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Nicholson Hollow

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (7) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.6

KM

Loop

3,083' 940 m

High

993' 303 m

Low

2,092' 638 m

Up

2,093' 638 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Unknown

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

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Larry W. Brown

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 7 votes

#2422

Overall
  4.3 from 7 votes
5 Star
43%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
14%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#75

in Virginia

#2,422

Overall
141 Views Last Month
3,321 Since Apr 13, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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29%
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71%
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Photos

Hughes River, Nicholson Hollow Trail. with permission from rootboy
Apr 15, 2016 near Stanley, VA

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Check-Ins

Jun 23, 2019
Amy Kenney
3mi — 10h 00m
May 24, 2019
Kira Sweetman
Oct 7, 2018
Heather Hughes
5mi
Jul 7, 2018
Derek Pyland
Jul 4, 2018
Snaps Lilacs
Jun 25, 2018
Vignette Hyena
1.6mi
Jun 24, 2018
Vignette Hyena
2.2mi
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.