Explore the most popular forest trails near Rileyville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Do not take your dog on this trail!!! It destroyed my dogs paw pads and she hasn't walked in days. She hikes every weekend and we have never had this problem before. Please don't make the same mistake I did!

07/01/2018: Awesome overnight loop that is clearly marked and well traveled. I went counter-clockwise, so the first day was mainly a steep descent. Once I reached the bottom, I found an awesome campsite near the swimming holes at the far end of the loop. (Great hammock-camping spot at the base of the falls, tricky to reach though.)

Day two was definitely a leg day. Once you round out the far end of the loop it’s all uphill from there. If you’re carrying a 30lb+ pack I would consider it a moderately strenuous climb.

Overall awesome hike and a great introduction to overnighting in Shenandoah National Park.

View and falls were awesome. Swimming hole at the bottom of the trail looked potentially refreshing. After that, it was an ordinary walk up a hill. Recommend hiking the loop clockwise to leave the falls until the end of the hike

Knob isn’t a vista. It’s just the top of the mountain with no views

Some may choose to begin this loop from the bottom rather from the top of the ridge. If so, one has to park at Thompson Hollow Trailhead (look for the location on Google Map). The capacity of the parking lot at Thompson Hollow Trailhead is limited to no more than 10 cars, counting spaces on both sides of the road.

Great overnighter in November, beautiful fall weather and leaves. I agree with others that this hike is definitely longer than 10 miles, probably more like 12. The uphill slog on the return is intense and thus the Hard rating.
Happy Hiking to All!

The overlooks were gorgeous and the view at the second waterfall was beautiful. The waterfalls themselves weren’t as impressive. The river that runs through the trail was almost dried up when we hiked in mid October.

Currently trail head off Vaughn Summit has a sign stating trail is closed as of 10-2 and has caution tape going across . Maybe due to hunting season? Makes it sort of forbidden fruit .

Rocky trail--pretty much 6 miles down then 6 miles up. Streams are pretty dry, but the swimming hole was nice. Plenty of good campsites near the bottom of the trail, and one good one about halfway up (1750 ft elevation) on Beecher Ridge trail.

The topo map shows you can hike to Overall as an extension, but don't do it. The trail peters out and then aims you towards someone's private land.

The first few miles of this trail were delightful! Beautiful overlooks and views. Unfortunately, we chose a very hot day when the campground was shut down for repairs. The creeks were dried up and we hadn't brought enough water. We got turned around at mile 6 and the 9 mile hike turned into a 14 mile hike. All in all- better planning could have eased the way. A warning- miles 5-13 were 90% straight uphill! No switchbacks!

We did this all in 1day, the mileage is misleading. The whole thing is closer to 14 miles. Beautiful view at the end, most of the Beecher loop was overgrown with poison ivy -wear pants. The last half of the loop is almost all steep uphill and rocky.
Be prepared

A note on the difficulty rating: 3/4 of the loop I would describe as easy to the easy end of moderate. The bottom portion of the loop follows a horse trail so its really not steep at all. If you follow the loop clockwise you run into trouble on the last bit of Tuscorora where theres a series of switchbacks. If you've hiked 10+ miles before and you're just day hiking it I would rate this loop as solidly moderate. My girlfriend and I were both hauling 30+ lbs packs for overnight camping, I would say it starts to veer into difficult / strenuous when you add in the packs.

The trail is dog friendly but our dog had pretty well torn up his paws by the time we finished the loop. Consider paw protection.

I'm not sure what the recent commenter was referring to when she said she was unable to follow the trail. We did the loop within a month of the comment being posted and the trail was very clearly marked / blazed the entire way. If you happen to have the PATC North District map with you there's almost no way you could get lost on this loop.

If you are staying the night there are 3-4 campsites that are all wonderful, 3 are at the far end of the loop and 1 is between the stream crossings on the backend of the loop and the waterfall, pretty much right where the swimming holes are.

USE A BEAR BAG. We had a total of 3 black bear sightings over a day and a half. It could have been the same one all three times I don't know. First sighting was on our first day, he was in scrub off the trail to the right, our dog scared him more than he scared us. The second sighting was at night when a bear visited our camp, he made an attempt at our bear bag as evidenced by fresh claw marks on the tree in the morning with scattered bark at the base of the tree. The third sighting, after the falls on the second day, the bear was right in the middle of the trail about 30 ft away from us.

This was a great loop with some awesome views and some nice swimming holes / camp sites. We will be coming back with friends.

Oh also I would say the Tuscorora trail is pretty well traveled, we saw a lot of people on our trip in the middle of July 2017. The campsite we stayed at was right near the Beecher Ridge connector / Tuscorora / overlook trail post at the back of the loop. We were able to people watch all afternoon /evening.

