We weren’t able hike since the area was closed on Sunday.

private property
1 month ago

I enjoyed this trail, but it wasn’t particularly scenic or exciting. There are some nice areas on the valley side along the river: little waterfalls, swimming holes, interesting rock formations. The other half is just slogging up and down through the woods. Early March was still quite cool, with a biting wind. The trail was dry except for where it crosses the river several times, but fairly easy to get across with some rock-hopping. Camping areas seemed pretty limited as most of the trail is along steep terrain, however I did find a spot for my one-person tent and settled in nicely. Half the trail is leisurely with very gradual elevation and the other half is quite strenuous, especially with full gear. Overall it was about 7-ish hours of hiking for me, but that was mostly because it was cold and there weren’t many nice places to rest, so I just pushed through.

Rapidan / Laurel Prong / AT combined. A lovely longer combined trail (10 miles) if Rapidan and back is not enough. Depending on condition it’s probably a good 6 hour hike, perhaps more, (although I did mine quicker as I wanted to get back to the car before it got dark) not counting breaks and rests on the way. Did the trails in early March. Had it all to myself. Met a family close to Rapidan Camp, and then nobody! at all for the next 6-7 miles. So if you want the splendors of Shenandoah uninterrupted then you should go in March, after the snow’s gone, but before everything turns green. If you don’t have a special map of your trail be sure to ask the Park Rangers at the entry points, as they have detailed map sheets covering some of the more popular trails that they hand out for free.

Can’t say enough how much I love this trail!! Hiked it with adults and kids, as young as 6 and they love it! Along the Rapidan the entire hike with endless water fun for kiddos! Hike up 2.7 miles to a small parking lot and road for a fantastic lunch/swimming/Rock exploring spot! Worth it!

Diverse trail that takes you back in history where President Hoover would retreat to “chill” prior to there ever being a Camp David. The trail starts at Big Meadow along a fire road, then a forest before heading down to the Rapidan River before ending at “Camp Hoover”, which in itself is a beautiful rustic setting. The hike down was easy, but the hike back up was moderate to difficult, depending on what shape you’re in. Always wear proper footwear as parts of the trail (yellow blaze) is rocky. Overall a wonderful hike!

3 months ago

Gentle and pleasant hike along the Rapidan River. As of late December, there were two river crossings that could be a teeny bit challenging for beginners or very small kids - our hiking poles came in handy for stability. Plenty of scenic swimming areas for warmer weather.

Sugar Hollow is a kind of homecoming. Whatever the season, it offers new wonders every hike. Following the river up to the waterfall, you retreat further and further away from humanity - the only sounds are the water rushing over rock and the breeze up in the pines. Today, we saw a huge old heron take flight from its fishing spot! An amazing trail for dogs, but definitely expect to get your feet wet.

very easy but incredibly beautiful. while trail is along the river. saw a bunch of trout. in summer it's great for swimming

BEES! There is an active yellow jacket next on the Mill Prong Horse Trail between the Rapidan Fire Road and Mill Prong Trail. Multiple people stung today.

Great walk along the stream and a history lesson at the bottom.

We started around 500pm. Walked about an hour. Saw some frogs, a snake, lots of fish in the clear swimming holes. My boys 9 and 2 loved it. Even ventured in to the tepid water hole. Found a place to camp the night. Was a little difficult, lots of growth and lots of dead branches but eventually found a good spot that we didn’t impact too greatly. Hiked back out in the morning. Passed a handful of people in and out but the trail is wide enough to pass uninterrupted. Lots of things for my toddler to jump over!

A solid, easy out and back hike. Definitely kid friendly. Good options to extend to longer routes if you want to.

It’s Graves Mill Trail, Not Grave Mills. Great easy hike along the Beautiful Rapidan River (named after Queen Anne (rapid Ann)... lots of sweet swimming holes!

trail confusing to follow, especially when Alltrails keeps saying you are off trail. follow the road, past the closed red gate, up a ways and you'll come across a trail guide. waterfall was hardly a trickle, and there were tons of kids out there so no wildlife. pretty walk in the woods, just make sure you wear hard sole shoes!

