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Dark Hollow Falls Trail

MODERATE 849 reviews
#3 of 190 trails in

Dark Hollow Falls Trail is a 1.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 1.4 miles Elevation Gain: 564 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

beach

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Dark Hollow Falls is one of the closest scenic falls to the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. This is a fairly easy walk down, but the trek back up on the way out may be slightly challenging. A very popular hike at mile 50.7. There are some sitting rocks along the trail if you need to rest especially on your way back up. In the spring the blossoms of Mountain Laurel adorn the path with bright pink blossoms. The trail follows the Hogcamp Branch stream as it leaves the Big Meadows spring and eventually drops over the falls. The trail is cool and shaded by a canopy of trees that offers welcome relief in the summer. As you are hiking down listen to the sounds of the water and also to the sounds of nature. One of the birds that may serenade your hike is the Blue Headed Vireo. This neotropical migrant that breeds at high elevations in the park has a very sweet melodious voice that seems to say "Look-Up, In-the-Trees". If you happen to see a dragonfly it may be one of the uncommon species that requires pristine, shaded mountain streams. When you spot one of these you know you are in a special place. Near the bottom of the trail you will come to a viewing platform where you can see the top of the falls. If you continue another tenth of a mile down the trail you will reach the base of the falls for a much more impressive view. Legend says that Thomas Jefferson was quite fond of these falls and spent time quietly contemplating the wonders of nature at the foot of Dark Hollow falls. Learn about black bears, wildflowers, and enjoy the falls as President Thomas Jefferson did back in the day.

hiking
7 days ago

Short out and back. Downhill towards the falls. Pretty falls.

hiking
11 days ago

Surprised at how crowded the trail was. Trail etiquette goes far. Hikers traversing uphill have the right of way. The falls were beautiful but, not worth it for the traffic on the trail.

hiking
rocky
12 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Very beautiful and well maintained trail! It’s a short hike and it’s very heavily trafficked, hard to pass slower hikers but a great place to enjoy waterfall views.

hiking
off trail
12 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

Awesome waterfall

hiking
18 days ago

Super beautiful waterfall! It is quite steep coming back up but mostly with stairs. Blessings!

muddy
rocky
19 days ago

Definitely not worth going if busy. The trail is steep, slippery and not scenic. There are much better waterfalls and hikes in the area.

Falls were great since it rained all night. empty when I got there at 1030 packed when I left at noon. much steeper then you think

hiking
rocky
21 days ago

21 days ago

Love this trail... short but somewhat tough. Beautiful scenery. The only downfall is that it is a bit crowded.

hiking
22 days ago

Heavily trafficked. Busy with school field trips on a weekday in the fall. The trail itself is good. Waterfall wasn't particularly spectacular, but it's been dry this year.

hiking
24 days ago

Very pretty hiking trail. Not too involved but still a pretty big elevation, if you don’t hike a lot. The falls were neat, not as big or strong as I was expecting. But still worth the hike. It was pretty crowded but we went on the weekend. There are multiple spots you are able to go off the trail and walk on the rocks in the river, which made it much more fun.

hiking
rocky
25 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

Crowded. Nice birds. Easy workout

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike. The water fall Cascades forever. Very cool views.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice waterfalls and certainly worth the hike all the way down. We opted to loop back to Meadows Lodge which was a great decision as it was a more gradual incline and MUCH less populated. Falls colors at maybe 25%.

hiking
1 month ago

Just so everybody knows, this is a very small waterfall with very low volume, at least in 2nd week of October when I went there. and the crowds are huge as it's a small hike and quite doable unless you are very unfit or have joint problems. If it is crowded near the main falls, i'd recommend hiking down a little further to find a more private space to relax by the water. Also, for some unfathomable reason I thought I would be able to swim near the waterfall but the water is not deep enough. you can probably bathe though if you are so inclined.

1 month ago

Beautiful views at the base of the falls. Not a bad hike, up or down.

recorded Dark Hollow Falls Trail

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty view of the falls. Very easy and very crowded when we went.

hiking
1 month ago

Great cooling falls at bottom. It is steep but well worth doing!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of people! I wouldn’t recommend for kids younger than five. All I saw were either being carried up the hill or whining to be carried. It’s really pretty but too many people for my taste. Walk back up can be challenging for people who are out of shape (like me). Just go slow and easy and it won’t be that bad.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Shaded, with a steady decline going down to the falls. Heavily populated. Moderate incline to come back up, but not to strenuous. We did have a downpour on the way back.

hiking
1 month ago

did this on 9/28 trail in great shape, awesome view of the falls all the way at the bottom, saw a young black bear on my way down on the side of the trail didnt seem to be bothered by all the people, trail declines all the way down to the falls but it a steady incline coming back nothing too strenuous if youre a well seasoned hiker.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike but a bit steeper than expected. Cool falls but probably more water in the spring.

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