Looking for a place to beat this summer heat? Look no further than White Rock Falls near Waynesboro, Virginia, which is a neat little watering hole and waterfall.
What makes this hike (potentially) super fun is the variety of ways to reach these falls. When I first hiked this a few years ago, I hiked it from Lake Sherando which is about 8.5 miles out and back. However, there’s a far shorter route across from the Slacks Overlook parking lot, which takes a mere half hour or so to reach the waterfall, is about 2 miles out and back, is easy to moderate in difficulty, and can also be done as a loop. It’s also free to park at and access from this lot.
Start at the Slacks Overlook lot, walk across the road and get on the trail there. It’s pretty easy to follow the signs to the water, and while the waterfall is certainly the highlight of this trek, you’ll be treated to some nice rocky overlooks along the way giving you a scenic view of the surrounding mountains as well.
This hike definitely best done after some rain as when I first hiked this from Lake Sherando, there was nary a trickle of water anywhere and even the watering hole was basically a puddle, which (as you can imagine) was quite disappointing on a hot day in July. However, visiting this one after its rained (or while it’s raining…) yields quite a pretty view!
I did this as an out and back because my hiking pal and I got caught in a torrential thunderstorm, but if you’ve got some extra time on your hands and the weather is nice, you can do this as a loop, or even explore the surrounding area a bit more. If you do opt to take the longer route from Lake Sherando, apparently they require an $8 parking fee; however, when I visited a few years ago and told the park ranger we were hiking and not camping or anything, he let us through without paying. Maybe that was a fluke, maybe he thought we were kind of crazy to be hiking on the 4th of July when it was 90 degrees outside?
However you choose to hike this one though, pack some snacks, bring some water shoes and maybe a bathing suit, and enjoy the beauty of nature.