Lewis Falls Trail

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia 22835

Distance1.8mi
Elevation Gain1,415ft
Trailhead Elevation3,586ft
Top3,586ft
Elevation Min/Max2810/3586ft
Elevation Start/End3586/3586ft

Lewis Falls Trail

Lewis Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Page County, Virginia. It is within Shenandoah National Park. It is 1.8 miles long and begins at 3,586 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,415 feet. The Picnic Area picnic site is near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: Appalachian Trail.

Lewis Falls Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Waterfalls in Virginia (Falcon Guides)
Andy Thompson
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"This is one of the most popular-and highest-falls in Shenandoah National Park due to its proximity to the Big Meadows Lodge area and its amphitheater shape." Read more
AMC's Best Day Hikes in The Shenandoah Valley (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Jennifer Adach and Michael R. Martin
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"Lewis Falls is just one of the attractions along this pleasant walk near Big Meadows Campground. Tack on a quick scramble to Blackrock Cliffs for great views of the valley. This pleasant ramble near Big Meadows has a bit of everything for the dayhiker: a waterfall, good views, and a climb up to Blackrock for even better views. From the parking lot, pass the yellow gate and start to descend along a yellow-blazed fire road. Continue straight on the fire road through the intersection with the Appalachian Trail (AT). To the right, a padlocked door appears on the side of the trail: While an odd sight for a day hike, this door covers a spring, which supplies much of the water for facilities in the Big Meadows area." Read more
Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge: A Hiking Guide to the Cascades of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Menasha Ridge Press)
Nicole Blouin, Steve Bordonaro, & Marilou Wier Bordonaro
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"Don’t forget to bring your camera, so you can capture the visual features along this high-country waterfall walk. The loop takes place near the busy Big Meadows area, with its park lodge, visitor center, ranger station, and campground. Thus this circuit gets traffic, but deservedly so. Leave the parking area near Tanner Ridge Overlook, heading down Lewis Spring Service Road to reach the Appalachian Trail. Walk northbound on the AT, climbing to Blackrock and its stellar views. From there, the hike passes more interesting rock features, and then joins Lewis Falls Trail, where it descends to a loud and dramatic fall. Lewis Spring Falls is one of the highest-elevation falls at Shenandoah." Read more
Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail South (Menasha Ridge Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"This popular high-country loop is in the Big Meadows area of Shenandoah National Park. Leave Skyline Drive and head northbound on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), climbing to view-laden and geologically rich Blackrock (a different peak than Blackrock of the South District of the park, see page 224)." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes Shenandoah National Park (Falcon Guides)
Bert and Jane Gildart
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"This easy, 1- to 2-hour interpretive round-trip hike follows a trail that again dramatizes plant succession in the surrounding Blue Ridge forest." Read more
Hiking Shenandoah National Park (Falcon Guides)
Bert & Jane Gildart
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"A loop trail through the hardwood forest descends to 81-foot Lewis Spring Falls and climbs out again. At 81 feet in height, Lewis Spring Falls is the fourth-highest falls in the park. It’s a beautiful, gentle falls, cascading from two creeks and then descending to a false bottom, where it spills once again. The falls often branch, depending on the time of year. You have a commanding view of the falls from an overlook constructed by young men working in Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the 1930s, which offers a safe and contained view. To begin, access the amphitheater behind the picnic area. Below the amphitheater, at the cement post, pick up the blue blazes of the Lewis Spring Falls Trail, which branches to the right." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Shenandoah National Park (Falcon Guides)
Bert and Jane Gildart
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"An easy, one- to two-hour, interpretive, round-trip hike on a trail showing plant succession in the surrounding Blue Ridge forest. This delightful, informative walk is a self-guided tour to the wonders of a Blue Ridge forest. It’s a hike for everyone, esp" Read more
Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes (Menasha Ridge Press)
Leonard M. Adkins & Victoria and Frank Logue
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"Lewis Spring Falls and the grand view across Shenandoah Valley to West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains are reason enough to pay the park’s entrance fee. Savoring a meal while enjoying the scenery from Big Meadows Lodge is further enticement. Follow the pathway between the amphitheater parking and the lodge to cross over the A.T.; then continue along blue-blazed Lewis Spring Falls Trail as it gradually drops through the forest. Turn right and steeply descend along a side trail at 1.2 miles to enjoy the falls near the base. Return to the main pathway; then turn right onto another short side route at 1.7 miles to enjoy the head of the falls. Upon rejoining the main pathway, ascend the steep slope to come onto the Lewis Spring service road at 2.3 miles and turn left onto the A.T." Read more
Top Trails Shenandoah National Park (Wilderness Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"Don’t forget the camera or smartphone to capture the visual features along this hike that starts high and stays high. This loop takes place near the busy Big Meadows area, with its park lodge, visitor center, ranger station, and campground. Thus, this loop gets traffic, but deservedly so. Leave the parking area near Tanner Ridge Overlook, heading down Lewis Spring Service Road to reach the Appalachian Trail (AT). Walk northbound on the AT, climbing to Blackrock and its stellar views." Read more

Lewis Falls Trail Reviews

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8/11/2008
A short drive from Blowing Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Crabtree Meadows Recreational Area, the location of one of my favorite falls, Crabtree Falls. The trail down to the falls is a series of switchbacks and the trail is well maintained. Along the way are many great specimes of native plant life, such as rotadendrum, wild azalea, and many fern species.

As you approach the falls, the sound leads you in like the tides to the moon. At the bottom, a wooden bridge crosses the river and allows for a great view of the Falls. However, across the bridge you can gain access to the shallow river itself. Be careful of slippery rocks and never try to climb the falls. Slippery when wet is not just an old adage.

There is a tree in the middle of the river that affords a grest place to rest and refuel before continuing on the rest of the loop trail to the top of the falls. The loop trail return to the parking area is somewhat strenous, but requires no technical climbing skills. However, besides a few small rills, there is no a view of the falls from the top.

All in all, it is one of the best trips in western North Carolina and the falls are well worth the effort.
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5/17/2006
The trail is close to the Lodge and the children's playscape and climbs to the highest point in Big Meadow campground/lodge. Views of the rural valley beyond the park are scenic from the top. Rocky at the top, so keep small children in hand.
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8/12/2004
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Lewis Falls Trail Photos

Trail Information

Shenandoah National Park
Nearby City
Shenandoah National Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Camping
Additional Use
Waterfalls, Views, Wildflowers
Features
Shenandoah National Park (nps.gov/shen, 540-999-3500, 800-732-0911 [for emergencies]
Local Contacts
PATC, Map 10, Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park, Central District, 2008
Local Maps