3 Great Waterfalls to See in Shenandoah National Park

An Adventure with Nick & Rachel

3 Great Waterfalls to See in Shenandoah National Park

  1. Dark Hollow Falls

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Dark Hollow FallsNick & Rachel

This is the closest waterfall to Skyline Drive. The trailhead begins at the Dark Hollow Falls parking lot at mile 50.7 on the Skyline Drive. The hike to the falls is 1.4 miles out and back and you get 440 feet in elevation gain. It is rated as moderate. The falls is all downhill so the hike out is a little more strenuous. Pets are not allowed on this trail.

There are two viewpoints for Dark Hollow Falls. The view of the top of the falls is not that great. We went in the dead of winter and you could see a little but nothing breathtaking. So make sure to continue down to the base of the falls. This view is the one you want. The 70-foot waterfall cascades over greenstone. It is a beautiful sight! You can continue down the trail to and see some smaller cascades but from the base of the falls is where you will get your best views.

2. Lewis Falls

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Lewis FallsNick & Rachel

Lewis Falls is the fourth tallest waterfall in Shenandoah National Park at 81 feet, which is impressive. The main trailhead for Lewis Falls begins at the Big Meadow Amphitheatre parking area. This is a large parking area with access to restrooms and numerous picnic areas. It is also only about 2 miles from the visitors center, restaurant, convenience store, lodge, campground, and gas station. The trail is a 3.3-mile loop.

From the parking lot, you will walk down to the concrete marker and turn left onto the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. And then continue right onto the blue-blazed Lewis Falls Trail. At around mile 1.3 you will reach the first viewpoint but you can continue on a little ways to the observation deck. Both offer great views of the falls from either side. Although this trail is a loop it does not continue past the observation deck. Instead, you will need to backtrack to the trail sign and go right onto the Appalachian Trail. This trail will end at the Rapidan Fire Road. You will continue uphill for a very short distance and then turn left onto the northbound section of the A.T. At around mile 2.6 you will see the blue-blazed trailhead for Blackrock Summit on the right. This is a short .4-mile out-and-back hike to some great views. Just retrace your steps back to the A.T. to continue your hike to the parking lot. Shortly after that, you will reach the marker for the beginning of the trail and you will turn right to return to the parking lot.

If it is the dead of winter, like when we went, the main trailhead will be closed for the season. You can still view the falls though. You will begin at the parking lot on Skyline Drive just south of the Big Meadows Wayside convenience store. It is a very small parking lot, able to hold a max of 3-4 cars right before Tanners Ridge. From that lot take the Rapidan Fire Road north to connect with the Lewis Spring Falls Trail to the falls. Once you reach the falls, re-trace your steps for a 1.8-mile out-and-back waterfall hike.

3. South River Falls

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South River FallsNick & Rachel

At 83 feet tall, South River Falls is the third tallest waterfall at Shenandoah National Park. This waterfall was our favorite on this list and well worth the elevation gain of 910 feet. There are a couple of options to view this waterfall. You will begin them all at the Suuth River Picnic Grounds. This parking area has restrooms, plenty of parking, and some great picnic areas.

This first is 2.6 mile roundtrip with 850 feet in elevation gain. From the parking area take the blue-blazed South River Falls Trail. Continue on the trail to the observation point. From here you will see the waterfall from the very top and the expanse of the mountains. It is beautiful! But the waterfall is quite far away. From here you can retrace your steps back to the parking lot or continue to the base of the falls.

To the base of the falls, which was our favorite views of the falls, from the observation point continue to the trailpost and turn left on the yellow-blazed South River Falls Road. You’ll continue on this road until it intersects with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. Continue on the A.T. until it intersects with the South River Falls Trail. At the 2.2-mile mark you’ll see the South River Falls but it’s not close so you may think you’re at the end of the trail. Look to the right for rocky steps and a blue blaze. From here the trail narrows and takes you to the base of the falls. This is a site to see! There are plenty of rocks to sit on so take a seat and enjoy the views.

Once you’ve taken in the views and enjoyed your time retrace your steps but at the 3.2-mile mark, stay right to proceed along the South River Fire Road. At the 4.5-mile mark, keep your eyes open for a trail marker. At the trail marker, stay left for the Appalachian Trail. This will take you to the intersection with the South River Falls Trail where you first began the hike and back to the parking area.

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Hi! We are Nick and Rachel and together we found our passion for the outdoors. Since starting our channel we found that we enjoy inspiring others to explore and get out in nature while protecting and respecting its natural beauty. With our videos, we hope to immerse you in the adventures we take. Whether it's cooking a meal over a campfire or hiking to a mountain peak and overlooking the beautiful Blueridge Mountains and beyond. We look forward to seeing you on our next adventure! Please like, share, and subscribe. Thank You! If you like this type of content please check out our YouTube Channel: An Adventure With Nick And Rachel The Link Below will take you to all of our social media accounts.

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