Balcony Falls Trail (Forest Trail #7)

Area Status: Open

The Balcony Falls Trail begins at the Locher Tract parking area and follows an old road through the Locher Tract.  Off this old road, the trail turns right and meanders with a gentle climb through the woods along another old road.  Upon approaching the James River Face Wilderness boundary, the trail begins a more sharp ascent over a series of switchbacks which afford the hiker panoramic views of the James River.  The trail becomes much easier at approximately 2,200 feet elevation with a gentle climb along the ridgeline with scenic views to the east and west.

Trail Open To:

Trail HikingBicycle RidingHorse Riding

At a Glance

Fees: No fees.
Open Season: Open year round
Restrictions: A portion of this trail is in the James River Face Wilderness.  Group size is limited to no more than 10 people on these sections.
  •     Trail is open to:  Hiking, Bicycling, Horse Riding.
  •     Trail is closed to all motorized vehicles.
Closest Towns: Buena Vista, VA - ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY
Water: No drinking water available. All water taken from natural sources should be purified before use.
Restroom: Vault Toilet at Locher Tract; Open Seasonally.
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


Trailhead at Locher Tract Parking Area:  From US 130E, turn south onto State Route 759 (Arnold's Valley Road).  Just after you cross the Greenlee Bridge over the James River, turn left onto State Route 782.  Follow 782 past the Jellystone Campground until you reach the end of state maintenance.  Continue straight on FR #3093 (Locher Tract Road) to the parking area at the end.  The trail begins at the farm gate to the right at the end of the fence.

General Notes:
  • Trail Length:  3.78 miles
  • Blazes:  None
  • Trail Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult
  • Connecting Trails:  FT #3001 -Sulphur Springs Trail, FT #1 -Appalachian Trail
  • Elevation:  Beginning at an elevation of 780 feet at the Locher Tract parking area and climbing to an elevation of approximately 2,588 feet at the intersection with FT #1 (Appalachain Trail) and FT #3001 (Sulphur Springs Trail).
  • Trail Access Points (Approximate LAT/LONG):
  • 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

Fees: No fee.
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
3.78 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
780 feet - 2588 feet