Bottom Creek Gorge Nature Preserve is one of my newest favorite hikes. Normally I say my favorite hike is the one I just did, but in the case, this one really will remain in my favorites file. LOVED it! Relatively easy hiking, not crowded by people, wildlife, huge 200-foot waterfall (2nd largest in Virginia, actually), cemetery and old homestead ruins…what more could a girl ask for? (oh and a great drive out there…tons of old cemteries to pass)
The spot for parking is pretty small, so if you are going to go as a large group you may want to carpool. Fortunately on this day I was the only one there, so Teddy (my escape) had a nice quiet afternoon to himself. You have to walk up an old forest road to actually get to the real trailhead start. At the kiosk, make sure you make note of the map on the back side. I didn’t, assuming it was the same as what I’d printed out off the website…it’s not and I missed a few good points of interest because of it…just a good excuse to go back
The trails are very well marked and easy to follow. The lack of dogs on the trail adds to the serene feeling, and it’s great not worrying about where you’re headed. LOVE easy to follow trails! A lot of day hikes are not marked well, so I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The whole loop I took was about five miles. It was drizzling off and on, but I love to hike in the rain so no biggie. Throw on a rain jacket and just keep trucking. Hiking in the rain can be a great experience as the wildlife have a tendency to come out more. It also muffles the human sound and scent and makes it a little easier to “sneak up” on them. Saw several day on this trip, along with a turkey and 2 quail. Sadly, all the wildlife is a lot quicker than me so no good pictures of them, but…I did get some good shots of lizards and some flowers. They are all posted below. Hope you enjoy.