It’s often the most unexpected adventures that make for the best stories; I stumbled upon such a find on a 48 hour road trip to Georgia and back last week. A few hours south on US-77 will lead you into the heart of Southern West Virginia, a beautiful countryside of Appalachian foothills and river gorges. This impromptu road trip didn’t leave me with much time to plan for sight-seeing stops, but I did manage to look for a few quick tips on roadtrippers.com, (which is slowly becoming a favorite resource of mine.)
A minor detour from the interstate, this hidden gem of a waterfall is tucked away in the Brush Creek Nature Preserve, a 124 acre area by the confluence of Brush Creek and the Bluestone River. After a short drive down a narrow road, under the bridge, over the river and through the woods, we parked at the pavilion and hiked the flat 1/2 mile path to the falls. You will hear the rushing of the falls as you come upon an overlook — and you might think “This is it, we’re here!” But if you go a little farther, you will find a path that leads down to the base of the falls– this is your true destination.
Brush Creek Falls drop 25′, over a 50′ wide creek whose pool is still and serene below. A wide rock ledge creates a small cove, sheltering part of the pool and further enticing you to swim right up to the base of the falls. Quite accessible, you can walk up to the brink of the falls and down to the base — when the water is low, you may even be able to walk behind the falls. Rumor has it that its accessibility makes it a popular party spot, often littered with trash; however, we didn’t spot any visible litter around the falls, only minimal debris along the trail. We also had the place entirely to ourselves that morning, free to enjoy the falls in peace.
In addition to Brush Creek Falls, there are several waterfalls in the area, each one unique in shape and size, some easier to find than others. There is actually a second waterfall that can be reached from the same trail, although we did not venture any further. We would have liked to do some more exploring in the area, but will have to save that for a future adventure. Though our stop was a short one, we instantly fell in love with this peaceful paradise and have plans to go back for a day — next time, with swim suits and a packed picnic.