The Cascades and Barney’s Wall

Anyone who has lived in the New River Valley for any length of time has probably made a trip to the Cascades.  This is the singularly most popular hike in the area and even non-hikers have been here.  The easy 4 mile round trip leads to this beautiful waterfall.


We visited the Cascades shortly after moving to the area.  It became our “go to” place to take out of town guests.

What I did not know, was that there was a spectacular view of the New River Valley, just two miles farther up the trail to Barney’s Wall.  This is a not so easy hike, it is steep in places, very rocky, slick in some places, but totally worth the effort.

I had been on this hike only once, my hiking buds for the day had not been there at all, so it was up to me to get us there.  Bad idea!  Even though I was there just a year ago, even though I read the directions before leaving home, and even though I felt somewhat confident that I knew how to get there – alas, I got us lost just long enough to add an extra mile to the hike (thank god for smartphones and internet or we’d still be wandering around).  But eventually we made our way to this!


It’s hard to capture the magnificence of this setting.  As you peer over the rock, you are looking straight down (do not go here if you have vertigo). It’s the most spiritual feeling as you take in the power of Mother Nature.




There is something about being on top of a mountain that brings me pure joy!

But wait, there’s more!  We met a couple on the trail who told us about another waterfall.  It is located on an unmarked trail close to the intersection for Barney’s Wall. We decided to explore it on the way down.

But first, stopped to admire some colorful fungi.


Adding just another mile for this detour, we were treated to this waterfall.


The best part about it, was that you can walk right up to it and it is as impressive as it’s famous sister falls.

It is fed from this creek.


A little over 5 hours, about 10 miles, and 3 happy (but weary) hikers.


My husband always says if he ever wants to get rid of me, he’ll just drop me off in the woods somewhere with no phone.  Oh well, as long as there’s a good view, I’ll be content.



7 thoughts on “The Cascades and Barney’s Wall

  1. Five hours! Now that is a hike. I’m sorry you got lost. It always makes a good story after the fact, but can be scary when it’s happening to you. What a breathtaking view!

    Do you also carry a compass and a whistle? If not, let someone know that that would make a great stocking stuffer.


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