With attractions like Rainbow Falls and the Rim-of-the-Gap Trail within its boundaries, its understandable that I had yet to visit this lesser-known natural wonder of Jones Gap State Park. In a half-dozen previous visits I had yet to enjoy this pretty little gem. Looking to follow up a tiring day of work with a nice little workout (combined with the fact that the thermometer was topping 60 for the first time in a while) I decided this was the perfect day to finally make the acquaintance of Jones Gap Falls.
Jones Gap State Park itself is a rugged piece of state property along the south face of the Blue Ridge Escarpment just north of Greenville. It forms the eastern end of a spectacular trifecta of protected public land which includes the Mountain Bridge Wilderness and Ceasars Head State Park. It's not nearly as popular as the often-crowded Caesar's Head State Park but that doesn't mean you'll be alone here...word is quickly getting out of it spectacular cliffs and stunning waterfalls. Perhaps the biggest drawback to visiting this park is the fact that its infrastructure isn't keeping up with the increase in visitation. Try to visit Jones Gap on a weekend in the off season or pretty much any day in the summer and you're likely going to find yourself waiting an extended period of time for a spot in one of the parks woefully inadequate parking lots. My advice...go in the off-season or get there <i>early</i>. Just don't be deterred, as you'll see in this album and the others I've posted of hikes at Jones Gap, this place doesn't disappoint.
So, come along with me on one of those impromptu hikes I like to treat myself to every so often. Easy to access (relatively speaking), Jones Gap Falls turned out to be a wonderful way to cure the work-day blues. Join me and see what I discovered...
Mileage Hiked: 3.0 miles Hike Duration: 1:00
Trailhead Temp: 65'F Trail Traffic: 10-25 people
Min. Elevation: 1,335' Max. Elevation: 2,010'
Total Vertical Gain: 765' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 255'