Upper Falls


  • Location: Near Tornado, WV (Kanawha County)
  • Elevation: 588 feet
  • Coordinates: 38.342220, -81.8410035 / (38°20’32.0″N 81°50’27.6″W)
  • Waterway: Coal River
  • Height: 3 to 6 feet

I headed over to Upper Falls on the Coal River in Kanawha County during my lunch break from work. It’s east to get to and it’s a very relaxing spot for a quick break from the hustle and bustle that work has to offer. I even went down in dress shoes and dress pants and didn’t get dirty!

The waterfall is a set of rapids spanning the entire Coal River – almost like a miniature version of Sandstone Falls. The heights of the rapids vary, but most are in between 3 and 6 feet. Nonetheless, despite their smaller size, the roar is quite loud and it makes for a very serene scene!

Upper Falls is located along the Coal River in Kanawha County very close to the town of Tornado. To get there, head off of Exit 55 of Interstate 64 (Kanawha Turnpike) and drive 2.8 miles westward on the Kanawha Turnpike. The roadway will then turn into Smith Creek Road for another 6.3 miles (a total of 9.1 miles). At the end of Smith Creek Road, turn right onto Pettigrew Lane. You’ll see signs for Meadowood Park. I just parked at Meadowood and headed down to the river. You can hear the falls easily. There’s a small trail that will lead you straight down to the river. Just follow that carefully and you’ll be right at the river to see the view!

Upper Falls Location

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