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Shenandoah National State Park (Part 2) – Dark Hollow Falls

Dark Hollow has a parking lot located off Skyline Dr. This parking lot is larger than the lot at Little Stony Man. We parked, got out of the car then looked at the map. We tightened our shoelaces and headed down the trailhead. 

As we hiked down the trail, we stopped. There was a sound of an old rusted door opening. We looked up and around expecting to see a car or something, but nothing but tall trees was in sight. We started walking more and noticed a beautiful stream alongside us. It was small, but the music from it was refreshing. The sound of a door squeaking appeared again. Now more profound into the forest, there is no way that sound could be coming from a car door or road. We stood there a few more moments and listened. OMG!! The trees were making noise. Some of the tall trees that swayed made squeaking sounds. It was mind-blowing. Never before have I ever notice sounds like that coming from trees. As the hike continued, we talked and laughed at the thought of comparing the sound of the trees to an old rusty door opening or closing. 

Steep Stairs Leading to Dark Hollow Fall

The trail continued to descend. We knew the hike back up would be steep and ass burning, but we did not care; we just wanted to explore the waterfall. We approach an area below a flight of stairs that appeared to be a part of the waterfall. Large rocks, trees, and a nice stream of water moving downward. It was a great spot to sit and take it all in. We stayed there for a while, just taking in the beauty and the sound. A few friendly faces passed us, and we even enjoy small talk with a beautiful soul before making our way down to the waterfall.

Once we arrived at the top of the waterfall, we notice a few guys walking across a tree log that stretched across the river. The area was scenic, but I was not interested in the top of the waterfall. I am in love with seeing waterfalls from the bottom up. The view of watching the water rush down different parts of the rocks is epic. We took the steps down to Dark Hollow Falls. The steps were natural rock with a curved handrail for safety. I remember looking to my left, noticing how large the mountain wall appeared. Most of the mountain’s walls were covered with green moss, and other areas had levels of tree roots. My heart began to race from excitement as we got closer to the waterfall. Just as I expected, the waterfall was beautiful! There were rock paths that you could jump onto to gain a forward-facing view of the fall. If the rocks appear dark-colored or wet (Do Not attempt to hop on or cross quickly). Wet rocks are very slippery, and walking on them can become dangerous.

Dark Falls had multiple levels of water tumbling down the rocks. It was magical. We had a great view of this waterfall. However, in my opinion, once the trees fill in, they may cover the view of the top layers of the fall. I sat for a long time before moving forward with my hike. Due to the temperature of the day I visited, there was frozen water on a few rocks and made it too slippery to take a risk crossing to the center lower part of the falls. Overall the hiking experience and the beauty of the waterfall is well worth visiting.

Front View of Dark Hollow Waterfall

I will post in my next blog a few safety tips. We witnessed a parent’s nightmare during this adventure that I will share with you, so stay tuned.

Embrace the journey!

Nature’s Girl, aka Charlene A. Bell

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