My cousin got married in Virginia, so Neal and I decided to spend a weekend in Shenandoah National Park and make a trip of it. In a very short time, we hiked several trails and saw a lot of what the north side of the park has to offer. Here are some of the hikes we did!
Overall Run Falls
When we got to the park, it looked like it was going to rain. Then, it started pouring. We had a clear moment when we got to the Overall Run Falls trail head and had to make a decision. There was no way the rain was over, so do we do the hike or check into our hotel, defeated? We did the hike of course!
It drizzled or poured the whole time, but it was such an eerie, densely wooded trail that we loved it. Overall Run Trail is a 5 mile in and out trail. We didn’t go out the way we went in, so I don’t know exactly how far we walked (in the rain!), but it was not a difficult hike. You go downhill most of the way to the waterfall, and of course back up. There are apparently snakes in this area, so be careful. We didn’t see any!
I think these falls would be easier to see when there’s no leaves on the trees, but they were quite nice. We hiked out after exploring for only a short time to escape the rain.
Mary’s Rock was a great hike that is a must-do. It’s an absolutely beautiful uphill woods walk to a summit. In and out, the trail is just under 4 miles.
When we got to the top of Mary’s Rock, it was so windy you couldn’t have anything loose or you would lose it. A couple warned us on the way around a corner–where there was no wind at all–to hold onto our hats. You get a great view at the top, worth the short trek up.
Dark Hollows Falls Trail
Dark Hollows Falls Trail was a nice hike (though a little crowded). You walk in the woods along a creek and end at a stunning waterfall. It’s short–only 1.5miles in and out.
We sat and happily ate lunch here, despite a dozen people taking selfies around us. If you walk a little further, you find another waterfall that might not be worth the walk back up (it’s steep to get to the second falls), but we were there to see everything we could, so we did it.
Our next stop was Hawksbill Summit. This trail is also quick, 1.5miles in and out. The view from the top was lovely.
Stony Man Summit
We wanted to do Stony Man Summit as our sunset route. It’s 3.7miles in and out, and we thought we’d get there right around sundown. When we got there, we were way ahead of schedule, so we took a seat.
There was a great heart balloon shaped land formation, though it only looked like this while the sun was in a certain spot (see it in the pic above). We stayed up here as long as we could, but it was very very cold. And we were not close in terms of timing. And the trail up was a bit uneven, so we thought the way back in the dark might not be great. We decided we woudl pack up and go to a spot just down the road where we could watch the sunset from our car (and get out for sundown!). This idea worked out perfectly.
That is sadly all we got to hike in our short visit to Shenandoah National Park!
Where we stayed
We stayed at The Inn Of Shenandoah in Luray. What a beautiful B&B! We stayed in the back guesthouse. Next time I would absolutely stay in the house. The guesthouse is nothing compared to the house. The breakfast was delightful!
We hope to go back and see the southern part of the park. We were sad not to have enough time to check it out!
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