me over the weekend to help me empty out a storage unit. When I checked the weather forecast, I got very excited to see the highs have been in the 20’s for some time.

Do you know what that means?!?!?

Frozen Waterfalls!

“Operation U-haul” finished much earlier than expected today. That left Ryan and I with just enough daylight to check out the waterfall at the Falls Ridge Nature Preserve. Enjoy!

Falls Ridge - Top of Falls
Waterfall at Falls Ridge

Falls Ridge - Vicky and Frozen Falls
Me at Falls

Falls Ridge - Ryan and Falls
Ryan with Ice

More pictures of our trip to Falls Ridge can be found on my Flickr site.

Falls Ridge Preserve

Length: You can make it as long or as short as you want

Elevation Gain: Flat, except for a hill to the top of the falls.

Driving and Parking: The final approach to the preserve is a flat gravel road. There is plenty of parking.

Directions from Blacksburg, VA

From Main Street, turn on Ellett Road.
Turn left on Jennelle Road and cross over railroad tracks
Turn right on Den Hill Road
Turn left on Northfork
Turn right on Falls Ridge Rd.
Turn left immediately after the railroad tracks and follow the gravel road to the preserve.

January 9, 2010 at 10:29 pm 4 comments

Frozen Stiles Falls 2009

Earlier this month Flickr user Joseph168 visited Camp Alta Mons‘ 45-foot Stiles Falls in Shawsville, Virginia. He snapped a great photo of the frozen falls:


Stiles Falls – February 8, 2009 (Photo Courtesy of Joseph168)

And in case you missed the Frozen Stiles Falls post from 2008, here is a summer version of the same waterfall.


Stiles Falls – August 13, 2006

If you are in the mood for more shots of Southwest Virginia, be sure to check out Joseph168’s full PhotoStream. He has some spectacular shots of Blacksburg and the surrounding areas.

February 26, 2009 at 6:00 am 4 comments

Frozen Falls Ridge

Greetings from Blacksburg, Virginia where I’ll be most of this coming week. I am here for business, but as soon as I heard about the trip I started to covet frozen waterfalls. It just so happens my drive into town took me right by the Nature Conservancy‘s Falls Ridge Nature Preserve. There was still a little bit of daylight, so I stopped by and see how the falls looked. They were indeed frozen!

If you have never seen a frozen waterfall in real life before, definitely put it on your life’s “To Do”  list.

Falls Ridge - Falls and Frozen Stream

Falls Ridge - Columns of Ice

Falls Ridge - Cylinder of Ice

Falls Ridge - Tree Grows in Ice

Falls Ridge - Shelves

More pictures of Frozen Falls Ridge can be found on my Flickr site.

Additional Posts from this Blog on Falls Ridge

January 26, 2009 at 8:00 am 4 comments


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