Overall Run circuit passes one of the largest continuous waterfalls in Virginia. The trails also go through valley streams and meadows, no wonder this loop is another local hiker favorite. With Beecher Ridge having one of the highest concentrations of Black Bears in the park, this is one hike where you may still catch a glimpse of a bear in the wild. If you wish to add some more length, and also catch another small pool with waterfall try the sister hike that enters the park from Chrisman Road VA697, Overall Run/Heiskell Hollow.
As of December 2010 access to the Overall Run circuit from the parking area on VA630 has been re-opened. Read about the issue in the Warren Country Report (page 19) here.
From the parking area, walk down the private gravel road following the blue blazes for 0.2 miles where you pass a cable gate. After passing the cable gate continue for 200 yards where the private road you are on crosses a small creek. Turn right onto the blue blazed Thompson Hollow Trail. DO NOT continue upwards towards the house, this is all private property, please stay on the trail.
Start heading uphill on the blue blazed trail and shortly pass a marker designating the Shenandoah National Park boundary. In 0.5 miles from the park boundary, and just past the trail high point, reach the intersection of the blue blazed Tuscarora Trail. Continue straight on the blue blazed trail for an additional 0.2 miles to the intersection of the blue blazed Overall Run/Tuscarora Trail.
Turn left uphill and cross Overall Run for the first time in 0.7 miles from the last intersection. Cross Overall Run again in another 0.2 miles, before the trail starts getting steeper as it begins to climb Mathews Arm. The trail will become very steep as it switchbacks up the ridge, then pass a small campsite 0.8 miles from the last crossing of Overall Run.
From the campsite head uphill for another 0.3 miles and arrive at the major Overall Run waterfall overlook, and spectacular view of the Massanutten Range to the west. From the overlook continue uphill for 0.3 miles passing a smaller set of falls before coming to the next trail marker. The trail to the left is the no longer maintained portion of the Mathews Arm Trail. Continue uphill on the blue blazed trail for 150 yards to the next trail marker and intersection of the yellow blazed Mathews Arm Trail.
Turn right on the yellow blazed Mathews Arm Trail (the yellow blazes may not be visible from the intersection), and shortly cross the top section of Overall Run. In 0.5 miles from the last intersection arrive a the junction of the Beecher Ridge Trail. Turn right downward on the yellow blazed Beecher Ridge Trail as is winds it's way downward for 2.4 miles to the intersection of the blue blazed Beecher Ridge/Overall Run connector Trail.
Continue straight on the now blue blazed trail as it heads down to the valley and Overall Run in 0.6 miles. After crossing Overall Run the trail will continue downstream for 100 yards before turning right upstream, and becoming the Overall Run Trail.
Turn right upstream on the Overall Run Trail is it follows the run on the left bank before passing a side trail in 0.5 miles. The side trail leads to Overall Run and large swimming hole, with a slide before and after it. Stay left uphill on the blue blazed trail, and in 0.1 miles arrive back at the intersection of the Tuscarora Trail.
Turn left retracing your steps past the Tuscarora Trail turnoff in 0.2 miles, then continuing straight on the Thompson Hollow Trail to the SNP boundary, then gravel road back to the parking area in 0.8 miles.
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Reviews For The Overall Run/Beecher Ridge Hike (5 Most Recent)
This is our second time on this hike and we really like it. It's a solid "4" for difficulty. Hiking 1000 feet in a mile will have almost anyone sucking wind. If you want it less challenging, do it counter-clockwise. Unfortunately, it's been very dry, so the falls looked like a garden hose and most of the stream was dried up. Not good, since I think the views on this hike are a little overrated at a "4." Wish we'd seen some of the wildlife others have cited, but a great hike nonetheless.
Date of Hike: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I was expecting a moderate hike but this was definitely difficult. It was hard at mile 5. I HATED it because I actually wanted a 5 mile and this was pegged at 8.5 but we logged 11.4 with a heart rate tracking program. Thank god it was cool and overcast and we did see bear poop at least 4 times. Small parking area. Got there at 1100 finished at 340. very narrow path with questionable plants and a of shifting rocks. I did nor have hiking boots and wore stability running shoes which I could feel the rocks under. There was an uphill falls track that was not marked well. And worst of all, no waterfalls, no water. If you are a 3 times per year hiker I would not recommend. I run 15 miles a week and do a HIIT workout 4 times a week and have been working out for 30 years. Will not do again. i am also a veteran hiker in SNP (2 weeks constant) and hiked Mt Rogers in August. Male counterpart was challenged as well but enjoyed more than I.
Date of Hike: Sunday, August 24, 2014
Had a great hike. We were the 1st car in the parking lot at just after 9AM. We saw a few hikers on the trail, but much fewer than the solitude rating of 2 would suggest. By the time we returned to the lot it was apparent plenty of other folks were on the trail behind us. We were just lucky our start time afforded us the solitude and time to ourselves. Overall Run was flowing in many places, but summer water levels were very apparent and there were plenty of spots with just the stream bed. The waterfalls were flowing at summer pace, but looked and sounded nice. The view atop Overall Run was beautiful. We enjoyed an early lunch by the waterfalls after a rigorous climb and continued on our way. We saw a ~30in rattlesnake trailside on Beecher Ridge at about the spot where Beecher crosses the 1400ft contour. He wasn't coiled, but rattled quite a bit and added considerable excitement to the downhill leg of our hike. We completed the hike in 4.5hrs including a 20 minute stop for lunch.
Date of Hike: Sunday, August 24, 2014
I'm having a difficult time rating this hike so I gave it a three. I was expecting a lot more "flowing" water, but instead it was a lot of dried up creeks. I know there's probably more water in the spring/winter, but I was hoping for a little bit more. The outlook was beautiful with a nice view. Again, the second outlook of the waterfall wasnt as spectacular as it could have been because there was only a little trickle of water. I would definitely say this hike was much harder than I anticipated. In addition, once you come to the two main outlooks, there really isnt much else to see except another small falls a little past the outlooks. To read more about my experience on the hike go here: http://appalachianhikinglove.blogspot.com/2014/08/hiking-overall-runbeecher-ridge.html
Date of Hike: Thursday, July 17, 2014
We were staying at Mathews Arm campground and started this hike from the Traces Trail there (near the amphitheater) and came back in from Beecher Ridge onto the Mathews Arm trail that ended back in the campground (thankfully directly back to our campsite!). So for us this was more of a 10 mile hike. We'd misread the SNP hiking trail suggestions and thought we were in for a 6.5 miler -- needless to say, this was FAR more challenging than we expected. Do not attempt this hike without proper footwear as many long stretches of this are very rocky/stony, particularly the walk along Overall Run. The path back through Beecher Ridge passes through numerous, large patches of blackberry bushes -- yes, you are likely to encounter a bear or two at this time of year. I smelled, then viewed, one along that stretch as it was busily doing "bear things" and we ran across two bear cubs which climbed into the trees when coming back on the Mathews Arm trail. Given more dedicated hiking on my part, I might enjoy this hike more, but the stony bit along the bottom was a real ankle killer.