Hiking Distance: .8 miles each way
Snake Hole is a great place to cool off during the heat of the summer.
The hike to get there is short and not very strenuous.
Don’t let the name scare you away. I’ve never actually seen a snake there. The little fish will nibble your toes, though.
Directions from Charlottesville:
To get to Sugar Hollow, take Barracks Road away from town. Barracks road turns into Garth Road. Continue several miles. At White Hall, you will come to a very sharp turn in the road . Piedmont Store will be directly in front of you. Garth Road takes a sharp right. You want to stay straight, keeping Piedmont store on your right as you pass it.
This is 614. Continue a few more miles. Eventually you will climb a steep hill and see the dam and then Charlottesville Reservoir on your left. At the top of the hill, the road turns to gravel. A little beyond this, you will come to a gate across the road and a parking area on your left. Park here.
On foot, pass the gate and continue to follow the road you drove in on until it ends at the trailhead.
Continue on the trail. You will pass a posted trail map on your right. Snake Hole is at the second river crossing that you come to.
8 thoughts on “Hike to Snake Hole”
That looks like such a neat place to swim! I’m glad you said you’ve never seen snakes there, because the name had me worried.
Such an uninviting name for such a great swimming hole!
I went to Sugar Hollow for the first time today, and snake hole was my first stop along the trail, and I stopped there again on the way back from the waterfall. I quickly found out why they call this the “snake hole” as I saw at least 3 snakes on the rocks where the fallen tree is. I guess if you do not mess with them they will not bother you, but if you don’t want to see any snakes, avoid that side of the hole (you can see the fallen tree in the right side of the picture above).
Yikes! I have been there many times and have never seen even one. It’s always a good idea to watch where you step, though 🙂
I hope you enjoyed your hike.
We saw 2 copperheads – an adult curled up on the side of the trail; and a baby copperhead poised ready to strike along rocks that are used to cross the river. Another hiker saw a 3rd copperhead at the lovely swimming hole at the base of the waterfall on Big Branch Spur Trail. Just be aware, keep your distance from them, and special caution with children & dogs, who would be most affected by a venomous snake bite. We also saw a large water snake as well while crossing the river; he was curled up peacefully on a rock that was also part of the river crossing.
I have visited this destination approximately 180 times over the past twenty years, and I am glad to hear that everyone is now calling it Snake Hole. During one of the summers, there was indeed a nest of copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix) on the far side of the hole–2013 or 2014. Never before or since had I seen one, but I have spotted northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon), probably the same ones repeatedly, on most of my visits. The two species are quite similar in appearance, with an hourglass color pattern on their backs. However, their heads are completely different, with the copperhead revealing the more classic triangular head shape of a venomous snake.