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Overall Run Falls

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.7 (24) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A fairly strenuous loop hike that leads visitors to a scenic waterfall and back.


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Map Key

6.3

Miles

10.2

KM

Lollipop

3,455' 1,053 m

High

2,178' 664 m

Low

1,348' 411 m

Up

1,348' 411 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

Overview

This out and back route allows visitors to take in the Overall Run Falls, as well as the surrounding forest. The mostly moderate trail is good for visitors of all abilities, though there is one steep portion where some may wish to begin the return trip.

Description

This route leads visitors from just south of the Hogback Overlook to the Overall Run Falls. Starting from the parking area on the north side of Skyline Drive, visitors will take the Appalachia south initially. The trail is blazed with white, and is well marked. This first portion of the descent is fairly moderate, though you'll notice the elevation loss.

After about 0.5 miles, visitors will reach the Tuscarora-Overall Run Trail. The trails are similar in characteristic, though the Tuscarora-Overall Run Trail is blazed with blue. Visitors will continue their descent. Shortly, visitors will pass the Tuscarora-Overall Run Access Trail, which will be a yellow-blazed trail heading off to the west. Continue along the Tuscarora-Overall Run Trail.

Keep your eyes peeled after this intersection, and there will be a viewpoint to the left (west) of the trail. This small detour is worthwhile, as the views of the falls are spectacular here! Though the Overall Run Falls don't plunge straight down, the sound that the water makes as it tumbles from rock to rock is soothing and beautiful. The total drop is still an impressive 93 feet, though depending on the season, the falls might be dry.

Visitors will continue on for another 1.5 miles to reach the falls. The trail will continue to drop steadily, and there may be a few technical sections to overcome. There are many side trails in the area that lead to overlooks of the gorge. If you aren't in a hurry, take your time to admire the views that these overlooks provide!

About 3 miles into the trip, you'll be at the base of the Overall Run Falls. There is a steep portion just before the falls, as visitors will descend to and then cross a stream. The trail levels out after the stream crossing and opens up into a scenic hollow. Take some time to explore here, or begin your return journey.

Though the descent is fun and quick, remember that it will be tough work to ascend back to the parking area. Save some energy for the return!

Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this 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

Visitors will move through densely forested areas, where a variety of canopy and undergrowth species can be seen.

Contacts

Shared By:

Larry W. Brown

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 24 votes

#1323

Overall
  3.7 from 24 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
46%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#44

in Virginia

#1,323

Overall
268 Views Last Month
14,608 Since Apr 13, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Overall Run Falls, as seen from the rock viewpoint on Overall Run Trail. At 93 feet, it is the largest waterfall in the park.
Jan 29, 2016 near Washington, VA
The Overall Run upper cascades.
May 15, 2016 near Washington, VA
Overall Run Falls, the tallest waterfall in SNP.
May 15, 2016 near Washington, VA
Overall Run Falls
Apr 24, 2019 near Washington, VA
Waterfall
Aug 3, 2019 near Washington, VA
Mathews Arm trail (left) crossing over headwaters of Overall Run (during dry season)
Oct 14, 2019 near Washington, VA

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Check-Ins

Jan 3, 2021
Joe Davison
go further 7mi — 3h 06m
Jan 2, 2021
Gabby Crouch
Great waterfalls! 6.3mi
Nov 27, 2020
Nathan Kitchen
Nov 3, 2020
Chris Kroehler
A great fall hike. 45 degrees at the start and almost 60 to finish. 6.3mi — 2h 45m
Sep 21, 2020
Jessie Spielvogel
I don't know how we turned this into 10+ miles but we did 10mi — 5h 00m
Sep 13, 2020
Rachel Affleck
Jul 26, 2020
Charlie Scharfen
Didn't do loop. Walked from Matthews arm campground lot past falls another 5 min to an amazing overlook. Be sure to pass the falls for view. 1.5 hours
Jul 1, 2020
Matt Woolston