Doyles River Loop via Appalachian Trail

MODERATE 94 reviews
#17 of 144 trails in

Doyles River Loop via Appalachian Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Grottoes, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.6 miles
1791 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips





wild flowers


2 Water Falls if hiking out and back 3 if you do the loop with Jones Run Trail and the Applachian Trail. The upper falls is 63' and the lower is 28'. Jones Falls is 42' and its parking area is at mile post 84. Its a long downhill followed by a long uphill walk. Short distance to Loft Mountain Wayside for Food afterwards. Trail is well marked with concrete pillars telling you directions.

12 days ago

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

20 days ago

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.

30 days ago

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.

4 months ago

Really fun hike, we did hike #2, which is a nearly 8 mile loop. Beware, this should be ranked as "hard", if you start down the AT then come back up river trail, youre in for about 3.5 miles of steep-moderate constant uphill. not complaining, was a heck of a workout, 200 floors per our fitbits. waterfalls were beautiful, half frozen.

5 months ago

Enjoyed this hike with my daughter- would highly recommend. Be prepared for the trip back up from the falls.

6 months ago

I'm from the panhandle of Texas and am used to hiking on fairly flat ground. The rocky, steep portions of this trail almost did me in! Hiked in the reverse direction from that recommended. BIG mistake. The steep incline the last two miles was difficult to say the least. However, I'll be back and hike this beautiful trail again when I'm in better shape.

6 months ago

Great trail! We started at the Jones Run parking lot (mile marker 84) and hiked down Jones Run to the Doyles River trail and took that up to the fire road for a shortcut to the AT and back to the parking area due to time constraints.

8 months ago

Park at mm 81- Do falls loop first and the leg with the scenic overlook last... Your legs will thank you!

8 months ago

It was a good hike. I hiked the trail by following the suggested direction, i..e., hiking down to Doyles River trail, back to Jones Run trail, then the AT and back to the Doyles River trailhead. The waterfalls were dry. I saw a baby bear was up on a tree looking down on people. I did not see any tree leaves turned red, instead they were yellow and brown.

8 months ago

Great hike down to Doyle's falls and back up again. The trail was well marked and maintained.

11 months ago

A fun hike. I hiked the trail in reverse from the suggested direction hiking south on the AT to Jones Run trail and then down to Doyles River trail and back to the car. The waterfalls were beautiful. The hike back up Doyles River trail is intense at times. I did run into a bear about 50 yards south of Doyles River overlook, but that is not that uncommon in SNP.

11 months ago

Really beautiful, fairly easy to walk through, and the falls are plentiful. Try to avoid the fire road - the grass is very tall and there were definitely ticks in there (although there was a black bear chilling on the side, which could be neat or terrifying depending on who you are). You can take the AT back up eventually without getting on there. I'll totally try this again!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Our first hike in USA. Probably just about the right balance between scenic and demanding. Very impressed with helpfulness of ranger on gate. You guys need Ordnance Survey maps though.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Awesome trail today!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

We hiked the loop but started at the Doyle camping ground due to parking at jones being full. This was we started on the AT and ended the same naturally. There was heavy rains this week so the streams were not passable without getting a little wet. With that said, it was not to the knees and the current wasn't an issue. Even with wet feet the last mile or so I'd do it again anytime!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Typical spring mountain weather: Snow, sleet, rain, hail, lightning, all in the same day. Beautiful views, several waterfalls, and plenty of water sources. The trail is well marked and clear. There are plenty of legal spots to camp, although we saw a few people camping in terrible places.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Loved hiking this trail. It was quite a bit more strenuous due to the snow, but it made it even more beautiful!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hiked this weekend. 1st time. Awesome with beautiful waterfalls, vistas and solitude. Start out with southern route on the Doyles river trail to the falls, all down hill. When you reach the Doyles falls cabin, stay on the blue blazes to right to continue down the mountain. Shortly after the lower falls, get ready to work! Uphill past the Jones falls; stay to the left of these falls and continue the climb to the Jones parking lot. Pick up AT headed North. From there, very easy, mostly level hike not far from skyline drive. Cross skyline a couple times (fortunately cement pillars are well marked as to where to go from there). The last 1/2 mile or so of the loop, involves a climb. Overall, loved it and will do again. But whoever says this is 7.7 must have cut across the switchbacks. I gt 9.2 on my app. Took lots of pics, and was in no rush. 4:27min.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Did the hike with the family between Christmas and new year
Beautiful path daine and back up another valley along waterfalls and a few miles along the AT. My 6 and 8 years old did not make the last mile but we split the adults. To go get the car (plenty of access from the road when on the AT)
Wonderful afternoon overall

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Nice hike with nice falls. Not too much water this time of year (December) but still very nice. Paucity of animals. Loop is 8 mi. Not too strenuous.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I also started with the waterfalls and ended with the AT. Not many people, but FINALLY saw my first black bear! Great hike; love hiking along the creek. Falls not spectacular, but it's been a pretty dry season. Took me 3.25 hours to do the 7.7 mile loop.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Start with the waterfalls and end with the AT so you get the painful part out of the way first! Great views, not too many people.

Monday, November 07, 2016

We hiked straight down and enjoyed the scenery .
We take pride In not getting passed ....this was a close call , beautiful down and back at you when

Monday, August 01, 2016

Great trail with a little bit of everything-flat, rocky, downhill, uphill, water, dense trees etc. Wildlife was abundant on our particular day- black snake, black bear, copperhead. I have a feeling if it rained you also would not get too wet as it is has plenty of thick cover and shade from the hot sun as well. Thunder threatened us most of the day, but it was of no concern in my book. Plenty of access to cold water for your dog or yourself to cool off with. All around great trail and the final uphill will take off that extra 3-5 lbs you want to get rid of ;) Just breeeathe!! lol

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

We started at the Browns Gap parking area for this and cut off a bit of the trail. Starting at the Browns Gap, we took the fire road and interested the Doyles River trail. We turned right at that point and continued through all three waterfalls (2 on Doyles River and one for the Jones Run trail). The first half of the hike was pretty easy and mostly downhill, once you reach the bottom, naturally you come back up, passing Jones Run Falls. Once we reached Jones Run parking, we hiked about a mile of the AT back to the Browns Gap parking. I did the complete 6.2 miles with a 1 year old in a back pack and didn't have any trouble, although I was definitely sweating and breathing hard on the uphill! The hike is gorgeous and I will definitely be doing it again!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

It was great! Tons of falls and pools!!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Did it as the total loop and had a blast! Tons of gorgeous falls to see. Saw a bear in the last 200 yards of the hike near the trail head.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nice wide trails, and beautiful scenery. We did a down and back to the second waterfall which is BEAUTIFUL.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Geeat hike. The 9 mile loop isn't too difficult. There are tons of pools and falls too see.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Great day hike. We took our 2 dogs with us and the had a blast. It definitely gave us a good workout and people were very friendly. We will go up there in the spring.

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