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Hiker Comments for the Broad Hollow Hike - 1 to 27 of 27   
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By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 1, 2018
I hiked this on a foggy, drizzly Saturday with a small group from Central Virginia Trailblazers (  The description and recent reviews are spot on.  The trail is mostly cleared as Jim Necci mentioned.  We had no trouble finding the lone parking spot, which was vacant when we arrived.  Due to recent rains, the stream crossings in the first mile were a little tricky and the forestry road near the end was more like a creek than a bog.  I can't comment on the views as the fog was too thick to see anything.  We saw no other hikers on the trail the entire day.  Overall a very pleasant hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 13, 2018
A Broad Hollow update. The trails are all now cleared. Somebody did a heck of a lot of work. There were so many trees down in May it should have taken two men, a boy and a couple of horses. The size of some of the tree segments moved off of the trail were huge. And some of the work down with an ax. The hike was much easier this time.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, May 10, 2018
The trees mentioned in the previous review are still down across the trail. The first part of the hike someone has worked clearing the trail with chainsaws and an ax. When you are well into the hike you come to an area where MANY trees are down or broken. There are about five trees all broken and leaning together about 30-40 feet up. From that point none of the trail is cleared. There are many obstacles to go around, climb over, under or work your way through. It does lengthen the time and the distance somewhat. The uphill climbs and water crossings were a bit challenging, the 3 rating is probably right on. The parking is not as dire as some of the other reviews made it seem. We parked four vehicles without much problem. I enjoyed the hike, yes, I would do it again. One tick. Oh, and a bear just before the parking area.

By: ExFed Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 31, 2018
As a result of the strong storms in recent weeks there are a lot of very large trees down across the trail, particularly as you approach the top. In some instances circumnavigating the larger downed trees made it challenging to pick up the trail again. If you have a GPS, you might think of bringing it with you. The remains of the cabin were not affected, although there were a couple downed trees nearby. I have never seen so many recently downed trees of such size in the SNP before.

By: Sperryville Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Nice trail! Lots of interesting stonework, foundations and some artifacts with a deteriorating cabin halfway down Broad Hollow. Went up Pine Hill Gap, steep, but not the worst I've been on. Great views of Old Rag and surrounding mountains with the leaves down. Didn't see any other hikers so great Teail for solitude if that's what you're looking for. All together a really nice hike!

By: RCH Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 6, 2016
This was an enjoyable hike. Only met one couple with a friendly dog. It was not overly steep at the beginning but it seemed to go on forever. Leaves were beyond peek and very little water in broad run. Did get spooked by what appeared to be a large bird taking off in the bushes. Never saw the bird. On the back side coming down there was obvious bear activity on the path in a groove of white oaks. As the other reviews indicate this is not a hike for views but enjoyable all the same. Took 4.5 hrs just as it predicts and this was with a lunch stop.

Finding the parking/trial head was a tad difficult. You keep driving down the road and you think you should be there but keep going. you come to a "Y" in the road go to the right and its a tenth of a mile beyond. The single parking spot as the photo shows is on the right.


By: Steve Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, September 2, 2016
I liked this hike overall. I can attest to the solitude others report. The Broad Hollow Trail is a rocky and steep climb -- I had to rest several times in the first two miles. The trail flattens out nicely on top. The Hazel Mountain Trail is smooth and wide with beautiful passages of Mountain Laurel. The Pine Hill Gap Trail is relatively smooth but monotonously steep downward -- though smooth much of it is covered with loose small gravel and I slid a little. A hiking pole would have helped steady me going down. As reported by others, the forestry road near the end is somewhat boggy and a little muddy, but not too bad (at least on this day). No ticks apparent. Dozens of annoying spiderwebs and single silk threads spanning the trail -- it had been a while since someone hiked it. So many I held a stick in front of me to keep the trail clear, which helped. Saw two bears and heard two more. LOST AND FOUND: Near the end of the hike I found a nice pair of women's glasses that had been recently dropped in the middle of the trail. I placed them securely atop on the concrete trail marker at the end of the Pine Hill Gap Trail where it connects to the boggy forestry road. Near Lat: 38.588738 Lon: -78.278242. If the person who lost them goes back she'll see them.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 22, 2016
This was a pretty good hike. If you are looking for solitude, this would be it! Didn't see a single person on the hike. Saw some wild life, the highlight being a bear about 150ft up on top of ridge. We made lots of noise and the bear decided to head away from us.

