Cave Falls

A tub so straight and square that Pythagoras would have been the first one to pull off his tunic and dive in. He might bump his Greek forehead on Virginia sandstone. The pool is small, less than less 20 feet long, about eight feet wide at the top and ten feet wide at the bottom where an anvil shaped rock has dropped into the stream, creating the impound. This spot where the Hazel River runs through Shenandoah National Park isn’t that deep, but the pool’s beautiful trapezoidal dimensions make it look like something that could be in a suburban backyard with a barbecue kettle parked next to it.

The pool is well below the fall itself, which is an outstanding setting, but not worth mentioning as a swimming hole. Unfortunately, too many rocks and boulders inhibit the depth. One side of the fall is partially scarred by fire, but there’s some mature beach and hickory with excellent shade. It’s worth the short trip. On the way you pass some pretty good rock faces, 25 and 30 feet tall. They contain the namesake cave, really only a rock fissure about 15 feet deep and five feet wide.

The water is a little bit murky from sediment likely caused by erosion that followed the 2000 wildfire. Much of the hike is through the burn area. Great wildflowers as a result.

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