“A steep trail descending from Skyline Drive to Corbin Cabin near the Nicholson Hollow Trail.”
— Larry W. Brown
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The upper half of the trail is fairly rough and descends at a steep grade while the lower half begins to level out. All along this run, and others in this area, there is a lot of evidence of fire. The fires from 2009 destroyed the remains of many former home sites.
The trail begins across Skyline Drive from the Corbin Cabin Cutoff parking area. It descends along a ridge line through mountain laurels and young forest. Around a half-mile from the start, the trail bends to the left and drops the side of the ridge for a couple hundred yards, before it turns to the right beside an ephemeral stream. About another half-mile further, as the trail makes a turn to the right, keep an eye out for a stone wall on the right at a former homesite. This was the home of John R. Nicholson.
Continuing on the trail, it's another third of a mile to Corbin Cabin. This stretch is rich in evidence of those that once lived in the area. There are ruins of several small farm buildings, old grape vines, and piles and walls of rock. The trail descends to cross a small stream and after a couple hundred yards, look for an old cemetery off the trail on the right-hand side. It can be hard to spot and the gravestones are blank.
After crossing the Hughes River, you'll arrive at the junction with the Nicholson Hollow
Trail. To the left (southeast), is a four-mile stretch downhill to State Route 600 (Nethers Road) and to the right (northwest) is a 1.8-mile climb to Skyline Drive.
Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this trail description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great runs, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park
History & Background
Corbin Cabin was built by George Corbin, an in-law of the Nicholsons, in 1909. The building was condemned in 1936 and taken over by the national park. Members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club repaired and enlarged the cabin in 1953-54, and have since been responsible for its maintenance. Corbin Cabin is now on the National Register of Historic Places.