Apple Orchard Falls Trail (Forest Trail #17)

Area Status: Open

The Apple Orchard Falls National Recreation Trail leaves Sunset Fields at milepost 78.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and winds down Apple Orchard Mountai,n generally following the headwaters of North Creek.  Hikers will follow the coursing stream as it travels down the mountain.  The trail pauses at a wooden platform overlooking the waterfalls then travels to a boardwalk at the base of the waterfall. 

Trail Open To:

Trail Hiking

At a Glance

Fees: No fee.
Open Season: Open year round
Restrictions: Per Forest Supervisor's Order the following is prohibited on the Apple Orchard Falls Trail:  possessing or using a saddle, pack or draft animal.
  • Trail is open to:  Hiking
  • Trail is closed to all motorized vehicles.
Closest Towns: Buchanan, VA -  BOTETOURT COUNTY
Water: No drinking water available. All water taken from natural sources should be purified before use.
Restroom: None
Operated By: Glenwood & Pedlar Ranger Districts: (540) 291-2188
Information Center: Trail is located on National Geographic/Trails Illustrated Map #789.  It is recommended that all trail users carry a reliable map at all times.  Maps may be purchased at some local District Ranger Stations, at outdoor retail locations or by visiting the National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated website.

General Information


North Creek Trailhead: From I-81, take exit 168 (Arcadia). Follow Jennings Creek Road (SR 614) for approximately 3.0 miles to the intersection with North Creek Road (FR 59). Turn left and follow North Creek Road until the pavement ends. Continue straight on FR 59 (now gravel) until it ends at the trailhead parking. Blue Ridge Parkway: Hikers may park at the Sunset Fields Overlook, milepost 78, on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of the Peaks of Otter. "

General Notes:
  • Trail Length:  3.32 miles
  • Blazes:  Blue
  • Trail Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult
  • Connecting Trails:  FT #18 - Cornelius Creek, FT #1 - Appalachian Trail
  • Elevation:  Beginning at an elevation of 1480 feet at the parking lot on FR #59 and climbing to 3400 feet at the trailhead at Sunset Fields on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Trail Access Points (Approximate LAT/LONG):
    • North Creek Trailhead:  LAT  37.53 LONG -79.55   
    • Sunset Fields on Blue Ridge Parkway:  LAT 37.51 LONG -79.52
    • Lat/Long Conversion Table
  • Trail Etiquette:  Trail etiquette for multiple use trails calls for horses to have the right-of-way.  Hikers should yield to horses.  Bicyclists should yield to horses and hikers.  Horse riders are responsible for the control of their horse at all times.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
3.32 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
1480 feet - 3400 feet