|COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDWR encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.|
Elevation: 3429 ft.
The Dark Hollow Trail, one of the most popular trails in Shenandoah National Park, is a little steep in places, but the 1.4-mile loop (optional) trek to Dark Hollow Falls is well worth the trip. The broad path is well maintained as it leads the visitor over the edge of the main ridge along the stream course. At the height of the spring runoff, these falls are an impressive site as water cascades 70 feet down the side of the mountain. Birds to search for as you descend the trail include ovenbird, red-eyed vireo, gray catbird, scarlet tanager, eastern towhee and dark-eyed junco. Keep a careful lookout for common ravens soaring overhead or perhaps just croaking out of sight.
Butterflies intermix among the blooming wildflowers along the trail. Search for eastern tiger swallowtail, great spangled fritillary, common wood-nymph and red-spotted purple.
One of the most exciting parts of any walk in Shenandoah National Park is the possibility of the seeing large mammals rarely encountered elsewhere. The white-tailed deer are clearly the most obvious and few visitors will leave with out seeing a few. Other species to be on the alert for include bobcat and black bear. Black bear is a specialty of Skyline Drive, reaching one of the highest densities to be found in Virginia. Late summer is one of the best times to search for bear. This is after the cubs have been born and when the bears congregate around the few perennial water sources in the park. Dark Hollow Trail follows one of these perennial streams making a bear sighting very possible. However, be respectful and extremely cautious of these megafauna; although they might seem indifferent to your presence, they are very alert to their surroundings and especially protective of their young.
As this is one of the most popular trails in Shenandoah National Park, the trail is typically busy with visitors from April – November and on nice winter weekends.
Amenities may be found at the nearby Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center, located at Milepost 51 on Skyline Drive.
Skyline Drive Milepost: 50.7
From the Previous Site on the Skyline Drive Loop of VBWT:
From the Limberlost Trail in Shenandoah National Park, continue south on Skyline Drive 7.6 miles to parking area on the left. The trail is across the street from and slightly north of the Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center.
Location & DirectionsView on Google Maps
- Site Contact: Shenandoah National Park: (540) 999-3500
- Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission fee
10 Most Recent Bird Observations Added to eBird
- Downy Woodpecker
- American Crow
- Carolina Chickadee
- Tufted Titmouse
- Winter Wren
- Carolina Wren
- American Goldfinch
- White-throated Sparrow
Seasonal Bird Observations
- Environmental Study Area
- Hiking Trails