Buck Hollow — Hazel River — Hot Short — Hannah Run Loop

This is an extended version of the Cave Falls Loop.

  • 20.2 miles
Running time
  • 3.5–6 hours
Total ascent/descent
  • 5,300 feet
    265 feet/mile


From the parking area on Route 211 take the Buck Hollow Trail 0.2 miles to the intersection with the Buck Ridge Trail. Take a left onto the blue-blazed Buck Ridge Trail and begin the steep ascent. At the top of the ridge, make a left onto the yellow-blazed Hazel Mountain Trail (mile 3.0) and in 1.1 miles make another left onto the White Rocks Trail. In 0.9 miles reach a sidetrail on your right, which descends a steep 0.2 miles down to Cave Falls. Return to the White Rocks Trail and continue for 1.2 miles, passing by White Rocks (views) before a steep descent down to the Hazel River (this is a good place to cool off or get water on a hot day).

Climbing the Hazel River Trail
Climbing the Hazel River Trail.

Shortly after crossing the river, make a right onto the Hazel River Trail and begin a nice gradual 2.7 mile ascent back up to the ridge. This is an old roadbed with beautiful stone work in some of the switchbacks. On top of the ridge (mile 8.1) make a left onto the yellow-blazed Hazel Mountain Trail and continue for 1.2 miles. Take a right onto the Hot Short Mountain Trail and begin 2.2 mile descent into Nicholson Hollow.

Hot Short Mountain Trai
Descending the Hot Short Mountain Trail into Nicholson Hollow.

At the bottom, take a right onto the Nicholson Hollow Trail and follow for 0.2 miles. Take a right onto Hannah Run Trail and begin ascent back to the ridge. Stay straight at turn to Catlett Mountain Trail. Take a left on the yellow-blazed Hazel Mountain Trail and continue for 2.1 miles. You will pass by the White Rocks Trail and the Ridge Trail, which you took earlier. Stay on the Hazel Mountain Trail until you reach Hazel Mountain parking area on Skyline Drive. From there, take the blue-blazed Buck Hollow Trail back to your car.

Last updated January 31, 2021

What you do is up to you, but you shouldn't rely on these directions alone; they are often not specific enough to navigate by, and may be incorrect or out of date. Review a map beforehand and carry it with you. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return. Do not count on having cell phone service while on the run. The VHTRC is not responsible for your welfare on any of these runs. If you go on one of these runs and get lost, run out of water, get injured, mauled by a bear, or die, or if anything else goes wrong, it's your fault; not ours. You assume all risks here and the VHTRC assumes none at all. Legal issues aside, some of these runs are more remote than others and the VHTRC is not suggesting that you do any of these runs, unless you are prepared to accept full responsibility for yourself.