Stony Man-Nicholson Hollow Loop
Description: Both versions of this hike are pretty strenuous. The 9 mile version has a 2000 foot elevation gain over 9 miles. The 12 mile version features 3000 feet of elevation gain. The hardest hill in both loops is the Indian Run Trail. You'll climb over 1000 feet in about 0.7 miles.
On a clear day both hikes offer great views from Stony Man, second highest peak in SNP, Little Stony Man and the Hughes River Gap. They both also offer a refreshing break spot at Corbin Cabin in Nicholson Hollow along the Hughes River. The extra 3 miles and 1000 feet of elevation gain of the long version provides a view of #1 falls of White Oak Canyon and a pleasant walk along the upper reaches of the run by the same name.
Turn into the northern most Skyland entrance and make an immediate right into the first parking lot. The hike begins in the north-east corner.
Trail Notes: From the trailhead proceed north on the dual blazed (white and blue) AT. In 0.36 miles turn left onto the blue blazed trail and follow it to Stony Man summit. The trail appears forks halfway up but it actually becomes a loop at this point. There is a secondary vista on the north side of the loop so make sure you don't miss it.
Return to the AT and turn left onto it. In 0.71 miles come to the junction with the Passamaquoddy Tr on the left. (If you need to abbreviate the hike for some reason turn left onto it and follow it back to Skyland. Once there you'll have to follow the roads back to your car.) To complete the trek continue on the AT.
In another 0.69 miles pass a spur trail which leads to the Hughes River Gap Parking Area on the right.
In 0.44 miles arrive at Crusher Ridge tr (blue) on the left and a spur trail leading to Skyline Dr on the right. Follow the spur trail out to the drive and turn left (north) onto Skyline Drive.
In a few yards turn right onto Nicholson Hollow trail and descend for 1.66 miles. Pass blue blazed Indian Run Tr (You'll travel up this later.) on the right and soon arrive at Corbin Cabin. There are some pools to splash around in Hughes River nearby.
Retrace your steps to Indian Run Tr and turn left onto it. Take your time and ascend nearly 1000 feet in less than 0.7 miles.
Arrive at Nicholson Mountain Tr in 1.58 miles from the last trail junction. Turn right onto it.
In another 0.5 miles arrive at yellow blazed Old Rag Fire Rd. Turn right onto it.
miles pass the White Oak Ranger Station on the left. Shortly
after that the yellow blazed Skyland/Big Meadow Horse Tr comes
in from the right. If you are doing the short version turn right
onto it and follow it for about 1.3 miles back to Skyland. To
complete the long route pass this junction. The fire road will
make a sharp left turn. Shortly after that the Skyland/Big
Meadow Horse Trail will leave to the left. Follow it.
In 1.08 miles arrive at the junction of blue blazed White Oak Canyon Tr. The main viewing area for #1 Falls is just a few more yards down the trail.
After taking in the falls retrace your steps to the last junction but continue up the White Oak Canyon Tr. You'll cross the run twice on bridges, once just above #1 Falls and then near the top of the drainage. In 1.54 miles cross the Limberlost Tr. This section was once full of luscious Hemlock trees that provided shade year round. Now they are all dead, killed by the Wooly Adelgid.
You'll cross the Old Rag Fire Road and then the upper end of the Limberlost Tr (It's a loop.) In 0.57 more miles reach Skyline Drive and the White Oak Canyon Parking area.
Cross the drive and walk up the south entrance of Skyland a few yards and then turn right onto the AT. In 0.75 miles arrive at the northern entrance road for Skyland. The parking lot and your car is across the road and to the right.