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Nicholson Hollow Trail - SNP, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
8.0 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:

4.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,240 ft
Shenandoah National Park
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e.g. 12000 Government Center Parkway 22035 or Fairfax VA
Park at the 200 car parking area on SR600/Nethers Rd.
NOTE: The upper parking area at the trailhead is now closed to all public parking.
38.57036, -78.28705

The Nicholson Hollow Hike in the Shenandoah National Park is a quick day. As you ascend the well maintained Nicholson Hollow Trail you will follow the Hughes River for the entire hike ending with a great lunch spot at Corbin Cabin. The only portion of the hike that might be a difficult is fording the Hughes River and Brokenback Run at the beginning of the hike.


Start by walking 0.5 miles to the end of SR600 at a concrete post where SR600 ends and The Nicholson Hollow Trail goes to the right. Go right on Nicholson Hollow Trail in about 75 yards you need to cross both the Hughes River and Brokenback Run. 1.2 miles further Corbin Mountain Trail that comes in on the left. Continue straight on Nicholson Hollow Trail and in another 0.5 miles pass the Hot/Short Mountain Trail that enters from the right.

Cross Hannah Run continuing on the Nicholson Hollow trail and pass the Hannah Run Trail entering from the right. At this point the grade of the hike gets a steeper, continue for another 1.1 miles where you reach your destination, Corbin Cabin.

To return, retrace your route.

Interactive Hike Map Below Printable Topo Hike Map (PDF)
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Hiker Reviews For The Nicholson Hollow Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Nicholson Hollow hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Greg Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 08, 2014
The only parking is in the Old Rag lot (US Park fee of $15), walk farther up the road .5 mile to the well-marked trail head on the right.  Beautiful rivers/streams and a well-maintained trail (you get your $15 worth).  Unfortunately, the volume of water was a bit high and this (along with the light snow on the rocks) made the last crossing of Hughes River a bit dicey.  My group decided to not attempt it.  We ate lunch at the crossing and watched others try.  Some made it, some got wet to their knees--pretty unpleasant with temps in the low 30s.  That made it a very easy 6 miler for us.  Will likely come back to do the full hike, though, because it is a great hike.

By: Half Dome Hottie Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Loved everything about this hike. Everything but the $15 parking fee. Anyway, great hike. Only saw 4 other people. A great hike to try if Old Rag is too crowded. The hills were easy and walking next to the creek the entire time was wonderful. Fun time exploring Corbins Cabin at the top of the hike.

By: Rich Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 16, 2012
We did this as a last leg of a Corbin Mountain Trail-Indian Run Trail-Nicholson Hollow Trail circuit hike. It's makes for a strenuous 10 mile hike, but there are numerous changes of scenery/fauna, both trails track streams with countless pools, and it is more intersting that going up and back the same trail. Even better, during the 7 hour hike we only saw 3 people. This was a marked contrast to the hoards that are climbing neighboring Old Rag (and starting from the same parking lot).

The trails are all well-blazed, and marked by NPS signage (concrete posts) and each trail intersection no worries about getting lost (especially if you bring along a map from the NPS booth at the parking lot). Another advantage is that the trails are all open to dogs -- unlike Old Rag. Besides the two main streams, there are several springs on the higher portions of the trails for dogs to drink from. Can't recommend this one highly enough.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 23, 2010
Absolutely loved this hike.  I hadn't hiked it in about 20 years and was looking for a fairly easy hike to do with a couple of co-workers in preparation for Spring backpacking.  The river was incredible.  There was quite a bit of run off from the recent snowfall creating a very large volume of water.  Neither myself, nor another member of the party that hikes the trail quite often could remember seeing such a large run off.  We have had another very deep snowfall in the area and I am anxious to get back up there again.  Hopefully this time with the camera.  I have also noted that the site rates camping as a 1, but we noted a number of very nice places to camp that would allow for great water access.  Although it should be noted that these spots probably would not be seen during times of full foliage, so as well as my camera, I also need to get back up there with my GPS and mark them.  If you can get a chance to get up there while there is stil quite a bit of run off, I would highly recommend it.

By: Anne Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 13, 2009
I never found the trail head! Google's directions were nebulous towards the end and took me to Skyline Drive.  After backtracking to Sperryville under the advice of a SNP ranger, I finally found route 600, except that it was the wrong route 600!  There are two, and the other takes you to the Berry Hollow Parking, which is probably about a good 6 miles away from the trail head.  Since I was tired of driving around and that it was already 10 AM I parked at the Berry Hollow Parking.  From there, I ended up doing a much longer and harduous hike than planned, going up the Fire Road (a steep, boring gravel road), over Robertson Trail (no view to speak of) and back trough Weakley Hollow.  I should have done Old Rag instead, but my pack was large and heavy (I was training for a backpacking trip to Yellowstone, and thinking I was going to do the easy Nicholson Hike I purposely made it extra heavy!) and I was worried about some of the more difficult climbing areas in Old Rag.  Lesson learned: Never completely rely on Google's direction, get a good road map of the whole area, as well as a topographic map to know how high you are going to climb.  In the end, I climbed as high as Old Rag!

    View all 8 reviews for the Nicholson Hollow hike
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