Lewis Spring Falls Trail

HARD 101 reviews
#21 of 138 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.

1 month 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
3 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.

3 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.

6 months ago

Awesome view at the waterfall.

hiking
6 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.

7 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
7 months ago

Nice easy well marked trail.

7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
9 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
9 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
9 months ago

Steep hike on the way back up!!

10 months ago

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
10 months ago

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

11 months ago

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
11 months ago

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
11 months ago

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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Meh, I've had better... Long and steep hike for a mediocre fall..

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

love love LOVE this trail. it was my first trail I ever hiked, aside from ruck marches In the army.... my dog loved it! I've done this trail maybe 8 times and every time was different, from bears to deer to fog to completely sunny. I'd recommend it to anyone, it gets a little tough at times but isn't too bad. even with injured hips and back, the view is worth it and absolutely breathtaking!

hiking
Saturday, October 31, 2015

This trail was not heavily traffiked the day we went. Very intimidating cliffs from the top of the falls, truly a sight to see!

hiking
Saturday, October 31, 2015

We did this hike on a gloomy, rainy morning. This scenery was pretty with the fog moving in and out. When we got the to top of the falls we were a little underwhelmed. No views due to the fog and not much of a waterfall either. It had me wondering if we were in the right spot or not. Ended up hiking out the same way we went in, not noticing it was a loop if we'd taken the AT out. Hiking out was exhausting !! Didn't read a map until we finished the hike, needless to say it was a 1,200 incline.

hiking
Monday, October 12, 2015

Great short Hike, the viewing spot for the falls isn't great. However, if you're able to then climb down two one of two rock ledges past the stone viewing area you get great views of the whole waterfall.

hiking
Friday, September 04, 2015

Loved this hike and the bit along the Appalachian trail on the way back!

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