Hiking Project Logo

Lewis Falls Loop Hike

Intermediate
 3.3 (3)

Lewis Falls loop hike from Big Meadows Picnic Area offers viewpoints and waterfall.

J H

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

3.2

Miles

5.2

KM

Loop

3,669' 1,118 m

High

2,831' 863 m

Low

1,015' 309 m

Up

1,027' 313 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Waterfall

Need to Know

The Big Meadows visitor center, bathrooms and camp store are conveniently nearby, but this also means the area is very busy, especially on weekends. Drive in past the gas station and follow signs to the picnic area and amphitheatre. Fork to the left towards the picnic area just before the ranger station at the campground entrance.

Description

This loop hike starts from the AT access trailhead to the left of the Amphitheater at the back of the Big Meadows picnic area, where there is plenty of parking. Turn left on the AT, then immediately fork to the right on to Lewis Falls Trail. This begins a long descent, first on dirt/gravel trail, but becoming more and more rocky as you approach the Lewis Falls area. Carefully climb over several rocks (could be slippery/dangerous if wet) before reaching a post marking the junction with the Lewis Spring Falls Spur Trail. Note the return route to the left to be taken later, but for now continue straight to the Lewis Falls viewing area at the top of the falls, marked by a large warning sign. From here you can only see the stream coming into the top of the falls. But there's more!

To the left of the sign, go upstream a few steps, cross the stream past a post with a sign warning not to drink the water, and head down a short, steep, rocky trail notable for a sturdy steel pipe railing, hanging on to prevent falling. At the end of the steel pipe you reach the lower viewing area. This observation area is bounded by a circular stone wall, where you can start to get a decent view of the falls. You cannot see all the way to the bottom of the falls due to overgrowth, but the view of the upper portion is worth the effort. This is a good spot to relax and have a snack before beginning the uphill journey back.

Retrace your way back up the spur trail to the first post noted above, and take the sharp right turn on the Lewis Falls Trail, heading up the hill. After several switchbacks, there is a fake left turn, but head up to the right, then turn left on the AT. Follow the AT back to the access trail, going uphill past a spectacular viewpoint, then downhill, passing the beginning of the Lewis Falls Trail on the left, then turning right on the access trail back to the parking lot by the Amphitheatre.

Lewis Falls has a reputation for not having much flow during dry seasons.

Flora & Fauna

All the usual AT flora.

Contacts

Shared By:

J H

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 3 votes

#25647

Overall
  3.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
67%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#680

in Virginia

#25,647

Overall
14 Views Last Month
108 Since Sep 5, 2021
Intermediate

0%
0%
67%
33%
0%
0%

Photos

Winter view of Lewis Spring Falls as seen from the viewing platform.
Mar 22, 2016 near Stanley, VA
View of Page Valley from AT above Lewis Falls area, below Big Meadows.
Sep 5, 2021 near Stanley, VA
To reach this view of Lewis Falls from its base, you'll need to do some bushwhacking.
Mar 20, 2016 near Stanley, VA
View of Lewis Spring Falls from its base
Mar 22, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Rocky trail on Lewis Falls Trail approaching the spur trail.
Sep 5, 2021 near Stanley, VA
Lewis Falls with moderate flow, from the lower observation area.
Sep 5, 2021 near Stanley, VA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 43 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 5, 2022
Darin Myers
Jul 5, 2022
Stephanie Cairney
Jul 4, 2022
K R
Kim, Tyler and Keith. Independence Day hike at Shenandoah NP
Jun 4, 2022
Kerrie Ocasio