Uncomplicated and enjoyable, hiking is a pastime you can do almost anywhere. A day trip away from West Virginia’s capital of Charleston, or a short drive from Virginia's transportation hub of Roanoke, get out and have some fun along the Highland Scenic Highway. Going beyond the typical, the byway snakes through 43 pristine miles of the enchanting Monongahela National Forest. Numerous tree species, dramatic elevation shifts, abundant wildlife, and over 500 miles of trails make this forest and byway a definite “must do” in the world of hiking.
The Highland Scenic Highway begins at Richwood, the only town on the entire byway. From here, head 17 miles east to the Falls of Hills Creek Scenic Area. Follow a paved, .75-mile trail down to the three stunning cascades that give this site its name. After the first 1700 feet, the trail becomes slightly more demanding as it turns to boardwalks and steep, sometimes slippery steps. All this will be well worth the effort when you see the lower falls, where the waters of Hills Creek tumble down from 63 incredible feet. This year-round trail, while beautiful in every season, is especially stunning in autumn when the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, yellow, an