The White Oak Canyon upper falls, at 86 feet, are the highest of the White Oak Cascades, but both the upper and lower falls have swimming holes at the bottom of each waterfall. We'll start at the White Oak Canyon Lower Parking Lot and hike up to the Upper Falls and return. Since it's an out-and-back hike, you can dial in your own difficulty: if you want to stop and splash around, we'll pick you up on our way back down!
The route: Starting from White Oak Canyon Lower Parking Lot, we’ll hike upstream to the upper falls and return.
This is an out-and-back hike, about 6 miles round trip. The surface is dirt woodland paths, rough and rocky throughout, with over 1100 feet elevation change each direction. The hike should take about 3-4 hours at a moderate pace, including breaks.
*** NB: The full hike to the Upper Falls and back is a steep and challenging hike. Consider your physical condition before signing up for this hike. ***
Google map: http://tinyurl.com/mufm2ns
How to get there:
Meetup for carpooling: Vienna Metro Station is on the Orange Line. The Vienna Metro North Kiss and Ride Parking Lot is south of the intersection of Virginia Center Blvd & Centerboro Dr, Vienna, Virginia 22181. Parking at Metro stations is free on weekends and Federal holidays; see http://tinyurl.com/lff72x
Driving directions to White Oak Canyon Lower Parking Lot from Vienna Metro North Kiss and Ride Lot: The drive is 78.4 miles and takes about 1 hour, 40 minutes each way, without traffic. From the exit of the Vienna Metro North parking lot, head east on Virginia Center Blvd, take the ramp onto I-66 W, and drive 19 miles west. Take exit 43A onto US-29 S/Lee Hwy and drive 11.5 miles. Turn slightly right onto US-15 Business S/US-29 Business S and drive 2.1 miles. Turn right onto US-211 W/Frost Ave/Lee Hwy and drive west along US-211 W for 27 miles to Sperryville. In Sperryville, turn left onto US-522 S, drive 0.8 miles, then turn right onto VA-231 S and drive about 10 miles. At the junction with SR-643, turn right and drive 4.3 miles. At the T-junction, turn right onto SR-600/Weakley Hollow Rd and drive 3.6 miles. The trailhead parking area is on your left, White Oak Canyon Lower Parking Lot, SR-600/Weakley Hollow Rd, Syria, VA 22743, GPS[masked], [masked]. See https://goo.gl/maps/oLojBnMebmS2
What to bring: Water, comfy shoes with tread, and your furry friend if desired (leashes please). Sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent, and light snacks for breaks are recommended. There are showers in the forecast, so consider a poncho or whatever. If you choose to splash around, bring whatever you need, but be aware there is no place to change except behind a convenient rock or bush.
Cost: $20 per car, payable to Ranger Rick at the Lower Parking Lot.
Weather: The forecast is clear and a high of 86F. Updates here: http://tinyurl.com/n54mojd
Advisory: As a reminder, this is an adult group, and you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and well-being during events. No one under 18 years of age is allowed at this event, either as members or as guests, to include babies in carriers and/or strollers.
Administrative stuff: There are public restrooms (portable) at the trailhead.
• White Oak Canyon at Virginia Is For Lovers: http://tinyurl.com/gq4wyme
• White Oak Canyon Area Road and Trail Map: http://tinyurl.com/llutyx8