Well maintained trail along side a fast running creek. Two crossings that are easily made feet dry. Gradual grade with several fishing and swimming spots. At around four miles it is not a big deal to walk back with wet clothes. A nice family outing.

If you’re looking for a nice walk and a maybe a quick dip in the water then this is your a trail. Nothing more nothing less. Pleasant walking trail. Great for little kids for sure. Gets them a taste of a hike. You’ll enjoy a couple water crossings and some rocks to walk over on the trail. The majority is clear sailing.

nice trail. waterfall was barely flowing. saw three small snakes sitting in some sunny spots on the trail. both my kids 4 and 11 walked the whole trail with no problem. plenty of kid friendly swimming spots

August- little rain. the fall was barely flowing.

Tried an easier hike for one of my dogs who had not been hiking before. Parked across from big meadows. Fire road for the first mile was easy. Sign for camp rapidan then appeared using the horse trail. This trail was fine but somewhat rocky Did encounter a huge wasp nest in the center of trail but not active that early in the morning. Arrived at Camp Rapidan ahead of the 30 cub scouts on the trail who were more interested in my dogs than the history. Turned out to be Herbert Hoover’s birthday. Volunteer ranger was nice and knowledgeable. On return trip, encountered active wasp nest and a bear. A little strenuous heading up but not bad.

the trail was pretty and well maintained. we got there very early Sunday morning, played in the water and on the rocks a bit and made it back to the car about quarter after one. only saw a couple other people on the way in but on the way back there were a lot of families there so if you're looking for some quiet time definitely go early morning! NPS has this listed as a trail suitable for camping, which it is, but I think only if you're hammock camping. it's really slopey everywhere that is far enough from both the trail and water source but if you bring a rake and a hammock it would make for a lovely place to solo camp

Tide pools to go swimming. Easy. Rock scrambling.

8 months ago

Beautiful trail, the frequent river crossings and swimming holes make it good for dogs (easy water source). Nice because the uphill is all in the first half, then downhill. People saw a copperhead (and two snake skins) in the water at the top swimming hole/waterfall. Didn’t deter swimmers, just keep a look out. Hike starts from the northbound side of the parking lot, past the metal gate (another hike starts on the southbound side of the parking lot)

Nice trail alongside a stream. Easy one to try for beginners. Our dog Joy enjoyed swimming in the waters. Fun time with family.

We had such a great day on this trail and swimming in the blue hole. Our dog and children loved it too.

Great trail - did it in July in 3 days with my kids, youngest of which is 9. Don’t forget it’ll cost you $30 to enter the Park! Water filtration is key! Day 1: park at Turks Gap, go north on AT for 8 miles before you hit first water source and first campsite. So make sure bottles are filled! Refilled water and hiked another 2, we were slow moving so it made it a little stressful setting up at the next site, but you’ll find a bunch of sites in the woods right by the creek. Nice hammock camping but no open fires when we went. Enough space for small tents, Day 2: lots of river crossings, but no problem in summer. Was a hot day so super nice to have all the water holes. Kids played and we cooled off a bunch and drank water. Hiked about 4 miles and found a hammock spot right by the Charlottesville Reservoir. Bring your fishing pole - Ton of Trout! Kid had fun catching newts. Day 3: 4.5 miles uphill back to car. Tough on the little one, but def doable with breaks. Water with a cool rope swing on first 2 miles, then dry once back in Turk Branch Trail back to trailhead .

8 months ago

8 months ago

I will be back to this hike. The trail is up hill, down hill, cross thru water, a lot of the trail is walking on rocks not just dirt.

Great overall trail. It is not a hard incline at all, which would be perfect for a more casual hike or for beginners looking to enjoy nature. I would recommend some type of boot or hard sole shoe though. The path is wide, but ranges from gravel, to loose rocks, which can be hard on the feet. Three stream crossings as well, but all have rock bridges to help keep the feet semi dry.

Great trail, saw two timber rattlers on the trail near the reservoir there were a few camp sites about 6 miles in if you head towards the reservoir in the beginning of the loop other than that there weren't any campsites that I could see. some water crossings. Not a bad hike, I would take beginners on the lower side of the loop good introduction to backpacking. The AT was typical and a little more challenging over all a great time. definitely bring water for the AT side gets pretty dry.

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