Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
This trail branches off of the white-blazed AT: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PA/MD/VA/WV) heading north toward Matthews Arm Campground and Overall Run Falls
beyond, ending at the Tuscarora Trail
The trail is blazed with blue, and is well marked. This first portion of the descent is fairly moderate, though you'll notice the elevation loss.
After about three-quarters of a mile, visitors will reach the Tuscarora-Overall Run Access Trail
that connects to the Traces Trail
that loops around Matthews Arm Campground. Stay to the right, heading east and north, passing the junction with Matthews Arm Trail, that comes in from the left after a little over two miles from the start.
From here, visitors will continue their descent as it becomes gradually steeper, heading toward Overall Run Falls
. Shortly, 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.
After you enjoy your time at the falls, the trail continues to lose elevation. There is a steep portion just after 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 camping area. The trail continues to descend, more gradually now, until it ends at the Tuscarora Trail
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