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Lewis Falls Trail

  3.8 ( 14 ) Favorite


1.8 mile 2.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 706' 215 m
Descent: -451' -137 m
High: 3,588' 1,094 m
Low: 2,882' 878 m


Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)


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A pleasant trail through Shenandoah wilderness, leading to to an 81 foot waterfall.

Larry W. Brown

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Kids will enjoy this short journey leading to a scenic waterfall.


Though this trail is short, it is memorable! If your goal is to stretch your legs and view the Lewis Spring Falls, this is the trail for you. With a few moderate climbs and descents, some caution is advised, though the views are certainly worthwhile.


From the small parking area just off Skyline Drive, follow the gravel Lewis Spring Pumphouse Road downhill until you reach the trailhead of the blue-blazed Lewis Spring Falls Trail.

Descend for 0.6 mile to a trail junction; take the side trail to the left, and go 50 yards to a wide, flat viewpoint above the falls. You can't see the falls from here. There's a view down Pine Grove Hollow, with Tanners Ridge to the left of it. From this viewpoint, take the side trail that goes to the left, and cross the stream. Downhill just a short ways you'll reach a viewing platform from where you can view the upper section of the falls.

The total height of the falls is 81 feet. It starts its drop in two separate streams, then strikes a mossy rock halfway down, and divides further. To view the entire length of the falls requires bushwhacking to its base.

Return to the viewpoint at the top of the falls. Go left to get back to the blue-blazed main trail and then turn left. Along the remainder of this trail there's a view to the left, into the Page Valley. The town you see is Stanley, at the foot of Roundhead Ridge. The trail also passes along the base of a cliff that rises steeply on your right. The trail here is steep and sometimes rocky, and in wet weather it's slippery. The trail passes briefly over bare rock with a view to the left of the main Blue Ridge, and Tanners Ridge (with clearings and houses) descending from it toward the right.

The trail eventually intersects with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, which connects with the AT Access - Big Meadows PG where you can access the amphitheater parking area located at the backside of the Big Meadows picnic grounds.

Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this trail description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great hikes, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park.

Flora & Fauna

This trail is rich in plant/wildlife species, plus deer and black bears can be seen sometimes along this trail.

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Jul 4, 2019
Richard Gear
Jun 22, 2019
Matt Mortensen
Jun 21, 2019
Hunter Allman
Jun 8, 2019
Stacey Zbyszinski
May 28, 2019
Jesse Daniels
May 19, 2019
Jamie F
Returned to the amphitheater trailhead via the AT, which added another 30 minutes (with time spent sitting and enjoying some scenic vistas) — 1h 30m
Apr 27, 2019
Stephanie Flowers
Aug 9, 2018
Eric Schmidt

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 14 votes


  3.8 from 14 votes
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in Virginia


139 Views Last Month
3,524 Since Mar 21, 2016



Winter view of Lewis Spring Falls as seen from the viewing platform.
Mar 22, 2016 near Stanley, VA
To reach this view of Lewis Falls from its base, you'll need to do some bushwhacking.
Mar 20, 2016 near Stanley, VA
View of Lewis Spring Falls from its base
Mar 22, 2016 near Stanley, VA
A door in the side of the hill, and behind it is a pump that sends most of the output of Lewis Spring up to the underground storage tanks on Blackrock.
Mar 20, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Sunset at Big Meadows Lodge. with permission from Hank Waxman
Mar 29, 2016 near Stanley, VA


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