This was a busy trail 2 days after Thanksgiving. I met many people going up. (No one was descending as I was.) I assumed their objective was to see Overall Falls. Some had started at the top and were doing an out and back, others a loop, and some came up from Thompson Hallow parking lot. At least 4 groups were doing an extended backpacking trip. There was a fair amount of water going over the falls.
I started at the top at SDMP 21.1 from the parking lot near Hogback Overlook about 9:30 am and finished at 2:30 pm at the end of some fellow’s driveway, opposite Massanutten Archery Club drive on US 340.
Including stops it took me 4 hrs, 58 minutes to hike 8.34 miles. Total ascent was 333’ and descent 2,700’. The stretch around and below the falls was the longest descent - at least 700’ if not more.
The trail is well traveled by many people every day and is well marked UNTIL it forks off of the trail to and from Thompson Hallow parking. From there to almost US 340 practically no one hikes. This would be the last 3 miles or so. It is poorly blazed with blue markers - not enough blazes, some are faded and some just do not have enough paint! The trail is only minimally maintained. In places it is difficult to see where the trail is; add a heavy layer of autumn leaves and it is nearly impossible to see the actual path. In fact I easily missed a turn and walked about 40-50 yards before realizing it and turning back. BUT it was also enjoyable. Not a soul was seen on this part of the trail. The last quarter mile or so is on private land and much of that appears to have been mowed with a tractor, making it easy to follow. Still, in a couple places it would have been helpful to see a few more blue blazes!