This hike starts and ends at Big Meadows Lodge. Nice Falls Relatively Close to Big Meadows Lodge, My adult son and I (72 years old) made this hike while staying at Big Meadows Lodge. Drive from Big Meadows to Trailhead – 24 min ; Drive from Skyland to Trailhead – 38 min; Drive from Lewis Mountain Cabins to Trailhead - 12 min; Skyline Drive Mile: 62.8; Waterfall Height: 83 ft ; Hike Difficulty: Moderate; This hike will take you to the 3rd tallest waterfall in Shenandoah. The AT was less rocky and easier to hike. If parking at Big Meadows is tight, try the amphitheater lot which has a spur trail leading to the AT and Lewis Spring Falls Trail junction. For maps to these falls download the Big Meadows Area Map (1.2mb pdf). This is the start of the short spur to the falls. Lewis Falls Lewis Falls. The one-mile stretch along the AT begins as a gradual and generally unassuming ascent through endless stands of trees. We left from a small parking lot between MP 51 and 52. However, we were gluttons for knee punishment, and were glad we did. There is relatively limited parking at the site, but it should not be overly crowded. It was while we were hiking back up that we saw a black bear with a young cub. Before crossing the waterfall there are several nice rocks that would be nice for a picnic lunch. This loop takes you down to a rocky outcrop overlooking Lewis Falls, which at 83 feet is the third highest of Shenandoah National Park's (SNP) numerous waterfalls. The falls aren't as pretty as dark hollow falls. Descend for 0.6 mile to a trail junction; take the side trail to the left, and go 50 yards to a wide, flat viewpoint above the falls. At a clearing near the intersection with the Lewis Peak Trail, there was an interesting view of the huge rock fold on Rocky Mountain, across the valley. Outcrops and rock slides become more frequent as you continue to shed elevation. The town in the foreground to the northwest is Luray, Virginia. Once you reach the falls, re-trace your steps to your car for a 1.8-mile out-and-back waterfall hike. Directions: Lewis Falls Trail is located at mile 61.4. There is an iron handrail to assist you down to the viewing platform. My son was wearing a GPS watch and said that this circuit hike was a distance of 3.3 miles. Lewis Falls Trail Leaving from Big Meadows amphitheater, this hike leads to an observation point over a beautiful 81 foot waterfall. As the eye follows Massanutten north, the mountain splits into two ridges, with Fort Valley in between. Lewis Falls Trail, Shenandoah National Park: See 8 reviews, articles, and 6 photos of Lewis Falls Trail, ranked No.20 on Tripadvisor among 23 attractions in Shenandoah National Park. A set of outcrops brings better views of the gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley to the west. Please choose a different date. Take care as you rock-hop across the moss-laden stream, then follow the well-worn path as it approaches an overlook on the south side of the falls. Moderate Paths Pingback: Millers Head Trail (Shenandoah National Park, VA) | Live and Let Hike. The falls are situated at the fault line between rock belonging to the hard Catoctin Formation above and more eroded monzodiorite below, with loose, unconsolidated colluvium deposits scattered at the base of the falls. The loop hike is moderately difficult, with some steep and rocky stretches; the AT section, which is considerably smoother, passes below the towering Blackrock Cliffs and dives behind Big Meadows Lodge on the way back to the trailhead. By now the incline drops in fits and starts, with occasional steep sections. On a very muggy August day in 2003, I hiked from the Big Meadows Campground down to Lewis Falls and back via the 3.3-mile loop: it was the first trail I ever hiked in Shenandoah National Park. After passing a group of Virginia pines, the trail embarks on a rocky traverse, requiring cautious footing to negotiate. Although the falls are still not quite visible, one can sense by this time that they are very near. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. You don’t have to be a hardcore trekker to enjoy the best day hikes in Shenandoah National Park. You do get a good view of the top part of the falls. It lead me to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have got … After the vista point, the trail hugs the base of sheer cliffs on the right, with the jagged peak of Blackrock above. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. The break in Massanutten Mountain to the west, beyond the towns of Stanley and Marksville, is New Market Gap, with Strickler Knob (2,780’) visible. It was almost 10 years until I came back, this time on a shorter out-and-back route. ( Log Out /  Stay straight at the first, five-way junction; then bear right at the initial fork, climbing back to the amphitheater parking area, clocking in at just under three miles in total. Instead of following the road back to Skyline Drive, however, take a left on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, initiating the final leg of the hike. From here it is a gradual uphill along the AT back to the original pair of trail junctions. As the trail briefly levels off, a set of outcrops on the left offer excellent views to the west, spanning Shenandoah Valley and extending to the miles-long ridges of Massanutten Mountain and Great North Mountain beyond. This winding path begins within a pleasant, gradual decline along the northern slopes of the mountain, weaving amid trees with some obstructed views of the Shenandoah Valley below. The water flow is not always as impressive as other waterfalls in Shenandoah, but the sheer drop makes Lewis Falls appear mighty and intimidating. It starts out from the Big Meadows amphitheater. This is not a difficult crossing but you do need to be mindful as you step from rock to rock to get across. From this overlook of Lewis Falls, make your way back to the start of the spur path. Although not the best waterfall hike