Explore the most popular National Parks in Virginia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Had a great time last weekend even though it was very crowded. Started the hike around 10 AM on a beautiful Saturday. There was one or two parts when we had to wait 15 minutes in line to get through an obstacle. After the summit, the hike is a little boring, but all in all, one of the best day hikes you can do on the east coast. Elderly and unfit people might have some issues with squeezing between rocks and doing some jumps/scrambles, but most people I saw on the trail seemed to do fine. I recommend wearing long pants that at least cover the knees and climbing gloves, or else you will go home with some scratches.

hiking
1 day ago

We were able to bring our dog for an easy hike. Nice forest setting but not too much else to see.

Loved this trail! We went on the first "nice" weekend this year so the trail was pretty busy. I would rate it as an intermediate trail. It was nice that the trail follows the river for most of the duration. We were able to sit and enjoy the water and get close to the falls. They are not huge, but pretty nonetheless! The loop dips, leaving you to hike uphill for at least a mile on your way out. We left feeling tired and accomplished!

Loved the energy of the stream flowing through the gorge and couldn't get enough of it! The little waterfalls and the sound of the water made me want to climb higher and just hang out as people passed by. One group had to turn around and go back because it was too difficult for one of their peeps. i personally didn't think of it as Hard but rather as Exhilarating! I agree that the fire road was not so exciting but we did get a nice pic of the panoramic view. i give it 5 stars because of the energy in the gorge.

Incredible views worth every step of the steep hike to the highest summit in the park!

The first half/two thirds is pretty cool and fun. The last third was uphill torture for me. One of the toughest hikes I’ve done (I usually stick to moderate trails). Bring lots of water and a jet pack if you have one.

Was a good challenge for someone who is not a seasoned joker and slightly out of shape. Little foot traffic which was nice. Cool temperatures as it is mostly shaded. The river and small waterfalls were very pretty. Saw deer but no bear. We did get lost (did not see the trail marker) and ended up doing an additional mile down and back up a very steep climb. Also gets a little confusing when you get to the tourist/camp area. Lots of rocks and narrow paths, highly recommend wearing good hiking boots!! Also, look at the elevation...we started with the uphill climb for the first two miles or so, steady and a good “warm up”. Downhill was hard on my knees as it was fairly steep. There were quite a few spots where we had to climb up again and those required some stops/rests.

on Rose River Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Love Love Love this trail. Here to celebrate my 60th birthday with my best friend. We took our dogs and they enjoyed being near the water, as much of the trail follows the river. Cascading waterfalls, early wildflowers, great mid 50s temps. There were parts that were a little dicey climbing over wet rocks and boulders. A beautiful experience!

My girlfriend and I chose this beast as our third hike in Virginia and it was spectacular! We decided to go clockwise and climb up the most strenuous ridge trail first. It was unlike any hike I've ever done and definitely pushes you on the rock scramble and boulder section, but it was manageable and fun for me (6'2", 260lbs) and her (5'2", 110lbs)...so I'd say as long as you have a strong desire to reach the summit and the ability to "get skinny" on some parts, this hike is a good one for beginner hikers that want to push their skills and endurance!

I started from Grottoes and hiked up to Skyline. This was such a lovely trail along a ridgeline! At this time of year (when leaves haven’t fully come in), you can see views on both sides. Trayfoot Summit doesn’t stand out especially, but the trail was great, and Black Rock Summit is beautiful. The first several miles were 90% of the elevation gain. To leave from Grottoes, AllTrails will lead you to the end of a neighborhood cul de sac, and the fire road leaving from it has no obvious marking. If you continue down the road, you should see a sign for the trail within a few tenths of a mile. I made the mistake of not downloading the trail map and thinking I could follow instructions in the comments for the trail. When I arrived at the parking lot for Black Rock Summit, I saw no stone wall, and when I turned right on Skyline Drive, I meandered for a half mile without finding a fire road. I ended up doubling back on my previous path, which was still a nice hike, but I missed the loop. I saw a large adult black bear, chipmunks, salamanders, squirrels, and song birds.

So beautiful but very busy. Look out for bikers. They will run you over.

It was a surprisingly great trail that has a rock scramble that allows for a bit longer and less traversed hike to meet back with Trayfoot trail. Took three kids and a dog, all loved it and it was pretty easy. Hawskbill is my favorite Skyline Drive hike but this is a close second.

