By Chris Dunavent on November 7, 2013
The Falls of Hills Creek, located east of the city of Richwood, West Virginia, are some of the most serenely majestic waterfalls in the United States. Sitting inside the perimeter of the Monongahela National Forest they have been a favored destination for thousands of tourists each year. Hills Creek has been proclaimed the cleanest freshwater stream in West Virginia by the Department of Natural Resources. Isolated and far away from developed land makes this a natural wonder right in the heart of the state. The falls are easily accessible whether walking, biking or jogging. There is also ample handicap access on the 1700 foot walkway heading up to the falls. Nature lovers will be in awe of the spectacular display of wildflowers as there are more than 40 varieties lining the pathway to the falls. Not to mention the beautiful rhododendrons and laurel bushes that bloom early each spring and last well into the early days of fall. The first waterfall has a drop from the top of twenty-five feet of pristine water cascading down the side of the mountainous area. Once visitors pass the first waterfall, they take a few turns up the side of the mountain to reach the second set of falls. The second set of falls rises more than 45 feet in the air and has a much wider scope of water rushing from the top to a small pool at the bottom. People often enjoy the day swimming in the calm waters beneath the falls, but be prepared as the fresh water is very cold even in the middle of the hot summer. Once the second set of falls has been discovered there is a semi-rugged half mile walk to the third set. Cascading nearly 65 feet from the top, the third set of falls at Hills Creek are a spectacular site to relax by after a long day of hiking. Hikers will want to take care as they find their way to the third set of falls as the path is quite rocky and hiking is best done at a slow pace. Once you spend some time enjoying the falls of Hills Creek, there is also a splendid view from an overlook where you can take in the beauty of all three falls all at once. From the top of the third fall to the bottom of the first fall is a drop of nearly 220 feet of beautiful natural scenery to enjoy. The tree line heading to the falls is very thick and cats out most of the natural light. The best time to fully enjoy the falls in all of their splendor is from noon to three in the afternoon when the sun is at its brightest.