in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park (see here and here for better ones), the Lewis Falls Trail offers a fine view of one of the park’s highest cascades, while a short jaunt on the Appalachian Trail (AT) completes the circuit and features fantastic views of the Shenandoah Valley. Distance: 3.3-mile circuit hike But a surprise waits for you before reaching Taitnapum; about a quarter mile beyond the lower viewpoint is another viewpoint of the Upper Lewis River Falls. cabins to Big Meadow when one of our number suggested we take a diversionary trail and visit Lewis Waterfalls. Trails I've Hiked: Lewis Falls Trail In Shenandoah National Park By Kurt Repanshek - September 16th, 2014 12:31pm Lewis Falls is not in its full, raging glory, in autumn, but it's still a worthwhile destination for a dayhike near Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park. This trail rapidly descends to the waterfall and it takes about 1.25 miles to reach Lewis Falls. To the left of the small outdoor amphitheater, look for a sign marking the way to the Lewis Falls and Appalachian Trails. On the return trip, this loop hike provides expansive views of South Fork of the Shenandoah River along the Appalachian Trail (AT) at two separate rocky overlooks. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Blue Ridge Mountains extend westward into Shenandoah Valley. Shenandoah National Park (Milam Gap Trailhead - Hike to Lewis Falls) I hiked this trail down a mountain in Shenandoah National Park. Lewis Falls Trail, Shenandoah National Park: Address, Lewis Falls Trail Reviews: 4/5. This added several extra miles to our hiking for the day and the trail was rocky and I made good use of my single hiking pole. My companions and I hiked the AT lodge-to-lodge and were hiking the leg from Lewis Mts. We took the Lewis Falls Trail which mostly descends and is … Return via Appalachian Trail. South River Falls Trail. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. At ¼ mile, a rocky perch on the right offers a limited vista; another stony outcrop minutes later also provides a similar view. We encountered a number of people, likely day hikers coming from nearby Big Meadows Lodge, going down the trail or back up. You could just as well do this hike in the opposite direction but then you will be doing the harder part of the hike at the end rather than at the beginning. ( Log Out /  Starting at the Big Meadows Complex, take the Lewis Springs Fall Trail. Location: 38.531233, -78.44035. Mile 3.65 - A quarter mile after the junction, you’ll pass a fantastic open view of Massanutten. From there, begin to ascend Lewis Peak. From the overlook, head right down to the banks of Hawksbill Creek, just above the top of the falls. United States ; Virginia (VA) ... leads to Big Meadows Picnic Grounds but turning off on the trail leading to the junction of the Appalachian Trail and Lewis Falls Trail. From the small parking area just off Skyline Drive, follow the gravel Lewis Spring Pumphouse Road downhill until you reach the trailhead of the blue-blazed Lewis Spring Falls Trail. One can spot a park-owned house on the right at about 2.2 miles. ( Log Out /  If you are in the South District you may want to check out Doyles River Falls, mile 81.1. United States ; Virginia (VA) ... leads to Big Meadows Picnic Grounds but turning off on the trail leading to the junction of the Appalachian Trail and Lewis Falls Trail. 4. Bear right on the spur trail, heading out to an overlook above Lewis Falls (or Lewis Spring Falls), which drops 81 feet down a single chute to the valley below. Allot at least 1.5-2 hours for this moderately-difficult hike in the Big Meadows area. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Not as impressive as Dark Hollow Falls but still very pretty. From here the path crosses a minor tributary, and the main gully opens into a wide, tree-laced bowl. After viewing the falls we continued on the Lewis Falls Trail (mostly an assent now) to the Appalachian Trail. This hike was long and a little difficult. More Posts from this Category. Shenandoah naming is awful: besides having adjacent mountains named "Lewis Mountain" and "Lewis Peak," there is another "Lewis Mountain" in the park, just south of the Big Meadows/Bearfence area. this was the 3rd one we did, and was very good! Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The Three Falls Hike in Shenandoah National Park will take you past three beautiful waterfalls all found within the central district of the park: Lewis Spring Falls, Dark Hollow Falls, and Rose River Falls.You are able to start the loop from any of the waterfalls’ trailheads, but I prefer to start at the Lewis Spring Fall Trailhead because it has the largest parking area and a bathroom. Rod Lemmond / AllTrails The trek to reach the waterfall is a relatively easy 2.8-mile loop that shares a portion of the Appalachian Trail. A nice place to visit .... but a challenge if you're already tired. At the cement post, bear left on the Appalachian Trail (AT) for a brief moment. From the small parking area just off Skyline Drive, follow the gravel Lewis Spring Pumphouse Road downhill until you reach the trailhead of the blue-blazed Lewis Spring Falls Trail. The Three Falls hike is a circuit that passes Rose River Falls, Dark Hollow Falls, and Lewis Spring Falls. At this point, there is an overlook with your first unobstructed view over Shenandoah Valley. This is a moderate loop trail to Lewis Spring Falls in Shenandoah National Park. Falls Trail. At 1.5 miles, the route abruptly switchbacks to the left, followed quickly by a right-hand bend amid a patch of mountain laurel. The deceptively short trek to the Lewis Falls observation point is adjacent to the largest campground and visitor center in the park. Our second (and final) day in Shenandoah National Park started at sun-up. Map of Lewis Falls Trail Loop, Shenandoah National Park. 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