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 The trail to the left is the no longer maintained portion of the Mathews Arm Trail.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)
I hiked this with a friend on Sunday, November 22. The day was dry but a little nippy. Overall, it's a superb hike. The directions on Hiking Upward are excellent unless you can't read, there's no way you can leave the trail, which is well marked throughout. The trail repeatedly crosses Overall Run most crossings are by log (a felled tree) and it is possible to fall in the stream (I did and my shoes were wet for the entire hike). The waterfalls are wonderful, and if it hadn't been November I would have tried the swimming hole (see the directions). It's a very pretty hike, even without the leaves. Two words of warning. First, since the trail is now covered in leaves, there are slippery parts. Second, the uphill and downhill are fairly strenuous, not crazy but still hard.
Date of Hike: Friday, October 23, 2015
Quiet Friday hike. Water level was good enough on the fall. Nice colors and view from the trail and the overlook.
Date of Hike: Tuesday, September 15, 2015
This hike was quite challenging at parts with some very steep sections. The main reason I am not giving it soaring reviews, is because there was almost no water in the falls or stream. Most of the stream the follows the whole Overall Run trail was dried up completely with an occasional trickle of water. The falls were similarly disappointing. I imagine this might be a better spring hike, when hopefully there would be more water. There is one great view right around the falls area that looks out over a good portion of Shenandoah.
We only came across a few people during the loop, but saw almost as many bears! (Only two really, and they ran away quickly.)
I would try this hike again in the spring, but definitely would not do it this fall.
Date of Hike: Sunday, August 30, 2015
Third time doing this hike. Got a late start at 12:30 pm and was surprised at how many people we saw on the trail. The most we have ever seen, probably about 10 people on the trail and another 10-15 at the swimming hole. It had not rained in the last 10 days or so, so the water levels were very low, not much to see at the "waterfalls" or swimming hole. The main reason I like this hike is the solitude and the view at the top. It's pretty strenuous to the top, almost a straight vertical incline at some points! It's two days later and I am still sore. Great views at the top. Took us 4 hours to complete including stopping for about 15 mins at the top and 15 mins at the swimming hole. Was a warm day in the 80s but not too bad in the shade. Almost forgot, we did see a black bear in the first mile of the hike! About 50 yards away and didn't bother us, we just keep walking, and it minded it's own business.
Date of Hike: Sunday, August 16, 2015
This was our third time on this trail. That tells you how much we like the it. We like the way you ease into the first part of the hike then build up to the steep incline that leads to the overlook. The long decent is a bit tedious,but generally a good hike and good exercise. Don't be mislead by the statement of fantastic waterfalls. Again, we have been there three times and have only seen "trickles." Yes, the water coming off the rocks is high up, but there really is not much of a flow. We were having lunch at the overlook when other hikers arrived. They looked over to the falls and said "Really, that's it?" We all had a good laugh.