Saint Mary's Wilderness

MODERATE 32 reviews

Saint Mary's Wilderness is a 6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Vesuvius, Virginia that features a waterfall 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
6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
547 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Very nice trail. Has camping spots. Needs a little more parking. A few different ways to get to the falls. Nice stop offs to play in the water. Falls were not as big as pics I have seen but still worth the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a fantastic hike. I really wanted to give it five stars, and it totally deserves it for scenery, but I gave it four because it could stand to be blazed. Someone has recently placed survey flags at the stream crossings, but it's still confusing to know where to cross the stream.

In terms of difficulty, I think this hike breaks down into several areas. First, for distance its definitely easy/moderate. The listing says 6 miles, but from parking lot to waterfall it's just shy of 5. Second, in terms of elevation gain, this is an easy hike. You gain about 600 ft, but it's very gradual. I honestly never experienced any of it as an incline. Third, and finally, the trail it's self is a bit on the moderate/difficult side. As said before, it's not clearly marked at times. It also has some areas where it's very narrow, rocky, and/or swampy. There are also a couple of very steep embankments to navigate when crossing the stream. This is not a trail for someone who doesn't feel sure footed.

I got to the trail head at just before 7am and the parking lot already had 5-6 cars in it. These were all overnight hikers. In general the overnight hikers were fine, however I think it's disappointing that there is a campsite at the base of the waterfall, this monopolizing the space where hikers might want to spend some time before the return hike.

In general, I would say this is one of the top 5 hikes in the area. It's not to be missed!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Ok, so first off... you have to cross the stream multiple times to get to the fall. We learned this after a very hard hike. If you cross the stream, the hike is actually a moderate. If not, it can get difficult.

Now that that is out of the way. I loved this hike, even though we did It the difficult way. There wasn't a ton of elevation change. You follow the stream for the most part which makes for great scenery. There were tons of butterflies and a few other hikers were looking for snakes.

6 months ago

Love the water holes. Not many areas to camp

6 months ago

It was a enjoyable hike. Trail could be marked better.

backpacking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike, fun swimming holes and opportunities to jump off rocks into the stream. Crossing the stream can be a little tricky trying to stay dry.

8 months ago

hiking
Saturday, September 17, 2016

backpacking
Monday, September 05, 2016

Love the trail, would rate it hard not moderate. The trail cuts back and forth around the creek and had lots of outlets. They all look like the main trail and I would say it's rather a pain to figure out. The swimming at the end was a blast and we all enjoyed jumping off cliffs.

hiking
Sunday, August 28, 2016

backpacking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great trip with Troop 113 from Gloucester Va. 2nd time we have done it and alot of fun at the falls. Some forging the steam to get to the falls but well worth it. lots of fun jumping off the rock cliffs into the the pool at the base of the falls about and hour to the falls from the parking lot

hiking
Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lower stretch was pretty buggy. Not biting bugs...just the kind that get in your eyes. Trail wasn't blazed that I noticed. That wasn't an issue except that there were essentially trails (at times) on both sides of the stream and it wasn't clear where to cross the stream at which point. Spoke with various hikers who were asking if they were on the right trail. Once you've hiked it once, it would be clear. First timers may end up enjoying a little off trail fun as they try to connect with the right trail. The stream with its various pools, the falls and crystal clear water are a true VIRGINIA gem.

camping
Tuesday, August 16, 2016