Hazel River Medium

With three distinct climbs, this run explores the mountain hollows south of Sperryville, passing remnants of homesteads, chimneys, and stone walls along the way.

  • 17.6 miles
Running time
  • 3.5–5 hours
Total ascent/descent
  • 5,000 feet
    285 feet/mile


From the gate, gradually climb Hungry Horse Lane along the Hazel River for 0.3 miles. Intersect the Hazel River Trail and continue along the river for a short distance to Sam’s Ridge Trail.

Take a left onto Sam’s Ridge and begin the steep ascent, climbing nearly 1,500 feet in less than two miles. After 2.4 miles, intersect the Broad Hollow Trail and take a left.

Descend down Broad Hollow for 2.2 miles, passing by an old mountain homestead near the bottom. Broad Hollow ends at Rolling Road. Take a right and follow the gravel road for 0.4 miles to the Pine Hill Gap Trailhead.

Take the Pine Hill Gap Trail and begin the second climb of the day. At the top of the climb, near mile 6.8, intersect the Hazel Mountain Trail. Within 20 feet of the post, look for an unofficial trail off to the left to a spectacular view of Old Rag, Nicholson Hollow, and Stony Man.

Hidden viewpoint
The hidden viewpoint shortly after the intersection of the Pine Hill Gap and Hazel Mountain Trails. To left, out of view, is Old Rag. Behind Trevor Baine is Pinnacle Peak on Thoroughfare Mountain and behind Keith Knipling is Stony Man. At the base of those mountains is Nicholson Hollow.

Continue on the Hazel Mountain Trail for 0.35 miles to the intersection with the Hot Short Mountain Trail. Take a left onto Hot Short and begin the 2.2 mile descent into Nicholson Hollow.

At the bottom, take a right onto the Nicholson Hollow Trail and climb for 0.25 miles before taking a right onto the Hannah Run Trail.

Climb for 2.5 miles, passing several old mountain homesteads along the way. At the top, mile 11.9, take a right onto the Catlett Mountain Trail and then a quick left onto the Catlett Spur Trail, following for 1.1 miles.

At the intersection with the Hazel Mountain Trail, mile 13, take a left and go 0.6 miles to the White Rocks Trail. Take a right and, in 0.9 miles reach a side trail 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.

Cross the river and take the Hazel River Trail for 1.4 miles, crossing the river several times. It is then 0.3 miles down Hungry Horse Lane back to your car.

Last updated February 2, 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.