Spent a little time this holiday weekend trying out my new Zpacks Duplex Tent while doing a quick section of the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park Virginia. This time, I hiked from Elkwallow Wayside to Pass Mountain Hut. Along with being hot, sweaty, and buggy, this section of trail was exceptionally boring for me, with few views and little features of interest. Now I know where the nickname "Green Tunnel" comes form. That being said, I did see two bears and a pretty tame deer. Hiking from north to south along this section of trail, there is a spring about 0.5 miles south of the wayside. Once up on the ridge, there are a couple nice tent sites, one about 1.6 miles and the other at 1.9 miles south. There is a very good spring 4.8 miles south of Elkwallow (~2.4 miles north of Pass Mountain Hut) with a tent site right nearby (just south of the spring). These are all what I would consider legal stealth sites in SNP, being far enough away from trail, water, roads, and structures. Pass Mountain Hut is typical for the park and the site hosts a spring, privy, bear box, and bear pole near the tenting area. There are two tenting areas. I used the one behind the Hut on the other side of the very good spring. Lots of through hikers (NOBO) staying there this weekend

I would give this five stars if we were able to follow the trail... but we had a hard time finding where to follow. Starting the loop moving counterclockwise, we became unsure of the trail due to overgrown shrubs and sparse markings right after we passed the falls.

We changed courses and walked back the way we came. It was beautiful and enjoyable, except for the hiccup described above.

Great for summer activity

hiking
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Traces Trail is an easy hike in the woods around the Mathews Arm camping area. The trail is well marked with blue blazes, and concrete pillars at every intersection. There weren't many traces of previous civilizations. The NPS map says the trail is 1.7 miles. The nearest bathroom is at the Elkwallow Wayside, MP 24.

Normally, parking for the trail head is at the east end of the amphitheater. When the campground is closed, parking is at MP 21.1, but this adds another 2.5 miles of moderate trail to the hike.

Loved this trail. The incline is tough & definitely not for beginner hikers. The falls are great & the view of the canyon is awesome!
The trail is very rocky & can be slippery when wet.

Wonderful fall overnighter. The descent down overall run past the falls is rocky. The plentiful rocks coupled with a bed of dry leaves made for tricky going under the load of a full pack. Found a beautiful campsite near the connector of Beecher ridge. Beecher Ridge Trail was glorious with the autumn color and the ascent back to the Hogback lot was invigorating

hiking
Friday, October 28, 2016

the scenery was awesome.

I did this hike in the middle of May. It had rained a lot the week before so the waterfalls were flowing really good. I did the trail clockwise and do think that was the best way. It is downhill the first half and uphill the second half regardless. The first half I saw 10 bears! 10 black bears! The first was by himself and crossed the trail 15 yards in front of me very casually. He saw me and pretty much ignored me. Then later on I saw 3 different sets of a Mom and her 2 Cubs. All 3 times they went running or climbed up a tree once they noticed me. Pretty cool seeing them in their natural environment. All this happened before I got to the bottom where you get to the falls and the pools. Definitely spend some time down there and you can take a dip under the 20+ foot waterfalls. Then you start your way back up the mountain. The 92 foot waterfall is really cool, you can get out to top of it if you are brave and have some athletic ability. Great views from there. From there you can kinda stay near the water instead of staying on the trail. You just need to do a little climbing up a couple of the smaller waterfalls. Overall it was an awesome hike with the wildlife and the waterfalls!

Great hike, great views, great work out. New favorite. The water was roaring as it had rained all week. Parked at Thompson Hollow trail head, and took a left at Overall Run trail. Glad I did, as coming down the other side, it seemed like it would have been a much longer ascent. The pools at the end before getting back onto Thompson Hollow trail would have been even more inviting if it had been warmer.

hiking
Sunday, May 08, 2016

Last two weeks lots of rain makes this trail a challenging, I started this trail from US340.
Rain stopped just few minutes ago to start my day therefore very wet and slippery, I did very big circle around 11 miles touched 4 different trails and cross the flood water 8 times and sometimes that's the hart part to cross the streams without wet.
Falls is looks beautiful and amazing view from Overall Run trail. weddelwood and Beecher ridge trails or just exercise. Only I saw people on Overall Run trails. This one is hard because of weather and length.

Waterfall was very cool.

Great trail, very scenic. Fun and challenging day hike!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

I am a new hiker, so the uphill was hard on me but the waterfall was very pretty. It was worth the outing.

Challenging hike. A good workout. 2000 ft in elevation gain. I'll go back in Winter/Spring when the water flow is better. More water makes it a 4-star. Today, dry creek beds; the 92 ft waterfall just a trickle. I parked at Thompson Hollow, making this 8.5m. The views and scenery got better and better as I went along.

hiking
Saturday, April 12, 2014

Nice hike about six miles roundtrip if you take Appalachian to Tuscarora. Easy going down tough coming back with my six year old.

hiking
Monday, November 04, 2013

I thought this trail was difficult because of the rocks everywhere, it was very difficult to not trip. It made the hike take extra long because of having to be so cautious the entire way. It was very nicely marked and doing it in the fall it was pretty. We forgot about daylight savings, so we were out there in the dark hiking. We didn't see any bears, but we did see some bald eagles fly over us. There was also so much bear poop on the trail, which was interesting. I don't think it was any more strenuous than other trails, it was really all the roots, rocks, and slippery leaves that made it difficult.

hiking
Friday, July 05, 2013

Nice trail, but it was our first day out, so we only made it to the top of the falls which is about 2.5 miles down. From the top you couldn't see much of the falls through the trees, but I'm sure it is beautiful if you could make it to the bottom of the falls. As others mentioned it is strenuous to go to the bottom, so if you only want to get to the top of the falls it is not much to see. I'm giving the hike to to the top a two star only.

hiking
Sunday, March 24, 2013

Nice trail for a day trip. Difficult for beginners

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