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Nicholson Hollow

 4.3 (3)


11.6 Miles 18.6 Kilometers

2,092' 638 m


-2,093' -638 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (13°)

3,083' 940 m


993' 303 m


Shared By Larry W. Brown


All Clear 69 days ago
Mostly Dry, Some Mud - From Old rag parking to Hannah run History

Getting forecast...

A single trail featuring stream crossings, cascades, and historic former homesites.

Larry W. Brown

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife


The Nicholson Hollow Trail begins at the Hughes River Gap, near Skyline Drive. The trail descends on rocky terrain, paralleling the Hughes River on the way to Nicholson Hollow.


The Nicholson Hollow Trail begins at the Hughes River Gap, near Skyline Drive. The trail descends on rocky terrain, paralleling the Hughes River on the way to Nicholson Hollow.

Though most of the trail is a continuous descent, the first portion is a bit steeper than the last. Beginning from Skyline Drive near the Stoney Man Overlook, visitors will make their way to Corbin Cabin. The way is all downhill, with few switchbacks.

At about two miles, visitors will pass the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail, but will continue heading east. Soon the Hughes River will be heard, and the trail will follow the Hughes River. Though the dense foliage will obstruct views of the water, the rush of the river will accompany hikers all the way to Nicholson Hollow.

Along the way, the trail will grow more mellow, and pass both the Hot Mtn-Short Mtn Trail and the Hannah Run Trail. The woods here open up, and the going is easy. The gentle grades make for easy and quick navigation. Keep your eyes sharp in this section, and you'll be able to pick out some of the old homesites from when settlers once made their homes near the water's edge. Near the end of the trail, visitors will have to cross both the Hughes River, as well as Brokenback Run. Each crossing can be hazardous at high water, and so this is best undertaken during dry portions of the year.

As you approach the end of the trail, you'll be moving onto private property. Please respect the property owners, and remain on the trail. Once you reach the end of the trail, you can shuttle back to the start or head back the way that you came.

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.


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Your Check-Ins


Jul 4, 2018
Snaps Lilacs
Jun 25, 2018
Vignette Hyena
Jun 24, 2018
Vignette Hyena
May 30, 2018
Ian Penkala
Did this to get to old rag loop as an out and back on separate days. Beautiful terrain. Saw black bears on several occasions.
Feb 23, 2018
Jena Turner
Camped off the trail for the weekend, river crossings were easy despite the rain hiked down from Corbin Cabin Cutoff to the Old Rag circuit
Jun 21, 2017
Nick A
Jun 10, 2017
Kate Apley
Didn't do the full trail, just up to Corbin Mt. Trail. Very easy minus some slippery rocks. BRING BUG SPRAY!! 0.7mi
Feb 14, 2017
Chris McCloud
Done portion West (above) of Corbin Cabin &a junction with Corbin Cabin Cutoff. Distance & time includes Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail; moving time only. 4.9mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes


  4.3 from 3 votes
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