Enjoy a Hike, Picnic, and an Optional Swim! A Moderate 8 or Strenuous 12 Miles at Nicholson Hollow Trail and Corbin Cabin!
Your Choice of a Moderate 8 Miles
10 Strenuous Miles
with a Picnic at Corbin Cabin!
We will be enjoying some history and taking a dip in the inviting swimming holes along these trails and enjoy a few small stream crossings which should keep us cool on this June trek. Both distance options pass by the same things 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 in other words, hiking this trail provides a glimpse of what life may have been like for the people who lived in the hollows. We will be hiking in a wilderness area, enjoying cascades, park history, pristine swimmin' holes, and a picnic at beautiful Corbin cabin!
There are 2 different distance and difficulty options for this hike. One is a strenuous 10 miles and the other is an 8 mile moderate trek.
Distance Options, Difficulty Options, and Hike Descriptions
Distance Option 1: Strenuous 10 Mile Option
This is about a 10 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 hike will be led at a pace a little faster than that of an average hiker.
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 that of an average hiker, 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 in June and not earlier in the year. 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! Both of the water pics in this listing are just a couple of the swimmin' holes in the area. Take note the top one even has a little water fall, fun!
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Skyland
Length: 10 Miles for the Easy Side of Strenuous Option and 8 Miles for the Moderate Difficulty Option
Elevation Gain: About 2200 feet (almost all the elevation gain is in the beginning as one rather steep hill) for the Easy Side of Strenuous Option 1 and only about 1240ft total elevation gain for the Moderation Option which is Option 2.
Trail Type: Easy Side of Strenuous Hike is a Loop (Option 1) and the Moderate Hike (Option 2) is an Out-and-Back.
Skill Level: Both Moderate (Options 2) and Easy Side of Strenuous (Options 1) Options
Season: Best Spring through fall
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
Picnic at Corbin Cabin
Corbin Cabin is a great stopping point for us to enjoy our lunch on the trail! A picture of the cabin is displayed to the left of this paragraph. BOTH options will enjoy lunch at Corbin Cabin and an optional dip (details provided in the next paragraph) in the picturesque pools towards the end of the hike.
Optional Swimmin' Hole
Join us for a swim in the picturesque swimming hole. If you plan to enjoy a dip, you might want to bring water shoes, a towel if you can fit one in your. Most of us will wear something to swim in under our hiking clothes, but you can also bring something to change in to but there is no changing room out in the words so wearing your birthday suit is at your own risk-grin!
Trail Notes for Leaders
We hike Rain 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.
Meet and Greet/Sign In is at 8:45 a.m.
Hike is at 9:00 a.m.
Carpool time from Savage Station is 6:30 a.m.
Carpool Meetup Time from Vienna-Fairfax Metro Station is 7:15 a.m.
Carpool Meetup Time from Centreville Park and Ride is 7:30 a.m.
There is a park fee of 15.00 dollars unless you have a Shenandoah Park Annual Pass. Many members have passes so feel free to use the comment area to arrange carpools with those who have passes or meeting near the park since one pass covers everyone in the car.
Fido is Welcome on this Hike!
Please note that our holiday and holiday weekend hikes are not refundable due to too many people backing out of the hike at the last minute before the refund cut-off. Sorry, but this is the only way to help make sure that there is a good turnout and our leaders not offer to lead a hike on their holiday in vein ... or we will be all become burned enough that we will no longer offer them. Since we have made holiday hikes non-refundable it has boosted attendance rate significantly and often have perfect attendance. Thanks so much for your understanding and I look forward to seeing you out on the trail soon.
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 a guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back 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...