Monday, February 13, 2017

Fall's Ridge Preserve #Getoutside

Spring temps in the Blue Ridge this weekend, so we took advantage and made it out to a new local hiking spot we have never been to. Falls Ridge Preserve  in Christiansburg, VA. 

The area is managed by the Nature Conservancy. The land originally belonged to  Mr. William P. Bradley, a photographer and publicist, who bought the Falls Ridge Preserve area from a local family. Mr. Bradley used the property as a retirement home, eventually deeded Falls Ridge to the Conservancy in 1974.

The area has a very heavy limestone content and the limestone is carried in the creek and then calcifies the organic materials in the water. So, the green rock formations are actually calcified moss and the stone formations provide the solid ground for very cool waterfalls and deep blue reflection pools. It is known as a "travertine" waterfall / pools. 

The waterfall was more impressive than it looks in the pictures, and the Travertine cascades,  cliffs and caves were all really neat. It was totally different from anything we had hiked before.The total height of the cascades is roughly 50-60 feet high. 

The upper cascade  was full of  large boulders and travertine deposits. It really made for an enjoyable hike.  The Chamberlain loop, was a bit challenging if you are out of shape, but was a nice trail and gave a lovely view of  Ellet Valley.  

It was so good to get outside and hike again. We all really enjoyed it.

The caves at the base of the limestone cliffs were really neat. It's hard to gauge the size from this picture, but we could walk inside without having to duck our heads.   The Travertine caves,  looked like a giant face.

i took this photo of my boy while i was inside the cave and he was in the doorway.  Give a little perspective to the size of the cliff face and caves.

It was a fun 3 mile hike. There is a cool old timey limestone furnace, near the falls.  i'd like to come back in the spring when the wildflowers are blooming.  We have hiked trails all over Christiansburg and Blacksburg before, i don't know how we never knew about this one.  The Appalachian Blue Ridge is consistently surprising and awesome.

i'll be posting a lot of #getoutside themed posts this year, as we really try to be more active.  Last year we started kayaking, this year we have plans for kayaking, biking, hiking and more.  The older we get the more we realize the importance of staying active and keeping fit.    So #getoutside and enjoy the week!


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