"Hazel Mountain Overlook Sunrise" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
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Big Meadows Area - Shenandoah National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior 2017 Red Gate Fire Road re st a il P L oo p n ou M 51 Visitor Center THE MEADOW e d Ra pid a n Fir R id ge Fir Rapidan Road Parking il R Wayside a Tr oa P tain P Ro ad Dark Hollow Falls (70’) Dark Hollow Falls Parking MP Tanners Ridge Overlook e Sto Dark Hollow Falls Trail Tr Lewis Falls (81’) Fi ny Air Quality Monitoring Station e Ros River e os r Fo R il Le wi sS pri ng e Road th 50 ir e of ver Ri MP F St o r y Rose River Falls (67’) River Big Meadows Campground Blackrock Skyland -Big Me ado ws Ho rse Tr ai l Lodge Fal ls Tr a Rose Amphitheater Trail Fishers Gap Overlook Big Meadows Picnic Grounds e Road MP ida Ta n ne R ap rs 52 M il F ir e Ho r s e Fi re l Tra il n Pro n R ap i d a n i g P Tr a ng l Milam Gap Parking o Pr R o ad Upper UpperDark Dark Hollow HollowFalls Trail M ill North Ro MP ad 53 Hiking Trail Hiking Trail (Appalachian Trail) Hiking Trail (Horses) Unpaved Road Unpaved Road (Horses) Paved Road Skyline Drive Park Boundary Stream P Parking Building 0 1 Kilometer 0 1 Mile Viewpoint Waterfall Emergency 1-800-732-0911 • Information 540-999-3500 • Online www.nps.gov/shen Dark Hollow Falls Hike Markers & Blazes 1.4-mile round trip 1.25-hours hiking time Moderate 440-foot elevation gain Trail markers are at trailheads and intersections. The metal bands are stamped with directional and mileage information. From the trailhead, follow the trail .75 mile to the falls and return by the same route. This trail is short, but very steep and rocky. The return climb is challenging! No pets. Trail blazes are found on trees and rocks throughout the Park. The color identifies the trail type: Story of the Forest Hike 1.8-mile circuit 1.5-hours hiking time Easiest 290-foot elevation gain Blue - Hiking trail White - Appalachian Trail Yellow - Open to horses From the front of Byrd Visitor Center, turn right and follow the sidewalk to the trail. After crossing the bridge, turn left and follow the trail to its intersection with a paved walkway near the Campground Office. Turn left and follow the walkway back to your starting point. No pets. Rose River Loop Hike Need to Know 4-mile circuit 4.5-hours hiking time Moderate 910-foot elevation gain From the north end of Fishers Gap parking at mile 49.4, cross Skyline Drive and start down the road. Just after the chain, take a left onto the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail (yellow blazed). In about .6 mile take the blue-blazed Rose River Loop Trail. Follow it past beautiful falls and cascades. You’ll climb back to the road (yellow blazed), and go right across the bridge. For an added treat (and about .25 mile more hiking), you can take the Dark Hollow Falls Trail to the base of the falls and back. Then continue uphill about one mile back to Skyline Drive. Lewis Falls Trail Hike 3.3-mile circuit 4-hours hiking time Moderate 990-foot elevation gain From the Big Meadows amphitheater parking area, take the Lewis Falls Trail. Continue straight to descend—it’s a bit steep and rocky, so watch your footing—to the falls observation point. Then, take the Lewis Falls Trail to its intersection with the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Turn left onto the A.T. and take it back to your starting point. Pets are not allowed on Dark Hollow and Story of the Forest Trails. Where allowed, pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ Be sure you are physically able to complete your hike. Take plenty of water—at least a quart per hour. When you return from your hike, check for ticks. Stay on the trail and avoid trampling sensitive vegetation. Be sure someone knows where you are and when to expect your return. ■■ Leave what you find. Artifacts and wildflowers are protected. ■■ It’s dangerous and potentially deadly to climb on the rocks near waterfalls. ■■ Cell and GPS services are unreliable. Good to Know The Big Meadow is a great place to wander. There’s no right or wrong way to do it; just follow the animals’ paths. Every season will reveal something special: wildflowers, fawns, butterflies, tracks in the snow—you never know what you might find. The Story of the Forest Trail takes you past the Park’s Air Quality Monitoring Station. Look to your left along the fence for a sign that explains what we monitor and why! Hiking Difficulty Scale Easiest: Generally suitable for anyone who enjoys walking. Mostly level or with a slight incline. Generally less than 3 miles. Moderate: A moderate hike generally suitable for novice hikers seeking a bit of a challenge. The terrain will involve a moderate incline and may have some steeper sections. Generally 3 to 5 miles. Moderately Strenuous: Generally challenging for an unconditioned person. The terrain will involve a steady and often steep incline. Generally 5 to 8 miles. Strenuous: Will challenge most hikers. The hike will generally be longer and steeper, but may be deemed strenuous because of the elevation gain. Generally 7 to 10 miles. Very Strenuous: Only well conditioned and well prepared hikers should attempt. Generally long and steep, and may include rock scrambling, stream crossings, and other challenging terrain. Generally 8 miles and over. Trail maintenance and map funded by recreation fee dollars.