Summer is in full swing in our household! We’ve been camping (more about that later!) and hiking, joined the pool, dipped our toes in the river and I went kayaking (kid free too!) And it’s not technically even summer yet. Over-achiever right here! I already have so many fun adventures planned for this summer. We are going to explore Richmond and hit up the most popular places and things to do on Trip Advisor. There are some hikes I really want to check out. There’s beach time to be had! I can’t wait!
Our latest adventure took us back to good ole Shenandoah National Park. This is one of our absolute favorite places to visit nearby. You can’t beat the hiking, the views are stunning and you just feel completely submerged in wildlife. If you haven’t visited this park and you enjoy anything related to nature, you really really need to. Since it has been raining SO much lately, we traded in one of our hikes with scenic mountain views for a waterfall hike. We had a limited time so we picked Dark Hollow Falls, a popular hike that is quick but has a good payoff. Little Big Guy is 4 and had absolutely no issue with the hike (but we did take the back way). Little Lady got out to explore some but did most of the moving in the carrier.
When we first pulled into the parking lot I was a little overwhelmed. There were people everywhere. I knew it was a more popular hike but I wasn’t expecting it to be so crowded. We unpacked everyone and started walking to the trail to find it was temporarily closed, which explained all of the people in the parking lot. Luckily, I knew about an easier route to get the the base of the falls. Our wifi wasn’t working so we asked for directions to Fisher’s Gap. It ended up being right down the street. The Fisher’s Gap fire road takes you right down to the base of the falls. There is hardly any change in elevation and its wide and smooth. Definitely easy terrain to navigate.
We walked down the fire road for about .7 miles and came to a bridge at the bottom of the falls. It was pretty impressive from all the rain but I’m sure in the middle of the summer the bottom of the falls might be a little less impressive. But there was a nice little area to the left of the bridge where we sat and threw rocks and enjoyed some solitude.
We continued our hike up next to the falls and kept thinking we were at the top. But it just kept going and going! This was certainly one of the more impressive falls I’ve seen in VA. The trail was a little steep, but it’s pretty short so I wouldn’t consider it too hard of a hike. Definitely family friendly, especially if you take the fire road at Fisher’s Gap. Once we got to the top, the falls were just gushing! Standing nearby you could feel the spray of the water splashing off the rocks.
On the way back to the car, someone pulled over a let us know there was a bear just down the road. We were very excited to see some wildlife that we’re not used to seeing but the bear was no where to be seen by the time we were driving down the road. Although we did pass through Big Meadows and I saw more deer in that field than I’ve ever seen at one given time. There had to be at least a dozen!
All in all, I would definitely suggest this as a family friendly hike. If you’re looking for more of a challenge as far as distance goes, you can always take the Rose River Loop. You get to see two waterfalls and you get some more distance. And you still get to see Dark Hollow Falls, so it’s a win-win! Have you hiked Dark Hollow Falls before? What are you looking forward to getting out and doing this summer? Which hike should we do next?? I look forward to hearing about your everyday summer adventures!