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We hiked this trail in January 2019. We really enjoyed it. The water levels were high enough that we had to wade through the river. Come prepared. The elevation climb wasn't bad at all. As we turned towards the falls, the trail was a bit hard to follow due to fallen tree limbs. There were few people on the trail. We would definitely do it again.

hiking
13 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike, one of my favorites because it has an amazing view for me and beautiful waterfalls for my sister. The first half, I thought I was going to die from all the stairs but higher up is less steep. Thanks to all the recent rain and the general humidity around the falls, there were some pretty muddy spots but all were passable. There were a few trees I had to duck around but they weren't bad, I'm assuming they'll be taken care of when the shutdown ends.The bathrooms were closed but everything else is as usual. The fee ($3) is collected in an envelope that the individuals take care of so that is still. It took a little over 2 hours to hike including sitting and enjoying the view for about 10 minutes. Definitely recommend.

hiking
13 days ago

Quite muddy today. Still a few trees down on the trail.

Great views from the top, not terribly difficult

Well maintained, nice trail

hiking
15 days ago

Long this trail went by myself took me 132 minutes from start to finish with quick pictures! Highly recommended!

hiking
15 days ago

Very nice hike with awesome views on Spy Rock. Reminds me of a mini version of Old Rag, but not as difficult. Views along the trail (AT most of the way) are best during winter months.

A nice hike. We hadn't been here since the dam was raised a few years ago. (The new configuration makes the hike about 6.2 miles, with a bit more elevation gain than listed.) It was muddy in parts; then again this is January, and it has been recently raining. Signage is better if one goes clockwise: we went counterclockwise, making a couple of intersections a bit ambiguous.

hiking
19 days ago

Great, fairly easy hike, and the waterfall provides stunning views. Hiked this on 1/1/19, and there are still trees across the trail, according to the locals, caused by a extremely strong windstorm (the trees on the mountain literally snapped in half, and that went on for miles). The roads to the parking lot are clear (coming from Nellysford). Also, due to the government shutdown, the bathrooms at the base are closed, so make sure you go before getting to the parking lot. The $3 parking fee still applies.

camping
21 days ago

Beautiful view. Much like hawks bill.

The weather was cool and clear. The trail is well maintained and perfect for a short day hike with the family .

Quick and enjoyable.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike up will definitely get your heart pumping. The view from the top is fantastic. Worth the hike!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is beautiful, but it needs some TLC. There are lots of downed trees on the path and on the road that leads to the park. I love the bench at the top. Nothing like "sitting on top of the world with your legs hanging free."

hiking
2 months ago

Was super icy from this week’s ice/snow storm which made it a bit more difficult but also made the scenery amazing. Fun hike with incredible views.

A great alternative to other nearby hikes off of Skyline drive. (Which was closed today!) We turned back at the more intense river crossing about a mile in, not wanting to get wet in the late fall, and had to navigate some pretty muddy parts, but still had a beautiful and well-marked little hike.

Excellent trail. Gorgeous views. Challenging, but by no means brutal.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail. Lots of stairs in the beginning but after the stairs it’s not too bad. We’re not in the best shape but we’re able to handle it just fine but it was tough. Saw a variety of people (kids, elders, runners) so it’s really not that hard of a trail.

Views at the top were very nice as were views of the falls on the way up. We went on a day it was a little rainy and it was a little slippery (wet rocks and wet leaves) but very doable even if the weather isn’t ideal.

It’s an out and back and my Fitbit clocked in just over 4 miles for the whole thing so I don’t think the distance is accurate on here.

Bring $3 for parking and ladies bring toilet paper if you plan on using the restrooms at the parking lot.

There had been lots of rain and the falls were fantastic. Glad we had our hiking poles for stability on the wet rocks and leaves.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s tough but the view is worth it!

Great, quick hike!!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail this past July. It was a well maintained trail and a good workout! It gets you sweating and feeling good. It is steep but nothing crazy. Pack snacks and bring plenty of water to enjoy the view at the top!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice easy hike for all ages and abilities. Alltrails has a shelter listed just past the summit on the right. I never saw that one. Walked about 30 minutes past the summit to a sign on the left for a shelter. While on the app, I read a review to look for two large oak trees; you can't miss them. Walk another 5-7 minutes past the oak tress and you will see a sign for the shelter about 1/4 off the trail. There is a nice spring just a few yards from the shelter. You can drop your pack at the shelter and walk back to the spring for water, which was the only source of water we saw.

walking
2 months ago

Very easy hike. I think I made it to the cliffs, view was pretty blocked but nice.

2 months ago

The downsides are that some sections of the trail are basically a fire road. The top is so amazing though; it’s really worth the so-so scenery beforehand. Camping at the top just before the rock is great fun too. The you can get a view of the sunset when the crowds have died down.

This is a great “developed hike”. The trail is maintained , with wooden lookouts over the falls to keep visitors safe. Great trail for kids if they will listen and stay where instructed. The lower portion is accessible and when it isn’t too wet wheelchairs can even get access. Hmm. Go during an off season and avoid the crowds. We’ve done it while it was snowing lightly and were nearly alone.

walking
2 months ago

Great hike with an amazing view!! Tough start, but totally worth it. So much fun climbing the rock to get to the end!

It was a nice hike, but short as the river was kinda high. We watched a some guys go across and it was Knee deep. Best part was seeing a bear on the way back. It was up on the ridge, just nosing around. It may have wanted to go to the river, which is stocked with trout, but there were enough people about to change his mind. Be warned- it’s pretty popular and parking is pretty limited. Also, there aren’t any porta-johns there, so plan ahead. We can’t wait to try it again!

hiking
2 months ago

Does anyone know if the Fish Hatchery Route is open or if you can hike up the private road?

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