LEWIS SPRING FALLS
Provides a deep view of Pine Grove Hollow. A short hike, but mostly rocky with several switchbacks.
81 ft (25 m) height
Mile 51.4, the small parking area beside the service road (south of Big Meadows) or from trail near Big Meadows Amphitheater
2.0 mile (3.2 km) round trip hike (from Milepost 51.4).
At the end of the gravel service road you'll find Lewis Spring. It's completely enclosed and you can hear gushing water behind the padlocked door. This spring is not only the principal source of water for the Big Meadows development, but it's also the source of Hawksbill Creek (which forms Lewis Spring Falls), that eventually flows through the town of Luray before joining the Shenandoah River.
Once you arrive near the top of the falls via the trail, there is an old large wooden sign that reads 'Falls Can Kill, Stay On The Trail'. Continue ahead in the direction of the other smaller sign that reads 'To Observation Point'. This flat platform allows for you to look back and view the falls. However, due to the platforms position and the plant/tree growth, you cannot see the entire length of the waterfall from here.
There used to be an alternate trail, which was eventually deemed as unsafe, that led all the way down to the base of the waterfall. It is still there, although not very visible as it has become overgrown, but the basic imprint can be detected during late Fall and Winter (it is located to the right of the 'Falls Can Kill' sign). It's a very narrow, steep, rocky trail that descends to the bottom and is VERY hard to navigate. If you decide to use this trail, you are at your own risk. This trail is ONLY recommended for experienced hikers! Although this alternate trail is mentioned in the printed version of 'Guide to Shenandoah National Park' by Henry Heatwole, it has been deleted from the Web version.
View other photos of Lewis Spring Falls that were taken from the observation point.