After leaving Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest, it was time to head to the Blue Ridge Parkway for our scenic drive to Skinny Dip Falls. The parkway, which is America’s longest linear park, runs for 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway is known for its scenic beauty, especially during the Fall foliage.
A popular stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Looking Glass Rock Overlook. The overlook offers beautiful, up-close views of the instantly memorable and uniquely shaped Looking Glass Rock mountain.
The overlook at the Parkway is usually jam-packed with cars but very few people. So where is everyone, if they’re not enjoying the stunning view?
Across from the overlook, there is a trail where visitors are off hiking to the nearby Skinny Dip Falls. A gorgeous set of cascading waterfalls that ends in deep, crystal-clear pools.
Skinny Dip Falls: The hike
Skinny Dip Falls is actually a series of 3 small, fairly nondescript cascades along the Yellowstone Prong. Though not very high, the waterfall’s appeal is in that it’s easy to access, and, with its crystal-clear water and deep pools, there are some unparalleled swimming holes at the bottom of the cascades. Despite its name, the hordes of people that are usually there will prefer that you bring a swimsuit if you choose to go in the water.
The hike is just under a half-mile to Skinny Dip Fall. The trail has a few climbs and rocks, but not challenging at all. It is not a long hike and well worth the relatively short trek.
The hike passes a large, twisted tree, nicknamed the “Dragon Tree,” – possibly a Native American trail tree.
The hike trails through a lush, fern-filled forest, descending steadily to an ever-louder rushing river set in a shady valley.
The trail rounds a corner, scoring its first views of the falls at .4 mile. The trail descends along, rather a steep set of wooden stairs to the falls, catching cross-river views of the upper falls and pool, the lower falls, and the deep, crystal-clear pool below the trail’s bridge. The trail carefully crosses the simple wooden bridge for the upper falls’ best views.
The hike carefully scrambles down the curved rock to access the lower pool and the lower falls’ best views. The lower falls cascade over an angled rock outcrop, creating a series of parallel waterfalls that spill into the deep, clear pool below.
Departing the waterfall, the hike retraces its steps to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a nearly continuous uphill climb to the trailhead.
The hike was invigorating, and I loved every minute. I hope you enjoyed this virtual hike with me. The next stops are more views along the Blue Ridge Parkway and one final breathtaking view.