Sandstone Falls

May 2009

State: West Virginia

Location: Hinton

Height: 10-25

Crest: 1500

Water Source: New River

Waypoint: 37.75833N 80.90556W

Summary: Sandstone Falls is an enormously wide and complicated waterfall on the New River. The thousand plus foot wide river tumbles over a sandstone ledge creating a number of segments of different heights and widths. Board walks take you out into the middle of the falls, but only distant views of the largest drops are available.

Sandstone Falls is a wide, wide waterfall on the New River a few miles north of the town of Hinton. The New River is about 1500 feet wide at the point it encounters a sandstone ledge. The rivers breaks over and around the ledge, creating an island and a number of falls of varying heights and widths depending on the level of the river.

There is no vantage point from which you can view the entire falls. The closest is an overlook high above the falls. A series of trails and boardwalks are located on the western edge of the river and they take you to some up close and personal views of different parts of the falls. Unfortunately the eastern edge of the falls is the highest, and you can only get distant views.

Sandstone Falls is a few miles downstream of the Bluestone Dam, but the river levels still vary considerably throughout the year. Floods still happen from time to time, during which the falls are basically drowned. It had been raining for several days when I visited, so the falls had plenty of water. A downside to this is that some vantage points that may be accessible during drier times were cut off by the water.

Sandstone Falls is located about 10 miles north of Hinton along River Road. Along the way you will pass Brooks Falls, a drop of only a few feet, and several very seasonal side falls. To reach Hinton from I-64, take exit 139 (the Sandstone exit), and head south on Route 20. This is a windy road that climbs up and down the sides of the gorge. The Sandstone Falls Overlook is located on this road.

Nearby Falls

In addition to Brooks Falls, and the seasonal side falls, 20+ foot Big Branch Falls is a few miles north of Sandstone Falls. This falls requires some hiking and is also seasonal, but it is on a larger creek than the side falls visible from the road. There is also a Fall Branch that empties into the New River between Big Branch and Sandstone Falls, but I do not know if it has any accessible falls on it. North of Sandstone Falls many other creeks tumble into the New River Gorge, creating a number of waterfalls of various sizes.

Pipestem Falls, Indian Branch Falls, Brush Creek Falls and others can all be found within 25 miles to the south of Hinton.

Photo Gallery

View from Overlook

A side falls just across from the parking area.

Another side falls farther south.

Another side falls even farther south.

Brooks Falls

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