River Bank and Twin Loops trails

MODERATE 1 reviews

River Bank and Twin Loops trails is a 9.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Red Oak, Virginia that features a lake 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.

DISTANCE
9.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
692 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

muddy

Drive to Staunton River State Park in Scottsburg VA. Note there is an entrance fee. Park up at the Visitors Centre. Walk behind the Visitors Centre towards the Swimming Pool through the parking area but closest to the wooded area. At the easement area just before the end of the parking, a trail sign for Tulelo trail should be evident. Head down the wide easement to the bottom and take the trail on the left marked River Bank trail which is blazed blue. Follow the signs for the cabins. Take the detour marked right to see a nice view of Buggs Island Lake. Retrace steps back to the junction to continue on River Bank trail. This emerges out of the trees to cross the park road and then reenters the woods to skirt the shoreline. There are nice views on this side of the lake. The trail passes an intersection with Captain Staunton trail. The Robin's Roost trail marks the last section that skirts the shoreline. The trail delves further into the woods to reach an intersection with Twin Loops trail that is blazed pink. Follow the signs for Twin Loops trail which comprises 2 loops. Start on Loop 2 first. Passing Beaver Swamp trail which comes in on the left will verify that one is following Loop 2. There are few brown signs marked "Do not enter" that denote the park boundary. Follow the pink blazes until the intersection with Loop 1 is reached. Loop 1 continues by heading straight on at this intersection. It is possible to skip Loop 1 altogether at this point by following the signs for the River Bank trail/Horse trailer parking lot that are marked right. Keep on Loop 1 until the loop is finally closed. Head up the hill and turn right to continue with the pink blazes until it intersects with the River Bank trail. Turn right again to join the River Bank trail. Left will take you to the Horse trailer parking lot. The River Bank trail comes out of the woods to cross the park road by the main entrance. Cross over the road and bear slightly right to rejoin the trail on the other side of the road. A cafe/pitch n putt golf course will be on your right. This is a decent place for breakfast if you are staying overnight in the park cabins. Follow River Bank trail until it bends around to the left and comes out of the woods. There is a small bench here. The trail is wider at this point for a short section before heading right back into the woods. A sign marked no entry for straight on marks the turn. The next section of trail is in the open and on clay like surface until the lake comes back into view and the trail soon reenters the wood. It follows the shoreline before passing the terminus of Robin's Roost trail coming in from the left. Soon after the trail turns left and then almost immediately right by the turn for Crow's Nest trail. Signs at this point mark the distance for Picnic Areas 1 and 2. Area 2 is a long 0.5 mile from this point. As the trail comes out on the road, a short detour to Picnic Area 2 is worth a stop. There are lots of picnic tables and BBQs set up and it offers a nice view of the lake. Retrace steps back to the trail to turn right back into the woods. The trail skirts across a power line easement area to reenter the woods and around Picnic Area 1 which can be reached by taking a side trail on the lefthand side. A final downhill and around skirting the lakeside one final time reaches the end of the loop - take the sign marked for park office and pool to emerge up the easement section and out on the parking lot for the swimming pool. Retrace steps back to the Visitors Centre.

hiking
26 days ago

Staunton River State Park is a little gem in the south of VA, and close to Occoneechee State Park off to the east in Clarksville. The park has a number of trails. This hike combined 2 trails together - the River Bank and the Twin Loops. The River bank trail is estimated to be 8.5 miles and the Twin Loops at 2.5 miles but combining the 2 together ended up being just shy of 9.6 miles hence I am a little skeptical that the posted signs and park map are as accurate as stated. The River Bank trail skirts sections of Buggs Island Lake, Staunton River and Dan River. The best views are along the shoreline by Buggs Island Lake - the detour to the viewpoint is well worth a visit. Twin Loops trail is alot of ups and downs in a beech forest often skirting the park boundary - it has little to offer than adding to the mileage. There are a host of other trails in the park that could be taken to modify this particular route - for example River Bank, Robin's Roost, Crow's Nest could be strung together in a shorter loop. Sections of River Bank towards its base are out in the open and along clay terrain - after rain, this section can be frightfully muddy. During summer, the lack of shade here can be bad. There seems to have been alot of effort to improve the drainage along the first stretch of River Bank - after a lot of rain, parts of this trail have been known to flood and require some acrobatics to transverse. River Bank and Twin Loops permit horseback riding so expect to share the trail in season.