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Overall Run Falls

Shenandoah National Park

Northern Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia

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Overall Run Falls

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  • The trail marker for the beginning of the hike. Note that both the Traces Trail and the parking lot are 100 yards to the left of the sign.- Overall Run Falls
  • The parking lot slopes gently upward as you head toward the old fire road.- Overall Run Falls
  • The upper lefthand corner of the B-Loop is where the trailhead for the fire road can be found.- Overall Run Falls
  • The old fire road toward the falls.- Overall Run Falls
  • Signage on the fire road.- Overall Run Falls
  • Overall Creek, which feeds the falls. - Overall Run Falls
  • The falls from a nearby ledge.- Overall Run Falls
  • Cascade Falls from below.- Overall Run Falls
  • Contributor Ben Dlin scrambles up the edge of a lower set of falls.- Overall Run Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Swimming holes. Numerous falls. Great visa.
Cons: 
Strenuous return. Boring trail.
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Alerts: 
Mathews Arm is closed until September 1, 2017 due to sewage/drainage work. This only prevents parking at a lower lot; the hike is still possible, albeit longer.
Region:
Northern Blue Ridge Mountains, VA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,091.00 ft (637.34 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
7.70 mi (12.39 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,083.00 ft (939.70 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Overall Run Falls is one of the most spectacular sights within the Shenandoah National Park. The falls cascade 93 feet to a pool below. While best viewed in spring or summer, these falls are also a sight in the winter as ice adds a new dimension to their beauty. 

There are a few ways to complete this hike. Mathews Arm Campground is closed until September 2017, so some extra steps must be taken. From the Piney Ridge Parking Lot, cross the street to the Mathews Arm Campground entrance and follow the road to the parking lots. This is segment is about a mile, and it loses approximately 300 feet in elevation. 

Once you reach the parking lot, there are a few options for your choice of trail. The Traces Trail takes you around the campground before looping back to the parking lot. This trail meets up with the Overall Run Trail about 0.7 miles into the walk. You can also walk through the campground, a pleasant stroll in the offseason, to an old fire road that is 2 miles from the beginning of the falls. This trail is well-cleared and easy to follow, with numerous markers along the way.

A series of falls precedes the main falls. Twin Falls splits before the edge of a cliff and majestically falls into a large pool. Cascade Falls flows more slowly down a slope but is impressive in their own right.

Walking past these leads to Overall Run Falls, the main attraction, and a viewpoint over the park. There are numerous paths to scramble down to the water, but all are steep and much harder to come back up, so use caution!

Retrace your steps, finally gaining elevation, and grind out the trail. From here, return to your car. Be careful as you go back up the road toward Piney Ridge, as construction vehicles can be more active in the afternoon. 

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

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