If you start all the way at the end of the road, you gain most of your elevation in one pass. We were doing a little huffing and puffing, but nothing too crazy. There's a stream along the way, close to the other end. We were hoping for a little more water for the dogs to splash in.

Note on the parking: if you park all the way at the end of the road, the locals prefer you park along side the road instead of in that pullout. The trucks and stuff need that pullout to turn around. We were kindly informed by 2 people we shouldn't be parking there. There aren't any signs but better oblige the locals!

By: HikingChris Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 3, 2016
Wow!! Being a beginner hiker, my wife and I wanted I quasi challenging hike with very few people. We certainly got what we asked for. There was no one on the hike (and the trails are so narrow it would have been single file anyways), which either could be because of the rain the previous night or the holiday weekend. Had the entire trail to ourselves other than the mosquitoes (probably weather related), and ticks galore. Pulled off two apiece during the hike, one more each on the car ride home, and then one more each at home and two in the clothes we wore. If you like ticks, this is certainly for you! The hike was challenging on the way up, and the descent down is challenging too. Easily marked path with markers, and the description above made it easy. Great views of the greenery. That last .3 is very boggy, hope you don't mind getting your shoes full of mud like mine were. No wildlife other than the large bear paw prints in the mud and bear droppings. Bring a saw or axe as the trail is not maintained and would need to climb over or under some downed trees on the trail. Would do this one again, only next time prepared to cross rivers, bogs, and deal with ticks! Great hike!!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 4, 2015
This hike is best taken in the Winter or early Spring, before the trees get leafed out. The remains of the old cabin are still interesting and thought provoking. On the downhill second half of the hike Old Rag is viewed ominously and loose rocks will give you the opportunity to re-evaluate your foot gear.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 22, 2015
I'd done this trail before, and have no idea why I didn't remember it better or more fondly.

Unless one lives on this side of the mountain, or starts here, one is almost certainly gonna circuit this one with Pine Hill Gap Trail (other alternatives involve a LOT more road walking) this tended to stop me if there was one other trail I wanted to do because that's five miles of daylight eaten, right there. Yesterday I decided enroute from Pinnacles Overlook to abort a planned Hannah Run/Hot-Short circuit and do the PHG/Broad Hollow walk instead. If one has an eye for unusual, this one is: the tall poplars the unusual shingling on the walls of the decaying cabin the box spring down trail from the cabin the huge amphitheater down which the trail descends. Doesn't have the "wow factor" of immense views, waterfalls, etc. But a very worthwhile walk, done by few. I was beyond happy to have done it again. Try to keep your group numbers down, as this is a likely destination for walkers seeking solitude. Broad Hollow exemplifies the sheer number of quiet "secret spots" in SNP, abandoned by those who need connect-dots instructions and scenic fanfare.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 15, 2015
I use Hiking Upward a fair amount and thought I should do a better job of placing reviews. They can be very helpful. This a a nice hike. Parking is extremely limited but is so far off the beaten path, I don't think it would be a problem. It was 60 degrees and sunny on a March day and we saw nobody. I have uploaded some pictures of the trailhead and parking. It is really a pull off. Broad Hollow is a beautiful trail along the water. Once up top, the mountain laurel and flats of Sam's Ridge and Hazel Mt Trail make for a great walk. Area is quite overgrown here but the trail is wide open. We had great views of Hot, Short Mountains and Old Rag as we descended Davis . It is basically a fire road and can be a little steep. I think I would loop up around Sam's Ridge, Hazel and go back down Broad Hollow if I had to do it over again. Didn't see any wildlife but had a great time. Lots of water and several good places to camp overnight.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 24, 2014
This is a great hike for solitude. One of the highlights is the ruins of a house on the way up the Broad Hollow trail. Through the whole hike, we passed a one solitary hiker going the other way. No wildlife except for a comatose black snake lying on the path. We did see some deer droppings Lot of birds.

