Staunton River Trail to Bear Church Rock

MODERATE 43 reviews
#38 of 145 trails in

Staunton River Trail to Bear Church Rock is a 7.2 mile out and back trail located near Madison, Virginia that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,893 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
1 month ago

I gave this a five because while it doesn't have amazing views (until the top of Bear Church Rock, which is SO peaceful), the trail was well trodden, clear, and a heck of a workout. The first two miles are pleasant, the next two miles are a steady rise by the end of which you're going to be 'feeling the burn', I guarantee it. Be sure to stop on the way back and soak your feet in the wonderful cold and clear water. I would rate this as hard, not moderate, and our measurements (fitbit and phone tracking app) were closer to 9.4 miles up and back. I gave it a '5' because it was a heck of a workout, on a steady tough climb without loose rocks/scrambling; very empty when we went, and just nice and peaceful.

1 month ago

My boys had a lot of fun and the trail traffic was very light while there were many cars at the entrance. It’s a very rocky trail at times so watch for lose rocks but overall it wasn’t a big deal. Unfortunately I could only go 1.7 miles in but what I did get to see was very nice.

hiking
3 months ago

We stayed along the Graves Mill trail this time which runs along the river. I can’t find a entry for that trail so posting on here instead. But Graves Mill connects to the Staunton River Trail. It stays along the river; it’s a nice easy hike with a couple river crossings. The water is pretty high right now so crossing with our two dogs was a fun adventure!

hiking
3 months ago

Visited this lovely hike this morning. The hike starts out easy by the river and then progresses and gets harder as the hike continues. The climb to Bear Church Rock was a heart thumper but the view was beautiful making the pain all worth it! Loved the tree canopy on the way up as well, very beautiful scenery. The hike is almost by the river the entire way! We got there around 0930, lots of parking left but when we left around 1400 the lot was basically full. On the way up it was just my husband and I but as we made the decent we ran into more and more people doing the hike. Definitely one we will visit again!

4 months ago

as of this morning the trail was pretty well cleared of storm damage from a few week ago

hiking
10 months ago

Pretty views! Not quite peak foliage colors yet, but still pretty. Be careful of slippery leaves on the way down.

11 months ago

Beautiful hike along the river. Stream crossings weren't difficult at this time. Numerous varieties of wildflowers, largest mountain laurels I've ever seen! Terrific canopy of tall trees. Steep enough to feel it, but not so much that it's challenging.

11 months ago

A long hike next to a river. It's nice spending a few miles by the water but unfortunately there are little to no memorable spots along the way. The view from Bear Church Rock is truly great but then it's time to repeat the monotonous 3.5 mile hike back down. Not bad hike but also not a very memorable one. There better options in the Shenandoahs but if your looking for something new then give this a try.

hiking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Great hike. Hike was close to the water most of the way. Wasn't too hard until the last part. Ran into a bear, which was exciting.

hiking
Monday, March 06, 2017

Great trail.....last mile and half is a good workout but there were a lot of great views during the winter months. My favorite part was the Laurel Thicket.

hiking
Friday, November 25, 2016

it is secluded and a nice hike but not a great view for the effort.

Monday, November 07, 2016

One of the best hikes

hiking
Monday, October 17, 2016

this is really a beautiful trail. We chose it as a second hike because we couldn't find the Pine Hill trail. We only had a few hrs and did 7 miles. It's a great trail area for family because you can go as far you want and always have a creek near by.

hiking
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This hike is great. Swimming holes, waterfalls, a great view, and a cabin. When including the spur to the cabin, the hike becomes 8.1 miles with a 2130 foot gain. It was recommended that I go to the overlook first and follow it up with the cabin, and I'm glad I followed that suggestion. The falls are not quite as magical as White Oak Falls, but the view is 10x better and the solitude can't be beat.

hiking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

This trail was absolutely gorgeous. Went in July & swam in little pockets of water that were like swimming holes. It wasn't too hot because the canopy was very heavy and of course the stops in the cold water was a great cool down too. The blazes were well taken care of, so it was easy to follow the trail & we saw a beaver and some deer in the beginning of the trail. I am sure if we got there early enough, we'd see bears.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

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