Nicholson Hollow and Corbin Cabin!
Your Choice of a Moderate 8 OR Strenuous 12 Miles!
We will be hiking in a wilderness area, enjoying cascades and fascinating park history.
We will be enjoying some history and taking a dip in the inviting swimming holes (seasonally, unless you like a polar bear plunge) along the trails, and enjoy a few small stream crossings which should keep us cool on summer days, but tend to conveniently be very low for easy crossing in winter. Both distance options pass by the same sites,but just on different trails. The trail passes "Freestate" Hollow and an abandoned cabin. Corbin Cabin (pictured towards the end of this listing) and other artifacts from mountain families, provide a legacy of a bygone era. To put it in other words, hiking this trail provides a glimpse of what life may have been like for the people who lived in the hollows.
There are 2 different distance and difficulty options for this hike. One is a strenuous 12 miles and the other is an 8 mile moderate trek.
Distance Options, Difficulty Options, and Hike Descriptions
Distance Option 1: Strenuous 12 Mile Option -
This is a 12 mile strenuous circuit with a 2200 foot increase in elevation. The first 5 miles of the trek is when you will experience the 2200 foot gain. We begin to ascend once we reach the Corbin Mountain Trail and hit our peak elevation gain at the top of Indian Run Trail which is steep in spots and very rocky. The rest of the hike is relatively downhill or flat with just a few “teaser hills” to remind you that you are still in the mountains. This distance option will be led at a pace of approximately 2.5 mph.
Distance Option 2: Moderate 8 Mile Option
This option avoids the steep climbs of the option 1 hike. It is an out-and-back trek along the Nicholson Hollow trail. The first 4 miles are spent hiking in close proximity of the picturesque Hughes River with its numerous wading pools and swimming holes. There are lots of wildflowers on this circuit and historically there is Corbin Cabin, an old homesteaders home, to visit. The pace for this distance option will be between 2.5 and 3.0 mph.
Note: The Hughes River which runs through Nicholson Hollow can run very high in the spring or after heavy rains (knee to waist high) which is why this is posted at the end of June and not earlier in the year OR in winter when water is very low and you do not get wet crossing. The trail crosses the river several times, so be prepared, but usually isn't much to speak of. The plus side is the excellent swimming holes which exist even when it's dry in winter! Both of the water pics in this listing are just a couple of the swimmin' holes in the area. Take note the top one has a little water fall which is around all four seasons, yay!
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Skyland
Length: 12 Miles for the Easy Side of Strenuous Option and 8 Miles for the Moderate Option
Elevation Gain: About 2200 feet for the Easy Side of Strenuous Option and about 800 for the Moderation Option
Trail Type: Easy Side of Strenuous Hike is a Loop and the Moderate Hike is an Out-and-Back.
Skill Level: Both Moderate and Easy Side of Strenuous Options
Season: All Seasons
Trailhead Elevation: 1,200 feet
Local Contacts: Shenandoah National Park
Local Maps:Trails Illustrated Topographic Map 228; PATC Map #10, Appalachian Trail and Other Trails in Shenandoah National Park, Central District
Topo Map: Corbin Cabin Cutoff - Nicholson Hollow - Appalachian Trail Loop Topographic Map
Special Winter Gear Note:
Traction gear is a must in order to hike in the winter with our group for safety and so we can hike all four seasons! The most dependable/reliable gear in our opinion is either Kahtoola Microspikes or STABILicers Originals (Stabilicer "Originals" and not the "lites" as too many "lites" have snapped while out on the trail) and YakTrax are highly discouraged. Traction gear/ice cleats come in handy for getting the mail or walking the dog, in addition to any other outdoor activity where there is ice involved! You can run on the ice with them on and many runners do just that!
Trail Notes for Leaders
We hike rain, snow, or shine.
Our RSVP Policies and Group Etiquette Click here to review our policies.
There are 3 carpools for this hike. If you are carpooling, please post it in the comments section below this listing and be sure to ride with someone hiking the same distance option!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station and where to meet.
VA East Area Carpool (Fairfax Area METRO)
To carpool or caravan from this area, people can arrange to meet at Vienna-Fairfax Metro Station. Click here for directions to Vienna-Fairfax Metro Station. Zip cars are available at this location!!
DC/VA West Area Carpool Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan, from the D.C. area people can arrange to meet at Centreville Park & Ride. Click here for directions to Centreville Park and Ride.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions to the trailhead.
Hike is at 10:00 a.m.
Carpool time from Savage Station is 7:30 a.m.
Carpool Meetup Time from Vienna-Fairfax Metro Station is 8:15 a.m.
Carpool Meetup Time from Centreville Park and Ride is 8:30 a.m.
Picnic at Corbin Cabin
Corbin Cabin is a great stopping point for us to enjoy our lunch on the trail! A pic of the cabin is to the right of this paragraph.
There is a park fee of 15.00 dollars unless you have a Shenandoah Park Annual Pass.
Fido is Welcome on this Hike!
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the which helps ensure that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
Please don't leave without the hike leaders number just in case...