Rose River Trail to Story of the Forest Trail Loop

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Shenandoah National Park

Rose River Trail to Story of the Forest Trail Loop is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stanley, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running and is best used from March until October.

Length6.4 miElevation gain1,522 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingWalkingRunningForestRiverViewsWaterfallwild-flowersWildlifeBugsRockyFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

Shenandoah National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (97)
Photos (2,622)
Recordings (85)
Completed (468)
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John Adler
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Hiking

Lovely. Nice falls. Snow added a level of challenge. Some ice. Be careful!

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Muad' Dib
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HikingGreat!Rocky
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Jordan Leek
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Hiking

Very icy on the falls side, but great trail after the bridge. Make sure you bring spikes or a sled!

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Ashley Kneale
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HikingIcy

Some ice and areas that were a little confusing, but overall a gorgeous, manageable trail.

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Jasmine Mei
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Hiking

Icy beginning. Beautiful waterfall!

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Adam Grygo
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HikingRocky

Definitely need a good pair of hiking boots. Very rocky trail, but great views and would highly recommend.

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Evan Hendershot
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HikingGreat!

Solid hike. Very secluded, which is nice amid the pandemic. We only saw approximately 7-10 people in total. Lots of deer in very close proximity to the trail, which was nice too. Views are OK. And the trail markers can be a bit hard to find at times. But it’s very nice and quiet on this hike - so that’s the major benefit. Also, you might want to wear decent hiking boots. Lots of rocks along the trail. Trail runners might be a bad idea.

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Michael Y
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Hiking
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Alexander Homsi
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Hiking
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Bobby Mann
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Hiking

2 waterfalls! What can you ask for more. Amazing hike, good to have hiking shoes on with wet stones and mud. Had a lot do fun. Was exhaustive for 8 year old.

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Julie Hadland
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HikingGreat!MuddyRocky

A great hike today. The weather was spectacular and the trail wasn’t crowded. Started from the Big Meadow parking lot, followed the trail down to Fisher Gap overlook and continued the Rose River Falls loop (clockwise). A bit rocky, loads of leaves and some wet areas but Wow..the falls were beautiful! Continue up and through Dark Hollow Falls, another great part of the trail. Love it and marked as one of my favorites!

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Varm .
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Hiking

Beautiful day for a hike. It was warmer than we expected. Hit the trail at Big Meadow at 9:30AM with few cars parked, and hiked clockwise, which is much easier on the way back than anticlockwise. We picnic'd just before Rose River falls, which was lovely, and then hiked on down, and then back up to the Dark Hollow Falls bridge. We decided to take the fire road back up, almost to Fishers gap parking lot, turning left on the Horse trail back to Big Meadow, which in total added another two miles...(see recording) so it was 8.5 miles in total, not 6.4.... We got back to Big Meadow for 1:30 pm. We really enjoyed this hike, muddy and slippy leaves in parts, and a lot of roots and rocks to negotiate....marked as moderate, but definitely challenging in parts. Trail traffic was lite and sporadic for the most part. Will definitely do again.

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Maggie D
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Hiking

This was a nice, mid-length hike with some difficult spots due to the recent rain. The area near the falls was remarkably busy, but once you’re past that it clears out a bit. You get a good idea of all the different aspects of SNP on this hike - falls, trees, views, and the meadow. I’ll be back for sure!

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Georgi Silvia
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Hiking

Really busy. Went counterclockwise and it was really awkward walking through the campground.

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Shelby McCarthy
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Hiking
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J Nic
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Hiking
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Andy B
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Hiking
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Borjita LLorente
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Hiking
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Patrick McColloch
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Hiking

Loved this trail and all of the great water views. We did it counter clockwise from the parking lot at Great Meadow center. I could argue either way. If you do it clockwise you will be walking "up river" more so you'll see more that way instead of turning around. However going counter clockwise you hit the falls sooner while you are still fresh. At the end wandering through the campgrounds for 10 min is not that great, but still an excellent loop. Your legs will feel it!

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keith sumner
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Great vigorous hike from Big Meadows campground about 6.4 mi the way we completed it. Did it counter clockwise on beautiful 1st Saturday in October starting on story of forest. Either way it is basically downhill about halfway and then uphill back to campground. Beautiful waterfalls and streams and overlook at Fischers gap. Pretty crowded near skyline dr, especially dark hollow falls. Felt awkward, but had to cut through campsites as we got back to Big Meadows to avoid a mutiny from our kids. You come about 50 yards from the A loop walk up sites about 6.2 miles in, but the map says to continue around the campground for another roughly 3/4 mi. I was pretty grateful for the short cut myself after about a 3 mile ascent.

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keith sumner
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Hiking
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Liz Allbright
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HikingGreat!

My favorite hike of the three I did in Shenandoah during my stay! Really great loop that’s truly moderate and a good dip into the Appalachian Trail. I went on a weekday, and Lower Falls were somewhat crowded but the rest was quite empty. Agree with others that crossing through the campsite was... weird. BUT if you know where to go, it’s easy - and great for a bathroom break. Here’s some more detail that may help you to find the path on the other side: - You’ll come up the Appalachian Trail and bend around some campsites, keep going and eventually you’ll see a trail marker and come up around the amphitheater - Exit there and cut across the open area with the picnic tables - Pass near the outpost, and head into the campsite - Keep going and follow the loop around and around. Eventually you’ll see the paths *between camping slots 21 and 24* - it looks like a walking path into a field. You’re in the right place and back on the trail.

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Dilpreet Singh
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Nature tripsGreat!MuddyRockyScramble
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Carmen Young
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Hiking

Dark Hallow Falls and the Lower Falls were really spectacular especially with the recent rain. The second half of trail (if you go counterclockwise) isn’t anything special and a little confusing to follow as it takes you through the campgrounds and out of the woods.

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