Accessibility – Moderate
Height – 10’12′
Distance – 0.40 Miles (Out and Back)
Beauty – 8
Photo rating – 8
Solitude – 9
GPS Info: LAT 36.3972 LONG -81.0679
Last updated – 04/01/2017
Middle Cascade Falls at Hanging Rock is a short hike from the visitor’s center along a gravel path to Upper Cascade Falls but this one isn’t on the tourist map. I only know about it because I saw the trail and went to have a look. I would guess that most people who pass this way, never bother to check it out. The waterfall is about 12-14 feet high but it’s more about the setting. This is one cool location down among the boulders. The side trail does get a bit steep in one place but there are enough roots to make it down. The trail comes to the creek after passing between several large (humongous) boulders. Near the creek the path between the sides of the valley narrow. As you come around to the left, you’ll see this gem back in the corner.
To get to Upper Cascade Falls, follow the driving directions to get to the visitor’s center. Park at the end of the lot closest to road and follow the sidewalk toward Hanging Rock Park Road. Descend the steps and cross the road, picking up the gravel path on the other side. The trail splits once across the road. Stay to the right. The trail will ascend then head down and to the left. Right about now you will see the observation deck. As you near it, you will see four log steps on the right side of the trail and below then a steep scramble path. I had seen it before and I saw it on this visit. I ignored it the first time but this time curiosity got the better of me. I went to have a look and I’m glad I did. I couldn’t find a name for what I found so I’m calling in Middle Cascade Falls. After the steps the trail does several swicthbacks before getting to a steep descent you will make by holding onto the roots. After this the trail winds through the boulders to the creek and then the prize.
The trail provides a small adventure that I’m glad I enjoyed. If there is anyone at Upper Cascade Falls when you head down to Middle Cascade Falls, the echo of their voices is really neat. From the falls is you look straight up, you will see the observation deck towering above, blotting out most of the sky to the left of the falls.