Lewis Spring Falls Trail

HARD 116 reviews
#21 of 144 trails in

Lewis Spring Falls Trail is a 2.8 mile loop trail located near Stanley, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
816 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Front Royal, VA: Skyline Drive travels the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. Mile markers are placed along the right-hand side of the road heading south. They are numbered from north to south beginning at the northern terminus in Front Royal, Virginia. Facilities, trails and park features use the mile markers as points of reference. Park at milepost 51.2 in the Big Meadows area. Look for the amphitheater where below, you will find a trail post for Lewis Spring Falls.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked 7/8/18, perfect weather, 65 degrees at the start. Only saw 4 groups on the way in. I also recommend hiking this loop counterclockwise. The AT portion is smooth and very nice. The Lewis Spring Trail is very rocky. The trail was mostly dry. Apparently not a popular spot, I’m guessing because there is no real place to get in the water .

hiking
7 days ago

Definitely more moderate than difficult, but beautiful trail with a waterfall about 1/2 way thru.
First trail at Shenandoah, excited to explore more in the future.

12 days ago

Beautiful hike, lots of rock-hopping. Wear shoes with good ankle support! I slipped and busted my knee and ankle on a loose rock.

hiking
12 days ago

We did this hike on a hot Monday morning in early July. We did the loop in the counterclockwise direction. The downhill portion is pretty steep and rocky. It goes through the woods. In the winter I would imagine you could get some decent views, but in the summer with the leaf coverage it was hard to see much.

At the bottom is the waterfall. Nice waterfall with a nice viewing area. It is good for looking at, not good if you are looking for a swimming hole.

The hike back up via the AT isn't too bad. It is all uphill but not too steep.

I would rank it as moderate and not hard. It took us 2 hours round trip which included about 20 minutes of viewing the falls.

1 month ago

I did this in late May as the closing end of a 15 mile backpacking day. It was beautiful and fun on the downhill but, gosh, that uphill kicked my butt! Of course, I was dog tired by the time I reached this trail. It would have been fine were I fresher at the time. Saw a bear.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great 2 hour hike. I will say that it is moderate ...not really "difficult". There were some slippery spots but pretty easy going otherwise.

4 months ago

Rocks can get slippery, lots of underground springs that could keep parts of the trail wet. Beautiful views at lookout at the falls. You have to cross the river on rocks to get to the little stone overlook. This part was the hardest with dogs.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike! Not as many overlooks as some trails in the valley, and I would consider it a moderate hike compared to some of the others as well.

6 months ago

Took us 1 & a half hours. It was moderately difficult. There were some steeper rocky areas and if no matter which way you go on it you will be going up a fairly steep climb at some point but if you are used to hiking it’s nothing bad. I saw a lot of people say it took them 3+ hours so I guess it depends on your pace.

9 months ago

Awesome view at the waterfall.

hiking
9 months ago

Started the trail at big meadows parking lot by the amphitheater. We started on the downward slope and ended with the uphill portion. Very rocky trail. A moderate level trail. Had some good views. Waterfall isn't the greatest but still nice to see. When you get to the waterfall sitting area there's another little path that takes you to a dead end and you can see the waterfall much better than the higher overlook spot. We stopped and looked at black mountain overlook and and definitely worth the 0.1 detour! Saw a black bear along the trail! Took us about 2.5 to 3 hours to finish the loop.

9 months ago

Rating a three just because all of the loose rocks make it so difficult to keep a steady pace! Plenty of beautiful views though, otherwise! Hiked afternoon, Friday 9.15.17 and the place was practically a ghost town which was awesome!!!

walking
10 months ago

Nice easy well marked trail.

10 months ago

Great hike, but as far as waterfalls go, a little under whelming.

hiking
10 months ago

After attempting a truly hard hike in the White Mountains, i would say this trail is more on the moderate side -- it's got some steep parts to it and coming from Florida where it's mostly flat, it took a while for us to do, but it is still very doable.

