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.
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Reviews For The Hollow Brook Hike (5 Most Recent)
We took this hike on the first beautiful day of spring. We brought along our two pups for their first hike. The hike to the waterfall was great. We spent way longer than expected climbing the rocks and just enjoying ourselves. We then proceeded to the summit for a beautiful view. Nice little leg stretcher to start the hiking season
Date of Hike: Sunday, March 03, 2013
Easy hike for experienced hikers, but moderate for people who haven't been out in some time. It was a little muddy on portions of the trail, but overall a nice trail. The waterfall was spectacular as there was ice on the rocks and the water was flowing beneath the ice. The large rocks by the stream is a great place to rest or have lunch. We took our time on this trail as we haven't been hiking for some time and it took us about 2.5 - 3 hours including rests, stopping to eat, and taking some time at the summit. We only encountered a couple of hikers on the trail the entire time. Overall a very nice hike.
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 24, 2013
This hike was exactly what I was looking for: a relatively remote location where I/my dog could get away from the hustle and bustle/crowds that typically accompany trails on nice days, a solid 2-3 hours of hiking (with stops), a few streams for my dog to get a drink and cool off, a pretty view as a pay-off at the top, and relatively easy to navigate/not get lost.
I didn't think the trail head was difficult to find, but it was definitely much farther down the gravel road than I thought it would be. On nice days like the day I went, there will be cars parked around the trail head so it's obvious where it starts. After reading reviews I was a little nervous to drive my toyota corolla down the gravel road, and it was certainly steep...would not have tried it with any amount of wet mud/snow/ice (and a local walking her dog told me people often get stuck when there are wintery conditions). But on a 50-degree, nice day, I had no trouble getting down/back up the road.
Most importantly to me, this trail is DOG-FRIENDLY. And when I say dog-friendly, I mean off-leash dog-friendly. I didn't encounter one person who bristled at the site of my dog trotting ahead of me off-leash to greet fellow hikers, and I saw a couple of people with their dogs off-leash as well.
I still am not completely sure if I found the right "unblazed trail" to the waterfall...even though it rained the day before, the water was pretty low, and the trail I took to the base didn't really offer great views of what I think was the main waterfall. Maybe this was because the water was just low that day, so I couldn't really see it amidst the rocks and trees. Other hikers were standing up at the top of the waterfall on rocks, and I have no idea how they got there. This wasn't part of the directions I read but I'm sure they had a better view than I did. The summit was a nice surprise--very pretty view and nice little spot to take a rest, have lunch, etc.
I am not in the best shape as of now, and this hike was definitely more of a workout than I bargained for--if you are similarly not in your best physical form, this will certainly get your heartrate going and satisfy your workout requirement for the day. There are many sections of incline, moderate and steep, but there also many flat portions as well, so it is manageable and enjoyable. I also saw people who looked to be in great shape doing the trail, and even a few runners...so I think this is a great hike for all fitness levels.
All in all a beautiful, off-the-beaten-path trail to enjoy some solitude, nature, and get some exercise! Totally worth the drive (it took me about an hour from Reston, VA).
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 24, 2013
I did this (minus the side trip to the main waterfall, which I did not know about at the time) after the Ashby Hollow hike. Views are better than on the Ashby Hollow hike, but I encountered no people on that hike, and many people on this one. One comment I have is that the overlook area is not the true summit of Buzzard Hill - but I suspect few people are interested in the true summit, anyway.
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Good short hike with a couple good inclines going both ways. This would be a good hike for younger children to the falls and back. Good view at the end of the line with a cool looking snarly tree growing out of a bed of rocks. The other really cool thing on the trail other than the falls was the remains of an old cabin or one room structure. I saw one other group of hikers on the trail and there were a couple more cars in the parking area than when I started. All in all, I&rsquom happy with the hike.