Started out on the trail around 825am. I chose to hike this loop the clockwise route, seemed to me, after completing this hike, that it was the best choice. The Ewing Trail makes its way up to the ridge line and crosses over into Kentucky at around 3.7 miles. This trail continues for another half mile and intersects with the Ridge Trail. Around a quarter of a mile downhill you will come to the Sand Cave Spur Trail which leads you another quarter mile downhill to the cave. The waterfall was flowing good today and the sands were cold. Yes, why walk in sand with your shoes on? After exploring the cave which I had all to myself, I continued towards White Rocks. I was very surprised that the trail was fairly level. At around 6.3 miles, I was at the junction of the short cut and then at 6.9 miles I was on top of White Rocks a little further past the first overlook area enjoying the views. On my trek down I took the short cut to complete the loop and then back down the Ewing Trail 2.5 miles back to the parking area. With minimal breaks and sock changes, I completed this hike in 4 hours and 45 minutes, logging 9.9 miles.

Hiked it this weekend. Great river fordes!

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!

hiking
4 days ago

Great trail. Not too too difficult. The views from the top are excellent. Well worth the hike.

The caves with the waterfall and white pebbles in the steam made the hike unique. Its worth the extra hike to the white rocks.

Went with my wife and two dogs. Beautiful short moderate hike.

Great trail. Going in at the parking area I got closer to 11 miles than what AllTrails says. Great scenery. There are a few stream crossing. Using stones and downed trees its not a problem for an adult with decent balance or someone who doesn't mind getting wet.

Go in the morning, it's beautiful and quiet. Going all the way down to the base of the falls is worth the effort too.

Good little hike. Johnson’s Farm was interesting but other than that there is not much to see other than forest for remainder of hike. Views are obstructed by trees and the feeling of being on a hike is sort of lost as you hear mowers and work being done on nearby parkway.

Decent hike. It can be 1.7 miles or 2.7 depending on wether you make it a loop down the Appalachian Trail. Otherwise, just walk up to the summit and back.

Good short moderate trail for leashed dogs and kids.

I’ll visit again.

Great hike! great view from White Rock, Sand Cave is amazing too

hiking
7 days ago

Easy stroll through the wilderness, well maintained walking path easy for very young kids.

hiking
8 days ago

Great views from the peak and got there after the last shuttle left to go down so it was not crowded. I enjoyed the steepness of the trail near the top, it gave it that earned feel to the hike. I had to wait a twice for does to move from the trail to keep going. Never had a deer pose for a picture from 6ft away. Next time through I hope to do round top on the other side

Where do I start. This hike is absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking views of many waterfalls! You can even climb a few rocks to get right up close to a few of the falls. Unfortunately we were not prepared for what was to come. The hike up was pretty tough. Once we got up to where you take the fire road to Cedar Run trail we took the wrong path (both have yellow blazes) we ended up hiking about a mile or so in the wrong direction and that’s when the fog rolled in. Temps dropped about 20 degrees and it began to POUR down rain. Needless to say once we started our decent down Cedar Run everything was soaked and muddy and it’s VERY steep. We were slipping and sliding all over the place and much of the trail down is nearly impassable by fallen trees and things. We hiked the trail counterclockwise which under normal weather conditions would’ve been much easier. This loop is definitely not for beginners. You will absolutely be sore the next day and your feet will most definitely get wet because there are several river crossings. Most of the way UP is well.....UP....steep and you will need to take breaks to catch your breath. This loop is a beast. Can’t wait to tackle it again in better weather.

What an absolutely beautiful hike! I expected it to be hard but I had no idea how hard it was really going to be. I’m not sure about the mileage because my phone said 8.4 miles when all is said and done and my watch said 9.6 miles. This is not for a novice hiker! We took this hike counterclockwise. We had met some other people on the hike that said that clockwise disease year. But I believe there is no easy way to do this hike. I really had to keep pushing myself. We got down to the bottom of the canyon and I was starting to feel tired. The hike downhill was strenuous. But the hike up was a test! With an elevation gain of 2200 feet on the way up it really testing me. The fire road itself was difficult as we were exhausted by the time we got to the fire and the fire is completely uphill. But I’m happy to say that I finished it!

Definitely not a hike for a quitter but totally worth the effort!

This was my first hike and a solo one at that. It was awesome!!! The rock scramble did not disappoint this first timer. I’m short (4’11”) and was able to this. Some review said it might be difficult and they were but other hikers were there to help if needed. I did this counter clockwise. Went up the fire road first then hit the scramble. That helped I’m sure as I was able to slide down a lot of the boulders. So if you’re in decent shape and want an exciting solo hike.....THIS WAS GREAT.

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