Dark Hollow via Appalachian Trail and Story of the Forest Trail

HARD 82 reviews
#19 of 166 trails in

Dark Hollow via Appalachian Trail and Story of the Forest Trail is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Syria, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

6.0 miles
1,479 feet


nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers

no dogs

moderate hike, two waterfalls, tons of wildlife Circuit passes Rose River falls and the site of an old copper mine. Erosion has all but obliterated all traces of this mine. The circuit continues on past Dark Hollow Falls and offers view points from the Appalachain Trail as it circles the Big Meadows picnic and camping areas.

10 days ago

Pretty good fishing good falls

5 months ago

This humbled me! Totally worth it though. Rose River Falls was the hardest in my opinion. Definitely take advantage of the oppurtunity to rest at the bottom of Dark Hollow.

6 months ago

very good hiking. not as much traffic as dark hollow fall.

7 months ago

very beautiful hike down to the waterfall and along the creek.

10 months ago

Not a bad hike, combining Dark Hollow Falls with Rose River trail. The problem with this hike is you end up going down at the start and seeing the falls, then it is back gaining altitude with no real view or payoff to get back to your start. Not a bad hike, but so many better ones in the Shenandoahs

10 months ago

Hiked this loop trail after more than a foot of snowfall in March and Skyline Drive was reopened. This place was magical! Please bring trekking poles and wear microspikes and gaiters under this condition.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

This is a wonderfully scenic trail but you will earn it. A difficult trail for all but the most fit hikers. You will earn your rest on this one. My wife and i were on the trail at 9am on a Saturday and surprised to find we still had it all to ourselves. Traffic did increase by noon but still wasn't heavy.

I would like to propose a name change to Alltrail for this trail as its current designation is inadequate and misleading. I'm calling it the Rose River Trail-Dark Hollow Falls Loop.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

This was an amazing trail. The waterfalls were beautiful and the trails were pretty well marked.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The second half of the trail is a solid workout. Both the falls are nice, but crowded. I would do again on a weekday.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

i visited this trail for my birthday, and even wore my dress whites.

the bugs that landed on my uniform had no respect.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Nice to be able to hike right from our campsite! Very crowded on the stretch from the road to Dark Hollow falls, but few hikers in the rest of the hike.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

This is a beautiful hike. Not difficult at all. Lots of wild life!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

did it years ago I lived up on the mountain as a cook for the summer The Falls were amazing Big Meadows is beautiful only downfall to many people but what do you expect on skyline

Monday, October 10, 2016

Challenging and beautiful! Only downside was the million other people on the route, but the farther you go on the trail, the fewer people there are.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Gorgeous but crowded. Save this one for a weekday if possible.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Good hike. I'd say it's moderate with the exception of dark hollow falls ascent. If you take the fire road then ascend the falls the backtrack and do rose creek the loop is a little harder.

Monday, July 25, 2016

2 beautiful waterfalls. Go all the way to the top. Would recommend the Rose River to Dark Hollow combination. plenty of places to wade/swim.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Really nice trails. Saw several Bear along the way and hiking along the water for most of the hike is a really nice added bonus, especially when you can get cooked off at any moment. This loop is about a 5hr trip if you stop and take pictures and just enjoy the entirety of it. Highly recommended for this area.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Hiked this trail last week. Took the Skyline and park at the Byrd Visitor Center. Just follow the Dark Hollow Falls trail to the falls, continued on to the Rose River Loop. It was beautiful hike.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This trail features a fascinating water fall and we even took a detour to a second water fall that was just as beautiful. The only reason I gave it a 4 is because the trail is heavily trafficked. Other than that, it is a great hike for views and physical activity.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Went on this hike today! It was beautiful!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Solid train!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I've hiked this several times! It's relatively easy, and I love how close you are able to get to the falls!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

We did this a couple years ago. Not sure why I forgot to review it???? Nice trail, but rough coming back up.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Nice trail alongside a stream. Moderate decline going to the falls and moderate incline coming back up. Pretty popular in peak times, but in winter it's not too busy. The waterfall is beautiful and has many great angles for photographers. Good beginner/amateur hiker trail. I would hike it again!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Really beautiful waterfall to photograph!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The place was beautiful. Both waterfalls were amazing. You are far enough away from civilization/people but there was just enough other hikers there to help if something happened. I am going to make Shenandoah a must hike area from now on.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It was okay. Good challenging hike down and back up from the falls. Just very crowded when we reached the falls and it wasn't really enjoyable to try and take pictures with a bunch of kids climbing all over the rocks and to the top parts of the fall so we didn't stay long. Might try to go back when it's not a hot summer day too.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fairly easy trail from sky line drive. We took 7 kids ranging in ages from 2 to 13. Two year old was carried half way on the way back up and the 2 ten year Olds didn't enjoy it as much but over all worth the little hike we did today

Load More