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Lilttle Rocky Row Loop via Appalachian Trail

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James River Face Wilderness

Lilttle Rocky Row Loop via Appalachian Trail is a 11.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Monroe, Virginia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 11.8 mi Elevation gain 2,591 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
Waypoints (0)

The hike starts at the Appalachian Trail James River Foot Bridge. Once on the ridge you will have multiple awesome views of the James River cutting its way through the mountains. This has been mapped this as a loop but recommend doing it as an out and back for multiple reasons: The last part of the loop utilizes a rarely used overgrown trail (read ticks), 1.5 miles is on a paved road, trail markings are intermittent/faded, no views or sites, etc.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (49)
Photos (121)
Recordings (39)
Completed (66)
Tom Bertram
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Hiking

We did an out and back on the Appalachian to Big Rocky Row. The view on little rocky row was amazing and the trail to it was good, well maintained through the woods. Long Switchback section that feels repetitive with not many changes in scenery but the forest is pretty. Continuing on to big rocky row the trail got narrower and grassy, I don’t like walking through the grass so personally I didn’t like it. The views on Big rocky row are not very impressive either. Only continue on if you want the workout.

Cooper Graham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 4, 2020
Hiking

Some of the best views in this stretch of the Blue Ridge. The hike to the top went much quicker than expected and felt less than 7 miles going up. I would recommend not doing this hike very early in the morning because the moisture tends to hang over the James River and the fog will block any views. However by late morning it's usually cleared up.

Nicole Nelson
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Backpacking

Did this on a two day and one night run. The beginning was great definitely had water along the way for the first mile or so. We only passed one person on the way up! We got to the peak right around the time the sun was beginning to set and set up our camp (Next time I want to set up camp a lot earlier to have time to hangout without packs on). That last 2 miles to the Ridgeline was killer but then after that we were blessed with having the rest of the way downhill. Lots of campsites at the bottom of the mountain, might go back and make it a two day trek and just camp by the water on day 2. Watch out for that way point after the peak, we went down the wrong trail for about a mile.

Alan Good
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 16, 2020
Hiking

I prefer to do the hardest elevation gain early so I went clockwise, which left the gravel road at the end. I didn’t really mind as I was pretty fatigued by then - the section between the two overlooks is tough going, and not a “moderate” difficulty for me. Not many views but those you do get are excellent! Almost stood on a snake and had to outrun a thunderstorm at the end, so quite an eventful hike!

View Alan's Recording
Jessi Locklear
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 11, 2020
Hiking

This trail surpassed my expectations. The views were incredible. Like most of the reviews, we thought counterclockwise would be best. I think that was a good choice. The two lookout points both would have been great spots to sit and enjoy a quick lunch, which we did, having the majority of the trail behind us (about 7/+ miles). The rest was a breeze. Trail was marked well. Lots of spots to camp. I really enjoyed the seclusion and was surprised we only saw two other people the entire time. We started at the parking lot where the gps from All Trails directed us and it tracked 12.2 miles on both of our watches. We finished the loop in about 5 hours and 5 minutes. Will definitely be back!

Pierluigi Zontini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 10, 2020
Hiking

Spectacular trail. I second the recommendation to do it counter clockwise, it’s much better especially because of the first part on a paved road which is a bit boring (and do it at the end would be pretty annoying). It’s also easier when descending from the peak instead ascending. On top the view is breathtaking. Trail well maintained and easy to follow.

View Pierluigi's Recording
Pre Tuladhar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 1, 2020
Hiking

First 2 miles and last 2 miles are fine, but the middle is slightly painful with a lot of uphill slopes and limited views. The view from the top is spectacular. If we were to do it again, we would probably start at the 2 mile park where you cross a road and saw few cars parking there. The initial 2 miles is nice along a river. The last 2 miles are promising as you start seeing the view.

Anika K.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 11, 2020
Hiking

We did this trail counter-clockwise and highly recommend that direction. After the first 3/4 mile along the stream you’ll hit a road section for about 2 miles and then connect with the trail again on your left. Glad we did the road at the beginning vs. the end. We stopped at an amazing outlook for lunch at mile 7 of the loop. Rest of the trail was beautiful - great views, rocky but manageable, and the last 2 miles were along the stream again which was a great way to end. We loved this hike, can’t wait to do it again.