The trail head post is not easy to spot from the road. It is almost exactly 2.4 miles after you turn onto SR 681. It is to the right of the gate of a private property. The gate is on the right, about 50 yards before a Bus Turnaround on your left. Overall, an enjoyable hike.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 23, 2014
Hiked this on an unseasonably warm February day, with brilliant sunshine. There was still snow on the ground and it was deep in places, making it even more beautiful. Though this hike didn't have spectacular views, I gave it four stars because of the solitude -- I didn't see anyone else the entire day. Now, it could've been because it was a Sunday in the middle of winter, but it takes a while to get to the trail head so many probably just don't know about this hike. The start take you along a creek with a few crossings, then begins a sharp uphill for a bit. On your way up, you pass an abandoned cabin from back before this was a National Park. It's neat to see a little history here. The snow made it a little slow going, but coming back down was easy as the trail was exposed and snow has melted. The last part was very muddy, so you may have to find a way around the trail.

By: KW Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Never saw another person, first part of hike crosses stream 4 times then all up hill coming back down saw a lot of bear signs but never saw any. Total 31/2 hours with several short 5 min stops

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, November 21, 2013
A nice hike. Pretty start along the cascading stream followed by a long stretch of woods only (no streams or views) to the top and beyond. The descending part of the hike has very nice views (when there are no leaves on the trees) particularly of Old Rag to your right. The trail is in marvelous shape. We ate lunch on the trail on a level area with some rocks a short while after turning onto the Hazel Mountain Trail. One thing of interest to me: I have never seen as many big trees that had fallen across the trail (not recently and all cut now) I wonder if a storm had really hit this area hard at some point.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Another day where the weather was pretty crummy, which made the overall experience probably less than it could have been. It was extremely wet and damp with low visibility, but the profusion of Lady Slipper Orchids and the ethereal vista of a misty trail lined with Mountain Laurel in bloom made it worthwhile. In the end, though, I was happy to get back to my car.

By: Kate C. Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
We did the circuit as described- we didn't have any trouble finding the trailhead or following the loop, though you do have to look carefully for the trailhead marker behind a wooden gate of a private residence next to the start.

Don't forget your bug spray! We did, and had trouble with gnats and mosquitos for the first 1.5-2 miles while the trail parallels the creek. They cleared out as we got to the ridge and had a good breeze through the laurel.

When we got back to the car though- ticks galore!! We found 2 small brown ones and a record 7 deer ticks. Eeek. Check yourself carefully and bring spray.

Besides that hiccup, the walk was a nice moderate loop. We saw signs of bear on the way down (he or she was apparently not a fan of a No Trespassing sign and we saw droppings a bit further on) and there was lots of bird song and wild flowers to cheer up any slow stretches of trail.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, September 14, 2012
Although this may not be the hike for everyone it is by far one of my favorites.  I run a dog lover's group geared toward any activities that are dog friendly which, of course, includes a lot of hiking and vineyard visits.  When the goal is to get a group of people and their dogs together there is nothing more important than solitude on a hike.  This hike is right up there with hiking the Doyle River Basin in Shenandoah.  I have hiked it more times than I can count and in all those hikes have only ran into others twice (once on the trail and once on the road helping them to find the trail head).  There are no views really but the quiet is worth it to me.  You should be warned that, although you won't have to climb over large rocks, the trail (especially in the descent) is extremely rocky and best suited for hiking boots.  As another reviewer mentioned if you have knee problems this hike will certainly lead to knee pain before it's over.  I don't have knee problems and mine are usually quite sore by the end.  I also wanted to mention that once you turn onto the road that takes you to the trailhead keep going straight even when you think you must have passed it!  Do not turn right and if you hit the dead end just turn around and drive 2/10's of a mile back and you will find it  Also, I know that it says it's a 4 & 1/2 hours hike but I lead a large group, many of whom are first time hikers, and usually finish within 3 1/2...I can do it myself in 2 1/2 but I jog the flats and lesser inclines.  The first 2 miles are straight up so move slow but after that this hike is a piece of cake

