Beecher Ridge and Overall Run Loop via Appalachian Trail

HARD 37 reviews
#27 of 145 trails in

Beecher Ridge and Overall Run Loop via Appalachian Trail is a 10.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rileyville, Virginia that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

10.1 miles
2,831 feet

dog friendly




nature trips

trail running






wild flowers


Beautiful waterfalls, very steep ascent, and nice woods. The early part of the hike is though the woods on the ridges. Lot's of dogwoods and redbuds in the spring and a few viewpoint spots. Coming back up Overall Run offers stream bed hiking, very steep uphill climbing, some very nice views and a few spectacular waterfalls. When you leave the parking lot turn right at the first trail marker post and follow that to the Tuscarora trail where you turn right. At the next TM post, turn left on Matthews Arm trail for short distance to pick up Beecher Ridge trail. BR trail will run into Overall Run Trail. Cross over the run and start back up. Above the waterfalls this trail joins with the Tuscarora and you return the same way. You can reverse the loop but if you do keep a closer look out for the waterfalls, which may be behind you by the time they are visible.

1 month ago

07/01/2018: Awesome overnight loop that is clearly marked and well traveled. I went counter-clockwise, so the first day was mainly a steep descent. Once I reached the bottom, I found an awesome campsite near the swimming holes at the far end of the loop. (Great hammock-camping spot at the base of the falls, tricky to reach though.)

Day two was definitely a leg day. Once you round out the far end of the loop it’s all uphill from there. If you’re carrying a 30lb+ pack I would consider it a moderately strenuous climb.

Overall awesome hike and a great introduction to overnighting in Shenandoah National Park.

7 months ago

Some may choose to begin this loop from the bottom rather from the top of the ridge. If so, one has to park at Thompson Hollow Trailhead (look for the location on Google Map). The capacity of the parking lot at Thompson Hollow Trailhead is limited to no more than 10 cars, counting spaces on both sides of the road.

9 months ago

Great overnighter in November, beautiful fall weather and leaves. I agree with others that this hike is definitely longer than 10 miles, probably more like 12. The uphill slog on the return is intense and thus the Hard rating.
Happy Hiking to All!

10 months ago

Rocky trail--pretty much 6 miles down then 6 miles up. Streams are pretty dry, but the swimming hole was nice. Plenty of good campsites near the bottom of the trail, and one good one about halfway up (1750 ft elevation) on Beecher Ridge trail.

The topo map shows you can hike to Overall as an extension, but don't do it. The trail peters out and then aims you towards someone's private land.

Monday, July 31, 2017

We did this all in 1day, the mileage is misleading. The whole thing is closer to 14 miles. Beautiful view at the end, most of the Beecher loop was overgrown with poison ivy -wear pants. The last half of the loop is almost all steep uphill and rocky.
Be prepared

Sunday, July 09, 2017

A note on the difficulty rating: 3/4 of the loop I would describe as easy to the easy end of moderate. The bottom portion of the loop follows a horse trail so its really not steep at all. If you follow the loop clockwise you run into trouble on the last bit of Tuscorora where theres a series of switchbacks. If you've hiked 10+ miles before and you're just day hiking it I would rate this loop as solidly moderate. My girlfriend and I were both hauling 30+ lbs packs for overnight camping, I would say it starts to veer into difficult / strenuous when you add in the packs.

The trail is dog friendly but our dog had pretty well torn up his paws by the time we finished the loop. Consider paw protection.

I'm not sure what the recent commenter was referring to when she said she was unable to follow the trail. We did the loop within a month of the comment being posted and the trail was very clearly marked / blazed the entire way. If you happen to have the PATC North District map with you there's almost no way you could get lost on this loop.

If you are staying the night there are 3-4 campsites that are all wonderful, 3 are at the far end of the loop and 1 is between the stream crossings on the backend of the loop and the waterfall, pretty much right where the swimming holes are.

