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Overall Run/Beecher Ridge- SNP, Virginia


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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
8.5 mls
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5.0 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,965 ft
Shenandoah National Park
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e.g.. 12000 Government Center Parkway 22035 or Fairfax VA
Park at the end of VA630 where the paved road ends. DO NOT park on the gravel private driveway. Please respect private property. Foot traffic ONLY. 38.80194, -78.31461

The 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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Hiker Reviews For The Overall Run/Beecher Ridge Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Overall Run/Beecher Ridge hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Dave Rating: 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.

By: Denise Rating: 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.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 13, 2014
This is another awesome hike in SNP. The ascent was a nice challenge. The waterfall was still flowing which was great to see. The view from the overlook made the climb worth the effort - absolutely breathtaking. The forest opens up substantially after the waterfall and you begin see the other ridges through the trees. I ran into a huge male black bear while he was doing bear things - awesome experience. He bluffed but backed off after a stern talking-to. Only ran into one group of two hikers on the trail. I used the directions and map from this site, and once again it was perfect. Thanks!!

Namaste

ps - don't forget there's a really nice swimming hole.


By: hossra Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, May 09, 2014
Great directions to the parking area. I made a mistake at the trailhead and took the southerly blue blaze. IT IS HARD AS HELL. Very steep and probably about two miles. On the way up, I ran into a rattlesnake about 5 feet off the trail and, thereafter, a black bear about 30 feet off the trail. Very quiet, great waterfall views and overall a tough but great hike.

By: Frank Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, April 17, 2014
The dogwoods are just beginning to blossom, and the Overall Run is rushing on an inch or two of rain two days previous, making for rich falls, two barefoot fords through the water, and the spectacular vistas of Massanutten that you came here for. What a delight.

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Early January (courtesy of Jayne)
Late April
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