By: Galen DC Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, May 11, 2012
Did this hike in early May with temps in the 60s. I would bump this difficulty up to 4 because of the steep up-and-down nature of it. There's no bouldering or anything, but relative to other area hikes, this is a pretty strenuous no-switchbacks climb up, and a knee-punishing downhill. Overall it was...ok. There's no real points of interest here. Maybe the old cabin and maybe some view of Old Rag if it's winter. The upper part was a pleasant walk through the woods. The mountain laurel was blooming and even saw some pink lady slippers. And didn't see anyone else the whole way. The stream is also nice but it's only a fraction of the hike. Be prepared for bugs and overgrown trails in the summer. (note: the parking is almost nonexistent.)

By: wazootraveller Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 10, 2011
This hike is under-appreciated.  The opening stage follows a beautiful stream, and is challenging enough for a decent work out without being too strenuous.  There are impressive views throughout the hike, including a nice vista across a mountain range toward the top of the ridge.  We even saw a young bear scamper across the pathway ahead of us.  It is also a well-shaded hike, which was nice on a hot summer's day.  And yes, it is a hike-less-travelled: we saw only one other hiker all day. We'll do this one again.

One point on locating the trailhead.  There are no signs visible from the road, and the usual square concrete marker is hidden behind the wooden gate post of a private property.  So recommend you use the link to Google maps to identify the precise location in terms of either miles along the road ,or (better yet) the GPS coordinates for your Garmin.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Beautiful greenery and very quiet, not a difficult hike at all. Saw no one through the whole circuit!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 1, 2011
I prefer to do this hike backwards since you get the steep boring part out of the way first. It goes up an old fire/logging road which is rather steep and not much to write home about. Once at the top this trail is one of the best! The view of the old Poplar forest on the way down is awesome. Also, the parking at the end of the road is better.

By: mk4ld Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 3, 2009
A nice hike. Hiked it in reverse direction (clockwise) due to limited parking at the trailhead. Parked near the obscure house at the end of the road (N38.59180 W78.27455//1109ft). First 2.25 miles is straight up to the old log road (N38.60269 W78.29639//2513ft) before leveling out. Trail was very overgrown and scenery was limited except a few breaks in the trees. This also blocked out any sunlight. There was a good camping spot (N38.60856 W78.29719//2572ft) just after the Hazelton Trail merge (N38.60733 W78.29657//2548ft) where we stopped and had lunch. After the camp, the forest opens up more, and there is more to see. After hitting the Hazelton Mountain intersection with Sams Trail (N38.61694 W78.28694//2552) the trail begins to drop for the remaining 2.5 miles. You also begin parallelling a stream which I found to be the best scenery on the trip. There is a nice stream crossing at N38.59768 W78.27925 where the dog cooled off for a while. The decent down Broad Hollow was a larger grade then going up Pine Gap. If I had to do it over I would have started at Broad Hollow trailhead (N38.59412 W78.27249) then Pine Gap. But there's only space for two smaller cars.

By: Arlington Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 22, 2007

On the trail at 7:30am and saw only two other hikers all morning.  Walking at a moderate pace and taking lots of breaks, the hike took about 4 hours.  The elevation gain is a little tough for the first 45 minutes if you're not in great shape, but it's a relatively easy hike after that.  Due probably to infrequent use, the trail is a little grown up in places and ad hoc detours are required to get around trees that have fallen across the path.  There are no obvious places to pause for a snack or lunch... none of the big rocks that one often finds handy in the Shenandoah.  Given the dry summer, the stream was almost dry and the "falls" nonexistent.

About two hours into the hike, I encountered a large timber rattlesnake coiled next to the path.  I made a wide detour and reminded myself to be more careful.

