Swimming in the mountains: Shenandoah National Park

Park at Thompson Hollow Trailhead (GPS: 38.80194, -78.31461)
Main attraction: Swim holes and waterfalls
Hike: 2 miles out and back
Difficulty: Easy
Map and Directions

Enjoying a warm and sunny day in the falls and pools of Overall Run river


Last weekend we visited a popular river in Shenandoah National Park: Overall Run. The river features three large swimming holes with slides of flowing waterfalls. It's a great spot to enjoy a warm and sunny summer day.

On Saturday afternoon we packed our camping gear, headed to the Thompson Hollow trailhead and started to hike. After 1 mile we spotted the stream down the hill. (See directions at the end of the post).

Sunset in the Woods

We found a  good camping spot right by the river, had dinner and enjoyed the sunset in the woods. We had tea in the hammock watching the stars through the thick forest and hearing the sound of the flowing-water.

Camping in the woods at sunset

Swimming holes

After having breakfast we headed to the swimming holes down the river. The scenery was wonderful: three large swimming holes with small waterfalls connecting each pool. Colorful butterflies and green leaves soaked the views. A cool place to enjoy the sunny day in the nature.

As we took several baths and relaxed, more and more people arrived to the popular spot. We were having a great time and decided to come closer to a fall...

Waterfalls and pools

Slippery algae

While walking to the cascades, Mon slipped on the wet algae and fell, hitting his head against a sharp rock, causing a deep cut in the forehead (ouch!). What a bad accident for such a nice day!

Overall Run swimming holes

Fortunately we were not alone and some guys helped calling for emergency and working to stop the bleeding with towels and a belt. Mon yet had to walk to the trailhead to reach the ambulance. Things were worked out at the hospital in Front Royal. Fifteen stitches and five days later, the headache and scare are still there, but hopefully it will recover well and we will go out for new adventures soon.

Nature can be sometimes dangerous, but it's more dangerous to never meet her.

What we did last weekend? We had fun in nature!

This trip is featured on the book 20 Weekend Trips Close to Washington DC.