This short out/back hike has a beautiful waterfall at the top of Hollow Brook, with a nice walk up to the summit of Buzzard Hill as well. Close to the Washington D.C. metro area, this is another hike that is perfect when you can't make it out to the bigger mountains. At only 3.8 miles, this is fun for all skill levels.
This hike is at its best in the spring, or after it's been raining.
Cross the stream, then immediately on the other side look for a small unblazed trail that follows the stream uphill. In 40 yards pass a small campsite, then continue to follow the trail for another 50 yards to the base of the main waterfall.
From the waterfall head back down to the AT and turn right/north. In another 0.3 miles pass the ruins of one of the many old homesteads in this section of the AT.
Continue following the AT, then in another 0.4 miles pass through a small saddle between ridges and another nice campsite.
Continue uphill for 0.2 miles passing yet another campsite on the right near the top of Buzzard Hill, and in 25 yards there is an unmarked trail that leads to the summit. Turn left and follow the trail for 50 yards to the main summit.
To return, retrace your route south on the AT back to the parking area on Morgan Mill Rd.
Interactive Hike Map BelowPrintable
Topo Hike Map (PDF)
Hike route in Drag the map with your mouse using the icon Zoom with the controls on the left Mouse-over icons in the map below for location shots
Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Hollow Brook hike:
Reviews For The Hollow Brook Hike (5 Most Recent)
Great hike! I parked around 8:30am and was the first car there. When I left around 12, there were about 6 cars total. First stretch of the hike is a nice and easy incline and decline to the stream. Shoot off to the right and upstream for the waterfalls. The waterfalls were nice and relaxing but wish there was more water flowing. I'd like to go back after a big rain. Back on the AT, it was a nice climb up to the summit. A few challenging parts and some rocky stretches. Nice view from atop but nothing to write home about. I continued on for another 2 miles to the top of the next ridge which was a nice peaceful trail. Very few people on the trail early Saturday morning at the end of October.
Date of Hike: Sunday, July 17, 2016
Perfect hike for one of those days when you don't have a lot of time. Took us about 20 minutes to get there from Purcellville. Really easy access, and no crowds. We only saw four other hikers, which was nice. I'm really surprised this one isn't more popular! The hike wasn't difficult at all, and the waterfall was easy to find...very peaceful, but not a lot of water this time of year. I plan to make this one of my regular hikes, so I'm looking forward to going in the Spring when the waterfall should be heavier. We're also thinking of hiking from Hollow Brook over to Bear's Den, which I think is a little over six miles.
Date of Hike: Sunday, July 03, 2016
We had a beautiful day to hike today. We hadn't been to this area of the AT or this trail. We absolutely loved it. We went with two families which had 4 adults and 5 kids ranging from 8 to 15. It was a perfect hike for all levels. The kids loved following the creek up to the falls and up past it. Hiking and climbing the rocks. The water wasn't very high so they got to climb in the riverbed a lot. We then made it up to the summit and it was totally worth it. Beautiful view! The trail was easy with some parts that were challenging. Great workout, great fun, and great view. The path is rocky a times and then perfectly packed and flat during other times. The whole hike is covered so no hot sun burning down on you. Parking was on the gravel road which our mighty corolla had a tricky time getting up the gravel hill to the AT trailhead. But it made it and there seemed to be enough room to park on the side of the road. There were not a lot of cars there so I guess it could fill up if it was busy. The trail was not very busy. We definitely passed people but when we were at the creek/waterfall we were pretty much alone. Just a hop, skip, and jump from Winchester. Perfect!
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 22, 2016
We got out in the rain today. The trail was in great shape and not rocky like it is further North. Unfortunately, with the clouds, we didn't get any great views. The falls are well hidden, but nice. The road down from Mt Weather should be is 1 1/2 lanes wide and not very easy without a 4x4 if its wet.
Date of Hike: Saturday, April 16, 2016
LOVED this hike. Took my 11 year old brother backpacking for the first time and wanted something short and easy with good on the trail campsites and great views. That is exactly what this trail was. We did park exactly where this map told us to and went to the overlook and came back which put us at just about 3 miles. There were only a few steep rocky parts of the trail but even with backpacking packs on it only took us about 10-15 minutes to do each of the short spurts that were more difficult.
We ended up camping right past the waterfall so that we could hear it at night which was fantastic. If you go past the waterfall and up the hill off to the right of the trail about 50 feet is a set of campsites that are hard to recognize from the trail. As soon as you go over that way you will notice some trees surrounding the campsites and then you will see two fire rings within 30 feet of eachother. This campsite was fantastic for multiple tents. We easily fit two 2-person tents and could have fit at least a few more close by. I wouldn't suggest larger tents as there were a lot of rocks/roots to avoid which was easy to do with a few small tents but could have been more difficult with a larger tent.
The views were stunning. The waterfall is not as large as I thought from the picture, although it has not rained recently. The overlook, unlike others said, was stunning! Many overlooks are blocked by trees being in the way but not here. At the top is the perfect tree to sit in and relax and you can see the entire valley from the perfect sitting branch. I will definitely be returning to camp at the top of the summit and watch the sunrise here sometime in the fall.
Fantastic hike! Highly recommended especially if you are looking for a quick easy backpacking adventure to get you started.