Explore To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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REI picks this trail as one of ‘thee’ best hikes in SNP, and I agree! Experienced torrential down pour for most of the hike, even without that I would recommend a hiking waterproof sandal that is durable with great traction... lots of wet rocks and with parts of the river overflowing you cross ‘rapid’ like waters. Wanted to challenge myself so went down Jones Run and up Doyles River... it is a steep incline!! Trail clearly warns of black bears. Don’t forget your bear bell... I didn’t see any but I hope it’s cause they heard me coming!

Great hike. not sure I agree with distance. think it is closer to 8.5. this has to be one of my favorite hikes ever. they say there are only three waterfalls but you follow the river for more then half the hike and see countless small waterfalls. took family of 6 with kids 10 to 17 and they had no issues. we are in shape and need to old the youngest hands in a couple of spots. we choose to take shoes off on couple of river crossings as rocks looked more difficult. would definitely recommend.

This trail was overgrown and full of pricker bushes. We made it about a half mile in and had to turn back because we were cut up so badly. If you are going to do this trail make sure to wear pants and long sleeves.

Pleasant hike! Steady incline but not treacherous! Woodsy & pleasant along the way with okay views! Traveling w 2 others (ages 24 athletic but not experienced hiker & 9 year old, fairly experienced hiker) and both traversed it fine! We had to turn around about 2/3 in due to impending storm!
*PARKING NOTE! Stop and park about 1/4 mile short of gps destination! Park on the right side where the road widens or a chained area on the left that says private property! If you continue straight one the one lane - it stops at a chain across the road & you have to back up to the widened area!

Amazing Trail! Great views of waterfalls and pretty nature!

I agree with the moderate designation. There were a good amount of inclines towards the end which could be challenging for those not physically fit. There were some beautiful views, a lot of it was wooded, and a few streams. We never came across the wading pool that’s mentioned in some of the other reviews. I don’t know if it was due to low water levels or if it just doesn’t exist. All in all a great hike. Would recommend.

This might be my new favorite water trail in SNP! Even though the way down Doyles River was tough, the river and falls totally made up for it. There’s plenty of stops along the way to sit and enjoy the water. I always enjoy walking on the AT, but it is 3.4 miles in the woods. You do pass through a Skyline Dr overlook which has some really nice views of the river valley! This trail was pretty popular as I passed by a lot of people near the falls, but there were significantly less doing the whole loop.

hiking
26 days ago

Well maintained trail. Swimming hole is pretty. But otherwise it's a pretty uneventful hike.

I loved this hike! The southern portion of this trail is probably the most taxing- I had the most water breaks here as the grade gets a little steep. Overall there were some amazing views and a great swimming hole I want to enjoy when I’m better prepared next time! Didn’t see any bears but there were some fresh Poo-berries all up and down the trail, so I know they are around!

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely hike with lots of variety. Deep, dark, and cool forest glenns with magnificent ferns. Hillsides full of native rhododendron, azaleas, and mountain laurel (I’d love to take this walk in June). Hot, sunny passages through sandy terrain where blueberries were ripening along the path. Stands of pine trees with needle-covered paths (so comfortable for walking). Stream crossings, a swimming hole, and several spectacular views. It wasn’t terribly busy on a beautiful July day. There were some strenuous sections—we took the Wildcat Ridge trail uphill at the end to our car, which we parked in the lot at mile marker 92, and I was pretty tired. There’s also a fair amount of uneven, rocky trail that requires careful attention.

hiking
1 month ago

Started at Riprap trailhead and went clockwise because I like hitting all the good spots near the end of the hike. It was good to get the AT section out of the way first.
Riprap completely lived up to my expectations. Absolutely loved this hike, and I’m already thinking about when to go again. Perfect distance, hearty elevation change that isn’t draining, refreshing water (bring a bathing suit!!), and gorgeous views. I can’t recommend this trail enough!

