This fairly short hike descends at a moderately steep grade from the parking lot off of Skyline Drive, and down to Dark Hollow Falls
. Follow the trail through dense oak woods, parallel to the Hogcamp Branch which feeds the falls below.
Begin the Dark Hollow Falls Trail
at the north end of the parking area off of Skyline Drive. The trail crosses the stream and then descends along the northern bank. The stream is Hogcamp Branch, which drains out of the Big Meadows
Swamp and flows as the primary tributary of Rose River. The stream may be fairly dry near the start of the trail, but it gradually increase as it heads downhill, funneling runoff that culminates at the falls.
The trail drops gradually for two-thirds of a mile toward the top of the falls. Don't leave the trail here, as the rocks can be slippery and extremely dangerous. Additionally, the better views of the falls are further down the trail. The trail bends away from the stream and briefly heads uphill before bending back down to the right toward the bottom of the falls.
From here, there's a beautiful view of the falls above as they plummet 70 feet over the eroding greenstone of an ancient lava flow. Follow the same route back up the hill to the parking lot to finish the hike.
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