Dark Hollow Falls Trail at Shenandoah National Park

Dark Hollow Falls Trail is a beautiful trail in the woods of Shenandoah National park that ends in a tiered, cascading waterfall. It’s considered a moderate hike, as it goes downhill 583 feet in a relatively steep manner during it’s short 1.6 mile length. While the way down may be quick and beautiful, the way up is much more daunting, as you have to walk back up the 583 feet in a pretty steep manner. I don’t think it’s quite as bad as it sounds, though. And the views are well worth the climb.

While the trek back uphill from the waterfall may be mildly “brutal” according to some, there are plenty of nice rocks to sit on if you need to take a break and admire the view around you. There are pretty flowers, green trees and shrubs, and rocky slabs surrounding the trail on both sides, making it a diverse array of natural elements. This adds so much to the beauty of the trail. The trail follows the Big Meadows Spring as it becomes the Hogcamp Stream and eventually turns into a cascading falls.


Luckily, even on warm days, the trail is well shaded. There are parts of it that force you in the sun, but the surrounding trees make it easy to cover you from the bright sunlight. When you get to the first viewing area, you may think that your walk is done; however, you should keep going until you reach the bridge at the very bottom of the falls. All the way down, you can stand on a wooden bridge and get an impressive view of the full falls. The first landing area allows you to sit out on the rocks of the falls, which is a great picture opportunity and a fantastic way to immerse yourself in nature. But, again, you should continue past that first landing to make it all the way down at the bottom to get a full view of the waterfall.


While the waterfall is the star of the show, I found so much beauty in the stairs that were built into the side of this hill that allow for easy access down to the falls. These stairs are truly breathtaking and make for a wonderful picture opportunity.

Since we’re all about legends and lore here at Malorie’s Adventures, I’d also like to point out that locals share the rumor that Thomas Jefferson used to spend time contemplating matters of state and the wonders of nature while sitting by the foot of Dark Hollow Falls. So, know that the history of this place (or at least the rumors of its history) are rich.

Lastly, it’s important to note that this hike is in Shenandoah National Park, and the park does charge an admission fee for entrance into it. So, you should consider planning a full day of hiking at Shenandoah if you come into the park for this hike.

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer. Malorie grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she loved sports, the outdoors, animals, and all forms of art. She took to acting at a young age, so it was no surprise when she decided to go to college for theatre. While in college, Malorie studied body movement with the DAH Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, voice in Herefordshire, England with Frankie Armstrong, and the business of theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malorie moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles after receiving her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon arriving in LA, Malorie participated in the Miss California USA 2011 Pageant where she won the “Friend’s Choice” Award (by popular vote) and received a beautiful award for it.

While living on the West Coast, Malorie accumulated over 40 acting credits working on a variety of television shows, web series, and indie films, such as the sci-fi movie “Dracano,” the Biography Channel show “My Haunted House,” the tv pilot “Model Citizen” with Angie Everhart, and the award-winning indie film “Amelia 2.0.”

Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show: “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book.

In 2022, Malorie was thrilled to become a member of the Explorer’s Club through her work on scientific travel. Her experiences volunteering on archaeological and anthropological expeditions as well as with animal conservation allowed her entry into the exclusive club. Since then, Malorie has focused more on scientific travel.

Malorie’s show “Weird World Adventures” releases on Amazon Prime Video in the Spring of 2024! Stay tuned as Malorie brings the strangest wonders of the world to you!

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