Big Meadow Trail Loop

Rose River, Dark Hallow and Lewis Falls

9.3 miles, 2500 feet


The hike began behind the Big Meadow Visitor Center on a cold morning in March.  After stopping at  several wide vistas, we began our descent down to Fisher’s Gap.

Fisher’s Gap is the start of the Rose River Loop Trail.  The trail has a gentle slope at the beginning, but steeper grades remain for the sections before and after Rose River Falls.  Rose River Falls (67′) is divided into two falls.  The first fall is about 25 feet high.  After a small pool, the water slides down a trough in the rock ledge the remaining distance.  The lower fall was not very photogenic.The trail continued down for several hundred more feet before leveling out for a couple hundred yards.  The trail became very steep, passing several small cascades before reaching the bottom of the Dark Hallow Falls Trail.

Dark Hallow Falls (70′) is located at the top of a series of falls and cascades that start at the bottom of the trail.  We arrived at the falls after passing several large cascades and falls.  We climbed over the rocks and up to the base of the uttermost part of the falls, taking pictures along the way.

We continued on up the remainder of the trail and to the Big Meadow Visitor Center, where we stopped for lunch.  We headed west through a series of trails until we reached the top of the Lewis Falls Trail.

The trail was extremely steep, with many switchbacks, but we finally arrived at the falls.  Lewis Falls (81′) is located in an area were there are cliffs on all three side of the falls, making a climb to the base basically impossible.  A viewpoint had been built by the park service that provided nice views of the falls.  Standing right above the falls also yielded great views of the Shenandoah Valley.

A steep climb up another trail led us back to our car.  Worn out and tired, we headed home.

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