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Upper Toll Road Falls

Upper Toll Road Falls
Upper Toll Road Falls
Dan Goodwin

Visitors to Toll Road Falls on the Jones Gap Trail get to see a pretty little waterfall but are unaware of the startling surprise only 50 yards away.

Standing at one end of the footbridge crossing the unnamed stream at Toll Road Falls, a hiker might, in the winter, be able to catch a glimpse of moving water upstream. This is the only indication of the existence of a beautiful waterfall that should bear the name of Upper Toll Road Falls.

Unless you just happened to catch that glimpse, there is no documentation, either in print or on the internet, of the existence of this waterfall. Standing on the bridge facing the waterfall, there is a huge boulder on the left side of the Toll Road Falls. You may can pick out a very indistinct path along the front the boulder leading up to the top. One might imagine this is a simple path to be able to get to the top of the boulder.

Making that scramble up to the top gives you a view of what’s upstream and you realize you have found something special. It is about 50 yards. You may be able to find a generally indistinct path but this mostly a bushwhack up the left side of the stream. Downfall prevents you from moving down to the stream to get in front of the falls so you continue up to where you can get a pretty view from the side. Now, with some scrambling, you can get to the stream below the downfall and work your way up on the rocks, crossing over to be able to stand squarely in front of the waterfall. This does give a nice frontal view, but you lose some of the feeling of the depth of the grotto you can get from a photo taken from the side.

This is a beautiful waterfall, standing at least 30 feet tall, half plunge and half tier. It is uniformly wide from the top to the bottom, probably 8 to 10 feet across the rock face. Coming off the top, the flow takes a 15 foot plunge in front of a grotto, then running down shallow-sloped tiers before a final short plunge into the base pool.

The trail head for Jones Gap Trail (blue-blazed) is at the Jones Gap State Park Headquarters. Hike 1.8 miles on the trail until it intersects with Coldspring Branch Trail. Continue on Jones Gap Trail for 100 yards to Toll Road Falls then bushwhack upstream for 50 yards.