Also, the deer in Shenandoah are not shy of people at all. Makes for some great photo opportunities!

hiking
11 months ago

I did the loop in reverse and it was far a better hike! the backend of the loop has the most rocks and the deepest pitches so it was much easier to start with that first. Mostly wooded just before the waterfall then it opens up to a spectacular view!

camping
11 months ago

Beautiful little trail, only about 3.3 miles, with great sights on the way down. There are tons of photo opportunities, as there are many rocky outcrops from which to view the valley below. Not strenuous - I'd say easy/moderate (qualifier: partner and I are in shape but are not athletes). The path is rocky going down, so it will be harder if you're unsteady (bring poles if you're prone to rolling your ankles or have bad knees).

hiking
11 months ago

NPS rates the Lewis Spring Falls loop, including a stretch of the AT, as moderate. If you're an active hiker and in amazing shape, that might be true. Otherwise, it's hard and a heck of a workout. Great views and the little glen above the waterfall is like a cool breath of fresh air. Watch for black bears. We met one along the AT.
Take a detour to Black Rock for an amazing view on the last mile and cut through the Big Meadows camp area. There's a tap room and a vending machine with water and Gatorade in the Lodge. You'll need it.

hiking
11 months ago

We went on a very foggy day. I kept thinking it felt like we were walking through a magical forest due to the fog, and that without the fog the hike would have been really boring. Upon reflection I bet there were some nice views we missed. But it is not a hike I plan to repeat.

hiking
11 months ago

Awesome trail, minus the old timers warning me and my 6 year old daughter that it’s too treacherous on the way in.

It’s not, if you put your phone down and watch where you’re walking.

Great hike,

hiking
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Steep hike on the way back up!!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Full disclosure: We hiked with a 5 yo and 8yo. They were both troopers and killed it. But it was a serious hike for my two girls. The 8yo was totally spent. The 5yo was tired but loved it. Frequent breaks and snacks were key. Also key was finding a good walking stick for them. The falls were not spectacular, but if you want to be a little adventurous you can climb a bit to the falls and see it up close. Overall, a decent trail.

hiking
Friday, June 16, 2017

Very muddy when I went and was expecting to get much closer to the falls, but enjoyable and beautiful none the less.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hiked this in the rain a few years ago. We couldn't see the falls because it was so foggy! We took the switchbacks back up to the AT and hiked back to Big Meadow that way. There were definitely signs of bears along the way.

backpacking
Thursday, May 18, 2017

this trail was quite a bit harder than expected from another trail guide book. it was a good hike with lots of rocky areas in which you need to watch you footing. We hiked down and back instead of doing the loop. nice view at the falls but a difficult hike with younger children.

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

As with most of the falls, its easy going down and difficult coming up. Its a short but steep hike. The hike only leads to to the top of the falls so a bit disappointing with the view.

hiking
Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017
This was our 10th hike in SNP and we really enjoyed it. We’ll do this hike again in the fall and probably the summer to get the full experience. The “moderate rating” is accurate; it’s definitely not easy and we wouldn’t rate it as difficult.

As we were on this hike we came up with our own rating category… “Twisted Ankle Rating”… This category specifically addresses how difficult the footing is on a particular trail… From “1” to “5” (least likely to twist your ankle to “warning” make sure you’re wearing the proper footwear because you’re very likely to twist your ankle), this was a solid “4”… Lots of leaves on the ground and it was quite muddy… We were happy we were wearing hiking boots (I felt my ankle turn a countless number of times during our hike).

Lots of beautiful views and a pretty well marked trail but, just like for any hike, you must pay attention to the trail blazes… There are a few areas where you can unknowingly find yourself off the trail. We started the circuit at the amphitheater; followed the Lewis Falls Trail; spent some time at the water fall; stopped at the observation point at Blackrock and followed the trail back to the parking area. On the way back pay close attention to your map when you have to get back on the AT… You have to make a hard right turn and then a hard left turn to pick up the AT. We stopped several times to take pictures and we also spent a few minutes at the falls… Approximately 3 hours in total. We searched for the way to hike down to the falls and couldn’t find it… There were two different areas that looked like a possibility but our boots were very muddy and we didn’t want to risk our safety.

This hike is well worth the trip to the SNP. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

We hiked the short route down the fire road. Eh. Kids were disappointed in the view but they've had some big experiences so this just didn't rank high. We did see some deer close up on our way out and a hiker before us had just seen a bear.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

We've been going to Shenandoah for years and have done Dark Hollows and White Oak Canyon. Lewis Falls was a fantastic trail and the round trip back to Big Meadows via the AT was very quiet and peaceful.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Very steep hike down and back up, and a lot of the trail is very rocky. The falls were beautiful but would have missed the best view if a hiker hadn't warned us that the little trail to the observation area wasn't marked but was just to the left after you seemed to reach the end. From there, you go down some slippery rocks (thank god there was a handrail) to the observation area for the full view of the falls, which was gorgeous, quiet and secluded. One tip to make it easier: we started the trail from the fire road to the south of Big Meadows (we parked at Big Meadows and walked) and cut off some of the trail, making it about 2 miles out and back. Still very steep but slightly shorter.

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