“A lovely trail with beautiful waterfall, intriguing caves, rare plants, and a convenient location.”
— Roanoke Outside
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Spring — Waterfall — Wildlife
Family Friendly: A short hike with a creek to play in and a scenic waterfall.
Dogs: No Dogs
With its nice trails, beautiful waterfall, intriguing caves, rare plants, and convenient location, the Falls Ridge Preserve gets lots of attention. Falls Ridge Preserve is owned and protected by The Nature Conservancy.
The Chamberlain Trail explores part of a steep, rugged ridge that rises from the valley of the North Fork of the Roanoke River. The area also boasts a spring-fed travertine waterfall approximately 80 feet in height.
The rocks in the travertine falls watershed grew steadily, as minerals and lime dissolved in the water precipitate upon them. Over thousands of years, the build-up of calcium carbonate steepened the stream's gradient and slowly created both the waterfall and one of the largest-known exposed travertine deposits. Large sinkholes on part of the land also indicate the existence of underlying caverns which have never been explored.
When you are done hiking, grab a bite to eat at the Mountain View Italian Kitchen located on Rt. 603. From Falls Ridge follow Rt. 603 toward Roanoke and restaurant will be on your right (540.268.2512).
Flora & Fauna
Salem fault runs through the preserve, dividing it into two different rock types-Precambrian limestone and shale/sandstone. The corresponding difference in soil types generates a diversity of vegetation, particularly wildflowers and smaller flora.