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Corbin Cabin - SNP, Virginia

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

3 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,240 ft
Shenandoah National Park
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Parking Skyline Drive. 38.61569, -78.35037

The Corbin Cabin hike provides a wonderful look at of some of the most diverse areas in the park. Starting on Skyline Drive ridge you hike along the Appalachian Trail for a short distance before descending to the Corbin Cabin area getting a glimpse of how the settlers lived here many years ago.

Another hike to Corbin Cabin is also available from the bottom of the valley on the Nicholson Hollow hike

Start by turning left on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail on the ridgeline for 0.7 miles before coming to the intersection of the Crusher Ridge Trail.

Turn left on the blue-blazed Crusher Ridge Trail for 0.1 miles where you turn left again on the Nicholson Hollow Trail as it intersects Skyline Drive in another 50 yards.

Cross Skyline Drive and turn left and walk along the edge of the road for 100 yards to the Nicholson Hollow Trail post. Be careful as traffic can be quite heavy.

Turn right descending the Nicholson Hollow Trail for 1.8 miles as it loops back to the right and descends the valley past a small spring before coming to the intersection of the Indian Run Trail that comes in from the right. Continue straight crossing Indian Run and arriving at the Corbin Cabin area in another 0.2 miles from the last intersection.

At this point you will begin the ascent.

Cross Hughes River at the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail marker, which is 10 yards past Corbin Cabin, and begin the ascent on the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail.

After 0.1 miles there is a small side trail that leads in 50 yards to an old cemetery. In 0.5 miles the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail switches back to the left and becomes steeper for the final 0.9 miles back to Skyline Drive and the parking area.

Late March
Mid October
Corbin Cabin Hike Comments
Archived Comments

By: Skip Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 20, 2019
My Grandfather and Grandmother helped maintain the Corbin Cabin trail and Nicolson Hollow Trails along with the cabin through the PATC from approximately the mid-1970's to early 1990's. This was one of their favorite places, and on the hike this day we scattered some of my Grandfather's ashes in the woods above Corbin Cabin and held a small memorial service with my cousin's family.

The trail is well maintained and the hike was uneventful although very hot and muggy for this northern Californian. It's a real treat to come down the trail and reach the stream bed where you can dip your toes and get some welcome refreshing cool water before continuing on a hot day.

By: Jenna Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 28, 2018
Hiking down to the cabin is beautiful and especially cool when you get to the part where you see the cabin up in front of you past the stream you need to cross. The rest of the hike back up to Skyline on Nicholson is pretty uneventful. If I were to do this again I would just hike to Corbin Cabin from the Cutoff trail and then back again instead of the loop.

By: ExFed Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 25, 2018
George T. Corbin, the builder of the cabin (cir 1909), was interviewed in 1966 as a part of the Shenandoah National Park Oral History Collection. The transcript is found at http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/snp/96/ and is well worth your time.

By: ExFed Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 15, 2015
A great day for this hike, particularly since the leaves were off the trees. Spoke with two couples who had overnight-ed at the cabin. The next day I located online an audio file and transcript of the interview of George T. Corbin that occurred in 1966 (http://mdid.cit.jmu.edu/snp/interview/SNP032/). He discussed his building of the cabin for his family in 1909 and their life there until the property was lost to the NPS in the 1930s. Moonshining, the growing of crops, a local homicide and the death of his second wife during child-birth is discussed. He also discussed the nearby cemetery that contains the remains of approximately 25 people and his placing of a wire gate at its location many years earlier. I found the wire gate, the cemetery and a stone that includes the crudely inscribed inscription of "April 29, 1898" and a name that was not clearly legible. There is evidence of sunken ground in the area that is consistent with burial sites. The cemetery is located approximately 0.10 mile from the cabin on the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail at N38° 36.218' W78° 20.624'. The trail is not distinctive and you will see the wire gate leaning against a tree as you move uphill approximately 20 yards from the referenced coordinates.

By: Ellen & Tim Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 15, 2015
We combine this hike with another nearby trail. It is usually a great "walk in the woods." Not strenuous but pleasant and long. This day, however, the deep, dry leaves made footing really treacherous from the road down to the cabin. Felt like we were skiing on leaves. At times, the leaves were knee-high. Had to sort of shuffle through them because you couldn't see what was under/ahead of your feet. Kind of amazing that we didn't sprain ankles or twist knees. We were super-careful. Took us 1 hr 45 minutes to hike the 1.9 miles from the marker where Corbin trail goes straight and the Corbin Cabin trail goes off to the left, due to the slippery footing. From Corbin Cabin down to stream crossing and then down to road it wasn't bad. It was just that stretch from the start of the Corbin Cabin trail to just above the cabin itself.