Brandon Stewart
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Hiking

Fun trail but steep when done clockwise

View Brandon's Recording
Mark Cundiff
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HikingRockyScramble
View Mark's Recording
Steve Chriest
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Hiking

We did the loop and it was great. Awesome views on the way up and on the top. Doing the loop was fine. Well marked and gentle slope most of the way down.

Joe Peters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2019
Hiking

Gorgeous to the Cliffs of Little Rocky Row. Not as many views to the summit of Big Rocky Row ...

View Joe's Recording
Mark C.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2019
Hiking

Coming off AT onto the secondary trail was fine. Recent maintenance was great! Thank you. Only comment is that end of loop clockwise means two plus miles on paved road. Foot killer for me after 9 prior miles.

Sri Y
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 29, 2019
Hiking

Nice view at the top. There are few spots to camp as well, at the top. Wish I planned for it. About 2-2.5mi of the route is a paved road. Do it clockwise to avoid walking on the road in the heat so that you can come down when it's shady. Also, it will be steeper when going down if doing anticlockwise.

Laura Cate
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 9, 2019
Hiking

Despite the brutal switchbacks near the ridge, I keep coming back to this trail again and again. As other people have recommended, I always just hike to the top of the ridge and generally sit and enjoy the view for a while. Right before you reach the best overlook, there are a few stairs and big rocks so if you make it there, you're close. ;) If you want to have a slightly easier hike, you can drive up Hercules Road (between the parking lot by the bridge and the one at the trailhead) and start hiking where the trail and road intersect (1.2 miles). There's enough room for a few cars to park beside the road but its easy to miss if you're not paying attention. One downside to starting there is that you'll miss some of the pretty creek views but you cross the creek at one point in the second part of the hike too. There is a shelter/bathroom around mile 2 (or before the switch backs anyway). During the fall and winter, there is a really thick layer of dead leaves that can make the trail harder to follow and make you more likely to slip but as long as you're careful, follow the white blazes, and don't try to rush too much, you'll be fine. Its definitely worth it for the amazing views and gorgeous trees!!

Sarah Rousseau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 24, 2018
Hiking

Great trail! The views of the James River at around the 4.5 mile mark were stunning and peaceful. I hiked the full loop despite previous reviews suggesting otherwise. It took me just under 5 hours. The trail is not well marked as “Little Rocky Row,” but rather the Appalachian Trail and various other trails linked together. If I hadn’t had my All Trails app, I might not have gone the right route past the 4.5 mile mark where it splits into other trails. The latter half was definitely less maintained; I had to crawl over/under about 10 downed treea, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Made it fun! The last two miles were paved road, but I was glad for that after the long hike. And it was along the creek which made for lovely sounds and sights! I definitely recommend!

Josh Barbir
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2018
Hiking

Very strenuous, but totally beautiful trail! Stunning mountain ridge view overlooking the river valley! Definitely do out and back and stay on the main trail

Brendan Devaney
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John Wang
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Hiking

hike report: https://travel2walk.com/2019/06/09/virginia-hikes-little-rocky-row-via-the-at-june-3-2018/

View John's Recording
Matt Snead
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Hiking
Chris Burnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 19, 2017

enjoyed this hike...nice views from little rocky row!...gets a tad difficult up top...nice river walk too!

Jim Harding
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 1, 2017

the first part of the trail is easy. the second part of the trail the last mile from the top or so is quite difficult. this Trail is rated as moderate, but some of it is difficult.

Jim Harding
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Wonderful Trail. Not McAfee but a beautiful view from the top.

William Rabil
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 13, 2016
Hiking

We hiked to the first overlook, about 3.7 miles and it was definitely worth the hike. The view is gorgeous and you can see miles and miles of mountains. You could even see where we started from. I highly recommend it to anyone. Don't let the steeper climb near the end stop you. :)

Amber Mathis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 23, 2016
Hiking
First to Review

We hiked as a 10+ mile put and back (as a recommendation from another hiker). Great trail and the views are beautiful from the top. A great reward after the 21 switchbacks to get to the top.

Eve Merg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking
View Eve's Recording
Will Wilson
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Hiking
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Bryton Krantz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2020
Hiking
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Majestic Locklear
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Hiking
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