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Dark Hollow Falls/Hawksbill Mountain

Love hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains, but hate the long drive? Let’s get an early start and make the drive worthwhile by taking in two short hikes:

  • Dark Hollow Falls: A 1.4-mile round trip hike to enjoy this beautiful 70-foot waterfall. Moderate difficulty; it’s easy downhill to the falls, but coming back uphill is challenging.
  • Hawksbill: A 2.1 or 2.9 mile round trip hike, depending on parking availability. At 4,050 feet, Hawksbill is the highest point in the Shenandoah National Park (SNP), so the view is spectacular! Moderate to moderately difficult.


  1. We will meet at 8:00 am at the Vienna Metro Station North Parking Lot, Virginia Center Blvd & Centerboro Dr, Oakton, Fairfax, Virginia 22181, (GPS =[masked],[masked]) to carpool for the drive to Shenandoah National Park. Estimated driving time is 1 hour, 52 minutes.
  2. After the drive, we will assemble at SNP Visitor Center, probably around 10:00 am. Drivers may wish to consider taking on fuel. Once all cars have arrived and everyone has had a pit stop, we’ll move to Dark Hollow Trailhead nearby for the first hike. If we get started around 10:30 am, we should return to the Visitor Center afterwards around noon.
  3. After everyone is accounted for and has had a chance for a pit stop, we’ll re-embark and drive to Hawksbill Trailhead for the second hike, getting started around 1:00 pm. It’s a short hike, so we should be finished around 3:00 pm for the return drive, arriving back at the Vienna Metro Station at around 5:00 pm.

Meetup for carpooling: Vienna Metro Station North Parking Lot, Virginia Center Blvd & Centerboro Dr, Oakton, Fairfax, Virginia 22181, GPS =[masked],[masked]

Driving directions from Vienna Metro to SNP: From the exit of the Vienna Metro North parking lot, head east on Virginia Center Blvd, take the ramp onto I-66 W, and drive 19 miles west. Take exit 43A onto US-29 S/Lee Hwy and drive 11.5 miles. Turn slightly right onto US-15 Business S/US-29 Business S and drive 2.1 miles. Turn right onto US-211 W/Frost Ave/Lee Hwy and drive west along US-211 W for 33.9 miles. Take the exit for Skyline Dr, stop for park entry tollbooth, and keep left at the fork to merge onto Skyline Dr heading south. Follow Skyline Drive 19.7 miles southwest to the Visitor Center. (You will pass both trailhead parking lots along the way.)

Meetup in SNP: Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center, Skyline Drive, Shenandoah, VA 22851. GPS =[masked],[masked]

What to bring: Plenty of water, comfy/sturdy shoes, and a sack lunch/snacks. Sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent are good accessories. Sorry, pets are not allowed on Dark Hollows Trail. This is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 please.

Cost: Entry fee to SNP is $15 per car, payable at the Thornton Gap tollbooth. Contributions for gas to car drivers as needed for the trip is an additional expense.


  • Although short, both of the trails are moderate to moderately difficult. We want you to have fun, so please consider your individual fitness level when signing up for this hike.
  • Check the SNP park alerts in effect:

Administrative stuff: Restrooms, drinking fountains, first aid, food and gas are available at the Visitor Center. (Drivers NB: this is the only gas available inside the park.)


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  • kathy

    Thanks John for stretching the envelop and going the distance for this hike! I had so much fun on this hike. Everyone had interesting stories, were troupers going up and down. Four of us extended our adventure on the way back by picking strawberries then going to a winery for a quick tasting.

    June 2, 2013

  • Katherine

    Awesome hike! Spectacular views! Wonderful group of people to spend a gorgeous day with. Great job, John!

    June 1, 2013

  • Lana

    Great time!!!! Thank you :-)

    June 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent! Nice trails, beautiful scenery, great company! These were ideal choices for a Saturday hike...not too easy but not difficult either. Looking forward to more meetups with this group!

    2 · June 1, 2013

  • John M

    Great company, great times! Thanks!

    2 · June 1, 2013

  • Olga

    Unfortunately have to cancel. Have a great time!

    June 1, 2013

  • Olga

    not sure if I will be able to make this one.

    June 1, 2013

  • kathy

    I have only been in the Shenadoa's once since I moved here, so I am very excited at the opportunity to go and explore with this group!

    1 · May 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This will be my first meetup with this group so I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and having a good hike. I used to hike a lot when I was stationed in Southern California so I miss the trails! This hike's difficulty level sounds like just the right pace to get me back into full swing!

    May 30, 2013

  • Dario

    I was thinking the same, I agree the weather is going to be great but unfortunately I have to work that day in the morning which happen not very often.
    Hope to meet everyone next meet up event.

    May 29, 2013

  • Uma

    If there's not a lot of response for this weekend, can we do this the following weekend?

    May 28, 2013

    • John M

      This weekend is based on the forecast; sunny and 91 degrees, so I'd like to go while the going's good!

      May 28, 2013

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