This trail is an amazing trail. It offers multiple types of views that are amazing. You have waterfalls, rock formations, overviews and lots of streams and wildlife. I totally recommend this trail for anyone. It can be slightly steep at times and slippery on the rocks but is totally doable. I will probably be doing this one again.

hiking
1 month ago

Very boring not much too see.

backpacking
1 month ago

The displayed trail starts at Boone's run, and is about a 3 mile hike in before hitting the loop. There is a campsite right at the intersection of the trails, as well as an AT shelter about 2 miles in. The trail is VERY wet and involves a lot of stream crossings, and overgrown trails. The trail has many variations, one being the AT, another being a light blue blaze that will take you up to Massanutten Ridge. I would recommended starting this hike from
a little further down Cub Run road, where there is an access trail that is only a mile and will take you to the same campsite.

hiking
1 month ago

Riprap loop, with a bit of it done twice thanks to a brief thunderstorm that had me retreating from the ridge line to backtrack and start again going clockwise. Great hike, and requires far less time than stated here (and certainly less than the 8.25hrs the Park Service clocks it at). If it hadn’t been for the extra three miles, I could’ve come in right around the 3hr mark.

We parked at the Horsehead Rd. trailhead (we were the only car there on a beautiful Thursday morning) and began our hike, heading clockwise around the loop. Thanks to well-placed rocks, we easily crossed two raging streams. The climb up Trayfoot isn't steep, but it is long. Eventually we reached the summit, but foliage obscured all views. After a steep descent, we found the Blackrock spurr trail. Ten minutes later we were on Blacktop, where we encountered our first people of the day. After enjoying the spectacular views and a nice lunch, we used a paper map, GPS, and trail markers to find our way across Skyline Drive and the Payne Run trailhead. The walk down Payne Run is easy but a bit wet in spots. We crossed several streams during the last mile, and returned to our vehicle. This hike isn't strenuous, but it is long. Decent navigation skills are essential. Our GPS recorded this hike as being 10.5 miles. Our hiking time was 5 hours.

hiking
2 months ago

The highlights of the trail were all in the middle. The beginning and end of the hike was not enjoyable.

Had to turn around to let mama bear and cubs feel safe but it was a great trail otherwise.

Fun hike with two waterfalls. We ran into a mama bear with cubs which was a little startling but made that hike that much more memorable and fun.

hiking
2 months ago

Mountain Laurel was in full bloom on Memorial Day weekend in 2018, surrounding and papering the well groomed trail surface. We clocked the distance for a bit under 9-miles and passed through or over mountain spurs to the peak. There were no other hikers on the Kennedy part of the trail (about 7 miles) on a holiday weekend. The view at the peak was excellent when we were there.

Parking is good and the trail (actually a circuit) is well marked by orange, yellow (or tan?) and brown blazes. There is camping at several locations.

We will definitely do this trail again.

Great hike, if it is the rainy season be warned there is a stream you will have to cross

Beautiful falls. Went when the water was very high, and the rain was still coming while we hiked. Started at Jones Run Trailhead, which seems like it would be the easier route.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. We did get lost at one point extending the hike by a mile or too; saw a bear (who wasn't very afraid) and at one point had trouble passing a very large hornet's nest handing mid trail. Made it all the more exciting however!

I started from Grottoes and hiked up to Skyline. This was such a lovely trail along a ridgeline! At this time of year (when leaves haven’t fully come in), you can see views on both sides. Trayfoot Summit doesn’t stand out especially, but the trail was great, and Black Rock Summit is beautiful. The first several miles were 90% of the elevation gain. To leave from Grottoes, AllTrails will lead you to the end of a neighborhood cul de sac, and the fire road leaving from it has no obvious marking. If you continue down the road, you should see a sign for the trail within a few tenths of a mile. I made the mistake of not downloading the trail map and thinking I could follow instructions in the comments for the trail. When I arrived at the parking lot for Black Rock Summit, I saw no stone wall, and when I turned right on Skyline Drive, I meandered for a half mile without finding a fire road. I ended up doubling back on my previous path, which was still a nice hike, but I missed the loop. I saw a large adult black bear, chipmunks, salamanders, squirrels, and song birds.

hiking
4 months ago

While we had fun on this hike, the terrain varied like our emotions on the hike. The actual trail begins at the trail head of Boone’s Run which lead to some confusion. The trail is hard terrain and requires boots as it has insane changes in elevation, but amazing views and water scenery. There is no parking except on the street or by a shooting range.

4 months ago

One of my favorite trails in the area. Gorgeous little swimming hole. Splendid views towards the end (or beginning depending on which way you hike). Could spend all day by the water on this hike on a hot summer day. Water is definitely a bit nipply tho.

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