This is definitely not the path for those seeking dramatic views, but the woods are pleasant, and you will probably have the trail to yourself.  The solitude makes this a good hike, even without the big views.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 3, 2006
November 3, 2006  - I hiked Broad Hollow Trail as part of a loop hike, including Pine Hill Gap Trail, and part of what was labelled as Hazel Mountain Trail, which ultimately ends at Meadow Spring Parking Area on Skyline Drive. The day was cold and just a little windy, but very clear - and the fall foliage was still showing brightly at the lower elevations.

I parked at the bottom of Pine Hill Gap Trail, just off the side of the road a bit down from the trailhead. There is definitely a sign for 'no parking' right at the trailhead intersection, with good reason - if you parked there you would block the whole road. From what I could tell, it was ok to park where I did though. Room for maybe 2 cars there. To reach this small country road, I was coming north on Route 231, almost to Sperryville Virginia, and then took the side road labelled as route 681. Keep going straight for about 4-5 miles I guess, and it finally ends in a place where you  can see the Pine Hill Gap Trail marker signpost.

Pine Hill Gap Trail rises quite steeply from the road for a couple of miles, till it finally reaches the Hazel Mountain Trail. From there I headed down to the interesction with Sam's Ridge Trail, from which it is just a few tenths to the top of the Broad Hollow Trail.

Broad Hollow Trail is level for a short while at the top, twisting through some very nice laurel and rhododendron bushes. On this day at these upper elevations the trees were all bare. The trail starts descending a bit, and then more, making a wide switchback directly next to the ruin of an old home. Or maybe it is a barn, the wood-thatched roof is very apparent anyway. The trail makes a left turn at the ruined house, and then starts descending even more rapidly. There are a number of rock-stair constructions along the Broad Hollow Trail, and other signs of former human habitation that are very interesting.

At this point the fall foliage was getting really colorful - there are some really beautiful trees on this trail. The trail winds through oaks, poplars, and pines till it finally joins with a small mountain creek on the right side. There is a large rocky hill blocking the sun in midday in this area, at least this time of year, so this little creek was very shadowy and dark. Lots of huge boulders there too - really a beautiful creek!

The trail crosses the creek after a while - which might be tricky if there has been lot of rain - then the trail continues for a half mile or so till it intersects back with the country road I started on. From there it was 0.3 miles or so to where I parked.

The highlight of this trail is the beautiful little stream, and the forest down around the water, so I think Broad Hollow Trail  would be great as a short easy turn-around hike, assuming you could find the start of it. The trail marker is near a house, back behind some bushes, so it is not the easiest thing to find.

Oh and there is a really neat little waterfall about 4 feet tall in the creek very close to the bottom of the trail. Requires a bit of rock scrambling to get a good view, but definitely a nice little one.

By: Jason Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 12, 2005
Broad Hollow is a great hike if your looking for solitude. We hiked it on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and did not see a soul. However, the reason for that probably have to do with the relative bland nature of the area. All in all the hike was utterly unremarkable. The trail was somewhat overgrown at parts, espicially hiking up Broad Hollow. This also led to a proliferation of a variety of insects, most notably ticks. I pulled over 30 of them off my dog when we returned from the dog and my buddy Mike and I had to pull several off of us as well. So wear bug spray. The hike itself is generally easy to moderate but you definetly want to hike up Broad Hollow and not take the hike in reverse as it much steeper on the Piney Gap trail. There are no views going up Broad Hollow but do have some limited views on the way back down on Piney Gap, certainly nothing to write home about though. The hike also goes through some sections where you can clearly see the results of acid rain and other environmental stress on SNP. The large trees are all dead and the underbrush is quite thick, which is probably one of the reasons the trail has started to become overgrown. The best part of the hike was once you reach the top of the mountain. The trail is wide, flat, and their is no underbrush for about 2 miles. All in all it was a great day to be out in the woods, but I won't be putting the Broad Hollow hike on my top 10 list either.

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