Ordinarily one of our favorite hikes but yesterday, the stress on that section sort of marred it.

By: Paul Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, March 12, 2015
Many hike Cedar Run down after the strenuous White Oak Canyon hike...then up the Horse Trail to the connection...perhaps even up to Hawksbill...then down Cedar Run...which to the average and serious hiker...a glorious circuit...but...what is missed is the magnificence of Cedar Run...I love WOC...but despite the dramatic drops...Cedar Run is just as profound due to its length...about a half mile longer than the cascading White Oak...but still...what a place... Cedar Run from Berry Hollow...clockwise to Hawksbill Gap...going up to Hawksbill Summit if you wish...probably seeing deer...and a bear...then back down White Oak Canyon...what a magnificent place!

By: Midlo day hikers Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 9, 2014
What a wonderfully surprising hike. There was quite a bit of snow and ice on the AT portion and the upper portion of Nicholson Hollow trail (NH). Footing was tricky on the first third of the hike and we almost decided not to continue. Glad we stuck with it. The lower portion of NH did not have as much snow/ice to contend with, but did have a fair amount of slush.  We were unsure of the exact location of the trailhead, but at around 6.5 miles from entering Skyline Drive off Hwy 211 there is a small parking area on the right side of the road that will hold about 8 cars. It's mostly downhill from the parking area to the cabin. We crossed a creek, (Indian Run?) then shortly after you see the cabin peaking through the trees. We got lucky as a camping party was just leaving the cabin so they let us look inside. The cabin is rented through the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. Here is a story about the cabin I found on the web (http://virginiatrailguide.com/2010/03/26/corbin-cabin-nicholson-hollow/). From the cabin it is all up hill. The ascent is non-stop until you are back at the parking area. Maybe just my age, but it was a hard walk up.  Very beautiful hike, even in the snow. I liked rock hopping across the creeks and streams. Sitting on the porch of the cabin eating our lunch and talking to other hikers was a treat. Very nice hike with a bit of park history.

By: Roe & Lew Barnes Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 26, 2013
My husband and I enjoyed this hike, we didn't even know about Corbin's Cabin's historical reference until it was featured in an older issue of Backpacker magazine. The cover story highlighted "Dream Cabins/Hideaways" across the country and we decided it would be a shame not to check it out since we're from Va. The 8+ mile round trip was perfect for an easy day hike on a clear cool day. We reached the cabin in time for lunch and we relaxed for about half an hour. The "out-house" was quaint and it was enjoyable to see how this historical landmark has been well-maintained. We didn't see any wildlife but that's okay, Corbin's Cabin was a treat to visit,and we might stay overnight next time when we bring our daughter with us. We'll definitely come back and do the tougher trail off Old Rag Mtn., Shenandoah Nat'l Park is full of wonderful trails and I would love to see the waterfalls next time. Being an avid hiker, I highly recommend this hike, if  for nothing else...get an idea of the old "mountaineering" way of life back in 1909-1938.

By: Matthew Tyma Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Hiked into the cabin on Friday afternoon and stayed there for two nights. Packed in heavy only to realize we didnt need half the supplies we brought because the cabin is fully stocked with all your needs. Bring clothing, food and sleeping bag is about all you need. Sleeping next to the stream and hearing the running water all night is just so relaxing and tranquil. Not many views to speak of on the trail but the solitude and history of the area make it a well worthwhile trip. Elevation gain/drop is something to consider if your not in shape, The pack out is a good little workout but was exactly what I look for in a hike. Plenty of wildlife in the area to watch including bears. Mom and two cubs were at the trail head when we started in and an adult male was spotted a couple hundred yards from the cabin on Friday afternoon. A good day hike to Whiteoak canyon falls was done on Saturday. Figured it to be about a 10 mile roundtrip. Plenty of springs along the way to quench your thirst but the Indian Run trail is a little steep and rocky so the moving was slow but very enjoyable. Will definetly consider doing this trip again.

By: Brad Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, August 12, 2011
Did this hike as a quick overnight.  The cabin is quite interesting and met the caetaker when I was leaving.  Cutoff trail is definitely a hump and can be very slick when wet.  Ran across a Black bear and her cub on the way out.  Cub climbed a tree and mother went across the trail.  Not that many views after the cabin on  the trail out.  Was lucky to catch a cooler weekend in August but this trail would be nice later on in the year also.

    View all 14 archived reviews for the Corbin Cabin hike
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