This past Saturday I joined a Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation waterfall hike along Jones Run and the Doyle River in the Shenandoah National Park. Here’re just a few photos of two of the 6 to 10 spectacular falls along the trail, and the lovely petite wildflowers. The full circle trails is approximately 9 miles – we took a cutoff along a fire road for a 6.5 circuit, which was plenty for me. My challenge was climbing the 1455 feet of elevation back out!
Recent rains meant full flows in the rivers – apparently later in the summer the falls aren’t as impressive. The highest falls were along the Doyle River, and most of the wildflowers were along the lower reaches near the confluence of the two streams. We met a lot of folks hiking in from the Doyle River side in the early afternoon – we couldn’t decide if that would be a better direction. We took our lunch break along Jones Run and by the time we got to the Doyle River I was getting tired. Another extended break might have helped.
The trail was meticulously maintained and easy to follow – check it out next time you’re in the area! Here’re two links with trail info: http://www.hikingupward.com/SNP/JonesRunDoylesRiver/ and http://www.midatlantichikes.com/doyleriver.htm
Here’s a brief video approaching one of the falls on Jones Run: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gICI6G3M5Lk