Overall Run -> Heiskell Hollow -> Weedlewood Circuit

A one-night loop or long day hike including the highest waterfall in SNP, plus multiple cascades and swimming holes.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
20 km
Ascent
959 m
Descent
959 m
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
237 m
High Point
1 km
Gradient
12˚
Overall Run -> Heiskell Hollow -> Weedlewood Circuit Map

This loop is a perfect one-nighter or long day trip in Shenandoah's northern district. This loop includes plenty of swimming holes, explores some of the more remote areas in the park, and visits the largest waterfall in the Shenandoahs - 93' Overall Run Falls. It's perfect for an experienced hiker looking for a quick overnight or a beginner looking for a challenge.

Description

This version of the loop begins at milepost 21 on Skyline Drive. You could also drive north around the bend to the bottom of the Hogback Mountain trailhead. There's an overlook in the middle you could leave a car at too, but you should first contact the Ranger Station at 540-999-3500 to make sure that's alright (and so that you don't get towed). You will also circle Matthews Arm Campground if you wanted to reserve a site and start there instead.

After reaching Matthews Arm Campground, this lollipop route loops the Tuscarora/Overall Run Trail with Heiskell Hollow and Weedlewood Trails. Beecher Ridge Trail dissects the loop and is another excellent option and roughly two miles less than this mapped version of the hike. Beecher Ridge is a more popular option according to the NPS, but we've mapped the alternative since it puts you a little further off the beaten path.

As with any hike that begins on Skyline Drive, there is a fee to enter the park. A current list of fees and passes can be found here. All trails on this loop are dog friendly as well, a rarity among many National Parks across the country.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/upload/SHENBCTrip-OverallRunandBeecherRidgeE026-508.pdf

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area