Pocosin Hollow Loop

HARD 5 reviews
#94 of 146 trails in

Pocosin Hollow Loop is a 13 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Shenandoah, Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, trail running, and birding.

13.0 miles
2,814 feet



trail running



no dogs

This hike begins at the Lewis Mountain Picnic Area, mile marker 57.5 on Skyline Drive. The Appalachian Trail is accessible from the northeast corner of the picnic area. Hike north 0.6mi to the intersection with the Slaughter Trail and turn right. You can also begin at the top of the Slaughter Trail/Fire Road, just a few hundred feet south on Skyline Drive from the Bearfence Mountain parking area. There's an unmarked gravel road that has a small parking area at it's end, enough space for a couple of cars. Either way, you're going to climb back to your car. The Slaughter Trail is a fire road, and much of the initial descent is wide and easy. About 1.75mi down the trail splits, stay left at the fork and continue to descend, zig-zagging down another 2.2mi until you reach the banks of the Conway River. Hike along the riverside another 0.4mi, ford the river and follow the gravel state Rte. 667 for about a mile. After crossing a couple of bridges, you'll see signs on your right pointing you in the direction of the Pocosin Hollow Trailhead. Turn right up the trail, then right when you get to the next gravel road. You'll pass a few houses, and finally in about 0.7mi reach a gate warning of private property and no trespassing. Continue a few hundred feet beyond this gate to reach the trailhead at the park boundary. Follow the Pocosin Hollow trail for a total of about 2.5mi. You'll ascend moderately, fording the Pocosin Run four times in the first mile, then after a brief respite heading south for a bit you'll turn sharply back north and west and ascend steeply to the intersection with the Pocosin Fire Road. Turn right here. About a quarter-mile down the road you'll see the ruins of the Upper Pocosin Mission on your left. There's some interesting stuff here, stone steps and a building corner still intact, as well as a ruined shed and some rusty equipment. Continue to follow the Pocosin Fire Road a little less than a mile to the intersection of the AT. You'll see the Potomac AT Club cabin just prior to the intersection. Turn right at the AT, heading north the remaining 2mi to the picnic area, or 2.75 to the intersection with the Slaughter Trail, depending on where you started. This is an extremely quiet area of the park, lots of opportunity to see wildlife and get away from the crowds.