Falls Ridge Nature Preserve
The 80-foot falls was mostly ice on this day.
New hike on a cold cold day. Not-so-new instance of a Falls Ridge Nature Preserve hike seeming way shorter than its stated distance (cf Grassy Hill near Rocky Mount and Bottom Creek Gorge near Bent Mountain). Is it maybe chronic with The Nature Conservancy to overstate trail distances by like 20 percent?
Well, enough about that and on to… a brand new hike for us! Custom-built for The Day Hiker on this frozen day to include no lunch stop on the trail but instead at the conveniently nearby Mountain View Italian Kitchen, also not very far out of downtown Ironto! And, in distinctly NOT keeping with our usual practice to have at least half the walking done before the eating, we went into Mountain View first. And at about 1 p.m., we had the big room to ourselves for a time. The good meals of stuffed chicken for me and shrimp and scallops-scampi for Gail were not only dinner at lunch time, but also, paired with a glass of wine, kind of nap-beckoning before we'd set any kind of foot outside.
We were of course jerked back to full alertness by the cold after the short drive, and were surprised to see two cars in the lot as we drove in.
The primary attraction of the preserve – the falls – is a very short distance into the walk – at the end of the broad field that begins it. On this day the falls was largely frozen. And there is more to see beyond, at least in winter when, at the high point, there is a nice view in two directions.
All in all, a nice walk and a GREAT excuse to visit Mountain View Italian Kitchen.
January 9, 2011 Hike
Falls Ridge Nature Preserve Trails. Ostensibly 5 miles; more like 4 miles tops.
How to get there: Exit 128 from I-81 and then west on Va. 603 (past the restaurant) for about 7 miles to a small bridge to the left and then follow signs.