USE A BEAR BAG. We had a total of 3 black bear sightings over a day and a half. It could have been the same one all three times I don't know. First sighting was on our first day, he was in scrub off the trail to the right, our dog scared him more than he scared us. The second sighting was at night when a bear visited our camp, he made an attempt at our bear bag as evidenced by fresh claw marks on the tree in the morning with scattered bark at the base of the tree. The third sighting, after the falls on the second day, the bear was right in the middle of the trail about 30 ft away from us.

This was a great loop with some awesome views and some nice swimming holes / camp sites. We will be coming back with friends.

Oh also I would say the Tuscorora trail is pretty well traveled, we saw a lot of people on our trip in the middle of July 2017. The campsite we stayed at was right near the Beecher Ridge connector / Tuscorora / overlook trail post at the back of the loop. We were able to people watch all afternoon /evening.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I would give this five stars if we were able to follow the trail... but we had a hard time finding where to follow. Starting the loop moving counterclockwise, we became unsure of the trail due to overgrown shrubs and sparse markings right after we passed the falls.

We changed courses and walked back the way we came. It was beautiful and enjoyable, except for the hiccup described above.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Great for summer activity

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Loved this trail. The incline is tough & definitely not for beginner hikers. The falls are great & the view of the canyon is awesome!
The trail is very rocky & can be slippery when wet.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Wonderful fall overnighter. The descent down overall run past the falls is rocky. The plentiful rocks coupled with a bed of dry leaves made for tricky going under the load of a full pack. Found a beautiful campsite near the connector of Beecher ridge. Beecher Ridge Trail was glorious with the autumn color and the ascent back to the Hogback lot was invigorating

Monday, June 27, 2016

I did this hike in the middle of May. It had rained a lot the week before so the waterfalls were flowing really good. I did the trail clockwise and do think that was the best way. It is downhill the first half and uphill the second half regardless. The first half I saw 10 bears! 10 black bears! The first was by himself and crossed the trail 15 yards in front of me very casually. He saw me and pretty much ignored me. Then later on I saw 3 different sets of a Mom and her 2 Cubs. All 3 times they went running or climbed up a tree once they noticed me. Pretty cool seeing them in their natural environment. All this happened before I got to the bottom where you get to the falls and the pools. Definitely spend some time down there and you can take a dip under the 20+ foot waterfalls. Then you start your way back up the mountain. The 92 foot waterfall is really cool, you can get out to top of it if you are brave and have some athletic ability. Great views from there. From there you can kinda stay near the water instead of staying on the trail. You just need to do a little climbing up a couple of the smaller waterfalls. Overall it was an awesome hike with the wildlife and the waterfalls!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Great hike, great views, great work out. New favorite. The water was roaring as it had rained all week. Parked at Thompson Hollow trail head, and took a left at Overall Run trail. Glad I did, as coming down the other side, it seemed like it would have been a much longer ascent. The pools at the end before getting back onto Thompson Hollow trail would have been even more inviting if it had been warmer.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Waterfall was very cool.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Great trail, very scenic. Fun and challenging day hike!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Challenging hike. A good workout. 2000 ft in elevation gain. I'll go back in Winter/Spring when the water flow is better. More water makes it a 4-star. Today, dry creek beds; the 92 ft waterfall just a trickle. I parked at Thompson Hollow, making this 8.5m. The views and scenery got better and better as I went along.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A fun hike, it's difficult to score trails as they change seasonally in my opinion. Took this hike with my girlfriend on July 29th, creeks were pretty dry and the waterfall was a trickle. You're able to reach the top of the waterfall when it's more or less dry, great photo op. The trail becomes narrow at times from the Thompson Hollow Road entrance, of course worse in the summer with all the growth. Bugs were tolerable, and the trail itself became more bugless and wider as you gain elevation. Other hikers told us they saw a rattlesnake about 15 feet from the path and turned around (coming towards us). We did not see the snake thankfully..

I will say the views were tremendous at the "top" (top: overlook from the side of the mountain facing the ridge). I'd say roughly 150 degrees of viewing. Overall Overall Run was fun, but I'm sure much more enjoyable in the Spring.

1 month ago

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

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