Overall Run circuit passes one of the largest continuous waterfalls in Virginia. The trails also go through picturesque valley streams and meadows making this one of the prettiest hikes in the norther SNP. Also, with Beecher Ridge having one of the highest concentrations of Black Bears in the park, this is one hike where you are most likely to catch a glimpse of a black 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.
Mile 0.0 - 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.
Mile 0.3 - Head 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.
Mile 1.0 - Turn left uphill and cross Overall Run in 0.7 miles. Cross Overall Run again in another 0.2 miles, then the trail starts getting steeper as it climbs towards Mathews Arm. The trail will become very steep with several switchbacks, then passes a small campsite 0.8 miles from the last crossing over Overall Run. From the campsite continue uphill for another 0.3 miles and arrive at the main Overall Run waterfall overlook with 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 arriving at 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 The trail to the left is the no longer maintained portion of the Mathews Arm Trail.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 trail marker and intersection of the yellow blazed Mathews Arm Trail.
Mile 3.4 - 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 arrive a the junction of the Beecher Ridge Trail.
Mile 3.9 - Turn right downhill on the yellow blazed Beecher Ridge Trail as is winds its way for 2.3 miles to the intersection of the blue blazed Beecher Ridge/Overall Run connector Trail.
Mile 6.2 - 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.
Mile 7.5 - 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.
Mile 8.5 - Arrive back at the parking area.
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Reviews For The Overall Run/Beecher Ridge Hike (5 Most Recent)
Took the advice of most reviewers and went in reverse order (Counter-clockwise) around the loop. Highly recommend doing so. The first 3 hours or so is OK hiking but there are no overlooks or even decent places to stop for lunch until you get to the first small waterfall. We saw a small black bear about 1.5 hours in which was awesome. The cascading waterfalls have some areas where you can head down to explore/take pictures. That was where I nearly stepped on a copperhead snake so they are definitely around. The final waterfall you reach is amazing there's a great overlook and tons of photo ops.
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 05, 2016
I really loved this trail. I went it in reverse order of what is described, turning right at the intersection of Overall Run/Tuscarora Trail. This lead to a more gradual accent to Beecher Ridge and left the waterfalls for the last part of the hike. I had no issues crossing any of the streams, but the rocky trail on the decent from the main waterfalls was tricky. Note that when hiking in this order, you will pass a smaller waterfall then pass cascades before reaching the main waterfall. There were several great views along the hike, but the views at the falls were spectacular.
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 28, 2016
Got to the trail head relatively early (7:30) and was the first one there by the time I left around 1 pm, there were a good 20 cars. I did the circuit in reverse, turning right when the trail splits at Overall Run (resulting in the waterfall near the end of the hike instead of the beginning). I can't imagine doing the circuit as described on the webpage the hike along the ridge past the waterfall is peaceful, but long, and trees obstruct every view. Much of the trail follows drainage channels, and there are a LOT of ankle-turning rocks. The stream crossings can also be difficult if the water level is high, so be prepared to traverse slippery rocks, walk across felled logs, or take off your boots and wade. I found the blue and yellow blazes and trail markers to be a little lacking, but managed to find my way. The viewing points for the main waterfall (and smaller ones leading to it) and mountains/valley are pretty spectacular.
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Great trail for a run. Nice climbs and long downhill along the ridge trail. Waterfalls were running well too. BTW Great directions. Also I would travel this clockwise so the deep stream crossing is last miles not at beginning