Wild Oak Loop is a 30.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mount Solon, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 30.3 miles Elevation Gain: 7,404 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Not for the faint of heart, a fast run will finish in sub 6 hr

backpacking
6 months ago

found a lost ipod, if the person it belongs to sees this call 5402096557 and I'll get it back to you, message me with what it was left inside of and also some of the music on it

hiking
blowdown
rocky
6 months ago

The north river is very high I had to cross in about 3 feet of water, thankfully that was at the end of the trip a few hundred yards from the parking lot. This trip was on the White Oak Trail all the way to Shaffer Trail where there is an excellent campsite. I was going to do the loop but with all the water crossings I changed my mind and made this an out and back.

hiking
10 months ago

I would recommend this trail if your into mountain biking pretty strenuous ride. It’s right on the edge sometimes and the scramble on a bike is amazing. The hills are spaced out perfect for the scramble to get great spread through there.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this loop July 8-10. It gets 5 stars for the challenge, 3 stars for the fun factor. The 7 mile climb to Little Bald was pretty hard, but I thought the 3.5 miles to Big Bald was an even more relentless uphill slog and Dowell’s was short but crazy steep. It was a pretty intense 1 1/2 days with most of the total elevation gain. Much more moderate the rest of the way. Water is scarce-I chose Camp Todd as my day 1 destination because it’s on the North River. A pond just past the Ramsay’s Draft junction was the last reliable water source I found. I ended up having to coax 2 liters of water from a puddle left over from recent rains. Deduct 1 star from the fun factor. The other issue was the amount of over growth on parts of the trail- particularly after crossing over Little Bald where the trail was largely obscured for a full mile. I had to follow the trace left by previous hikers which wasn’t always obvious. It was possible to keep to the trail here, but I lost the trail completely on my planned side trip to Gordon’s Peak and had to turn around. Long pants are a necessity- brambles cover every step of these areas It seems possible that these sections of the trail may become invisible or impassable in the near future. Ding the fun factor another star. Good news is that conditions improve significantly from that point. The trail is well maintained, groomed even, from FR 96 all the way to the TH. Things to know: When you reach the river after descending Little Bald, there is a junction- to the left (straight) leads to a wet crossing, to the right is a dry crossing. If you choose the dry crossing, the trail meanders off to the left and leads to a forest road. Take this road to the left for a few hundred yards to get to Camp Todd- the trail connects a short distance beyond the camp. Veer right off the road to pick up the trail. The trail to the North River campground is at the junction of Lookout Mountain trail- it’s a pretty long hike down to the Staunton Reservoir so it makes more sense to take the North River trail back to the TH. There will be multiple wet crossings on that route. Lookout Mountain trail was the payoff for all the hard work- a beautiful hike along a narrow spine with views of the ridges rolling away in the distance to the north and south. The terrain is rocky but moderate- no more hard climbs. Probably is very scenic in late fall after the leaves drop. I wouldn’t call this a destination hike, but it is challenging and definitely has its rewards. Good training for long climbs. And it needs more hikers!

hiking
Sat Jun 01 2019

Wow...we did this as a day hike and it’s intense!! Not very many views in the summer, maybe it’s better in a different season...

backpacking
Mon Nov 19 2018

Spent 3 days and 2 nights mid-November. Water sources weren’t abundant, but Camp Todd and North River Campground worked out well. The 7-mile hike to Little Bald is a good day 1 hike. The climb at Dowell’s is a doozy (go right not up). North River Gorge has 8 river crossings. Get ready to get your feet wet. Didn’t see any other hikers, but did pass five mountain bikers and a truckload of hunters. If you’re interested in more info check out https://y2kemo.com/2018/11/backpacking-wild-oak-steep-ascents-and-river-crossings/

Sun Nov 18 2018

Great loop! There are a number of natural springs that were running in November when we hiked this. But you typically had to look for them when you saw a little bit of running water on the ground. Otherwise there were three stagnant ponds that I’m sure you could filter from even if it is a little gross. Otherwise, be prepared to carry a bit of water just to be safe.

Sat Apr 21 2018

My son and I did this loop 10 years ago. This time it seemed a lot more challenging than last time. This is not a trip for beginners. The uphill climb to Little bald Knob took a bit longer than anticipated and experienced a sleet storm while we ascended. Yes, crazy Virginia weather. When we got to the stream we had had to cross, the current was stronger than we anticipated so we made a decision to backtrack and cut our trip short instead crossing the stream with our dog. On a positive note, the views and the hike were excellent. It was colder than anticipated and we saw very little wildlife. Still not bad hiking if you like a challenge.

backpacking
Wed Aug 09 2017

Not a bad trail. There are not many choices for water on the trail. Especially on the first 10 miles if hiking counter-clockwise. The first 7 miles are pretty tough, all uphill. After that it is not bad. There's also not many choices for good tent camping spots. If you have a hammock I suggest using that. Also, I suggest finding a good map online before going because they didn't have any maps when I went at the Trailhead.

backpacking
Sun Jun 11 2017

Excellent trail...there is virtually no water supply with the exception of of a nasty pond on the last leg of the trail. Thanks to the Guardian water purifier I enjoyed 4 liters of the best tasting "pond scum" ever!!!

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
Mon May 27 2019

backpacking
Thu May 18 2017

hiking
Mon Sep 07 2015