Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
March 25, 2006
From journal Fun in Virginia... Despite the Timeshare Pitch
Heidelberg, Virginia, Germany
October 24, 2005
The hike down to Dark Mountain Falls is generally very enjoyable. The trip to the falls consists of mostly downhill terrain. Part of the trail is actually a trail; other parts are a little trickier, as they require crossing rocks and very shallow riverbeds (think large puddle). Once you reach the falls, the view is excellent. It’s a nice spot to stop and take a few pictures. However, the break area is not large enough to accommodate crowds of people, which forces visitors to take on their return shortly after arriving. The return climb is exactly that, a climb. It is pretty much all uphill and will take your breath away - literally. Be sure to carry plenty of water and take frequent breaks. If you are pursuing this hike with small children, be aware that you might be carrying them back for significant portions. Be sure to pack your camera. Despite the downhill and uphill climb, you will have the opportunity to take some incredible pictures!
From journal Weekend Getaway on Skyline Drive
July 19, 2003
Dark Hollow Falls is one of the most visited trails in Shenandoah. Its close proximity to Skyline Drive and the promise of a waterfall makes it attractive to both beginning and experienced hikers. Located at mile 50.7, it is next to Big Meadows. The trail itself is 1.5 miles in length, drops 440 feet in elevation and is described as "moderate". The large parking lot will almost always be full (especially on weekends), but don’t let that deter you from making the trek!! Recommended time to cover this trail is 1.5 hours.
As soon as you leave the parking lot, you immediately are surrounded by a thick wooded forest on your left with a small stream flowing gently on the right hand side. The refreshing sound of water bubbling over the rocks is just enough to entice you to continue happily walking downhill. But, just remember that you also must climb back up the same path that you walk down!!
We made this hike mid-week after two full days of rain. The rocks on the path were quite slippery and the trail was muddy in spots. There were a few steps that had been made out of logs, which were also slippery. When we reached the bottom, we found a 70-foot cascading waterfall that gently fell over four different layers of moss-covered boulders like stair steps. The view was partially blocked from the side by downed trees; however you could still get a view of the cascading waterfall. You could also (carefully) step out onto some dry rocks and obtain a slightly better view of the falls. A trail went further down, and my husband said there was a wooden bridge about 200 yards away. I ventured down a little more, but I kept remembering that straight-up-a-hill climb that I was going to have to make in order to reach the car!!
Dark Hollow Falls was pretty and had plenty of water rushing over at the time of our visit. However, there had been an above average amount of rainfall in the past few weeks. Depending upon the time of your visit, consider how much rainfall there recently has been or how hot the summer was. Possibly there wouldn’t be much water flowing over the waterfall and it would be totally disappointing to make the steep hike down for a little trickle of water!! If you find yourself in the parking lot, wanting to make the trip down, stop, and ask someone coming out how much water is actually going over the falls. Most people will give you an honest answer and it might save you a wasted trip!!
I’m not sure what I expected, but with the name Dark Hollow Falls, I must have envisioned a true, arch type free flowing waterfall. I was a little disheartened with the end result after having read so much about this popular trail.
From journal Spending Time in Shenandoah
, Virginia, Turkey
December 4, 2002
However, when we hiked last time in mid March, we got to enjoy the sleeping nature. The trail to the Dark Hollow Falls, for the most part, follows a little stream. We stopped at an area and observed black fish with beautiful red tail. Along the trail we observed ferns, moss and liverworts. On some rocks water was dripping slowly. Some parts of the trail was still covered with snow, ice and mud. The easiest way was to walk on the dry rock wall along the trail.
Best of all, I had an opportunity to be alone at the falls, which is not possible on a summer weekend, and enjoyed it without being distracted by others. The falls drop 70 feet to big flat ancient lava rocks. Thinking that Thomas Jefferson stood at the same spot and admired the beauty of the fall makes me feel how connected we the humans are.
The fall cascaded in three levels and carried the melting snow. My husband showed me a piece of ice that was frozen near a cascade. Soon the spring is going to wake everything in nature, such as salamanders, frogs, bears, flies and the trees.
From journal Camping and Hiking in Shenandoah N.P.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
January 16, 2001
From journal Beautiful Shenandoah