The hike was nice enough. A little steep and not much wildlife due to the amount of human sound and traffic. It would be a nice beginner hike for a family with the hike being steep in some parts. I definitely recommend getting on this trail very early in the morning if you would like to enjoy it, and maybe in the spring when the water is flowing a little better. Dark Hollow falls wasn’t what I had been expecting but it was still a fun trail.
Trail Notes from Virginia Trail Guide
- Distance – 1.4 miles round-trip
- Elevation Change – 440 feet
- Difficulty – 2.75. Like most waterfall trails, you typically hike down to see them and hike up to return. While it is only .7 mile to see the falls, coming back will definitely make you break a sweat. The way down is more like a 2 and the way back is more like a 3.
- Trail Conditions – 4. Since this is a well-traveled trail, the trail is maintained often. Mostly small gravel on the trail, but due to the steepness of the trail and erosion fro heavy foot traffic, there are often muddy areas.
- Views – 1. Views are only of the waterfalls and streams below. Wooded trail doesn’t lead to overlooks.
- Waterfalls/streams – 4. Great waterfall view at the end of the trail and the Hogcamp Branch is in view along the much of the trail.
- Wildlife – 2. You would be likely to see deer that have visited here from Big Meadows area. Chipmunks are everywhere. Bears tend to stay away due to the human traffic. Many bird species in the trees.
- Ease to Navigate – 5. Trail is easily marked and it would be nearly impossible to get lost.
- Solitude – 1. Due to the trail’s popularity, you will not get a lot of solitude there. Early morning visits will get the highest possibility of solitude.
Directions to trailhead: On Skyline Drive. Parking lot is located around mile marker 50.7 in the Central District of Shenandoah National Park. Trail begins near signs on the north end of the parking lot.
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