Explore the most popular hiking 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.

12.57 miles, 1st time on this trail, took a wrong turn and ended up taking a little longer route back. It rain the night before, very foggy at 7:30am, drizzling rain through the trees most of the morning. Made it a little wet and muddy. Great hike. Definitely took advantage of the waterfalls and swimming holes every chance!

The weather was overcast with a misty fog and the trees were starting to turn. This made for good photography. Was pleasantly surprised. We did the trail counter clockwise. We would consider the trail pretty easy except for the switchbacks on the AT while climbing up to Hogback Mountain. Didn't get to see the vistas, which are typically nice, but that let us focus on other things.

great trail in a pinch. highest waterfall in Shenandoah 93'

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike! The waterfall is stunning and has two great access points. You will see the water holes after about 5.6 miles of hiking to the left of the trail. There is a noticeable side trail that leads to them that is mostly rock. Two were particularly great for swimming! We set up camp near the first swimming hole, there was a second great spot across a path above the first hole as well. The descent is tough on the legs when carrying 30+ lb overnight packs. I would consider the hike strenuous when you include the weight.

Bears are common on the trail, but usually scare off if you’re making plenty of noise on your way! I’d suggest bringing bear mace just in case, especially right before hibernation and after. Also, bring a bear bag for the night to hide all wrappers from food and uneaten food.

We took a different route on the way back for a portion of the hike to avoid the steep ascent on our second day in the rain. It took us onto Trace Trail and through a campground which gave a good boost to our moral when the temps dropped 20 degrees after being wet for 24 hours!

Even in the rain it was a stunning hike and a great test of strength with packs! I plan to do it again. Great hike to swim and cool off in the summer.

Great trail. We took our two dogs with us and they loved every second. It’s mostly shady and the views are awesome. Our dogs did great on the trails and had no issues.

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

hiking
5 months ago

Good trail. A little rough on the feet at points due to small rocks, but overall enjoyable. Elevation is fine and doesn’t feel overly steep at any one point. Serene trail. Easy to hook up to other trails / pop up to skyline drive overlook spots. My dog loved it too.

hiking
7 months ago

Like J Burt, we did a good portion of this as part of a 9.5 mile Little Devil's, Pole Bridge, Piney Branch, Hogback, Kaiser Run loop. It was nice and serene. Not terribly exciting, but not everything needs to be :)

fishing
7 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes. I love to fly fish and this stream has some of the best brook trout in the park. I uploaded a few pictures of the things you may see on this trail. There are also some nice waterfalls along the trail.

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.

backpacking
Friday, August 18, 2017

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.

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

Great circuit, beautiful environment. specifically,. started from Elkwallow. AT -> Jeremy's Run -> Knob Mtn Cutoff Trail -> Elkwallow-Mathews Arm Tr. Was actually 6 ish miles for us. Beautiful weather. Couple of folks transiting in opposite direction, a few with dogs. No problems and had a great time.

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.

hiking
Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Hikining in this route in early November is just exercise because nothing available to enjoy, small falls available and walking with stream is only a good time but that is only half of the trail.
Fork Mt trail if we do circle than this trail must be little more to enjoy.

backpacking
Monday, November 07, 2016

I've done pretty much the whole Trail from there all the way up to Pennsylvania where it reconnects to the AT.... primitive and you will say where are the blue blazes but a beautiful "Trail" to get away from everyone else

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.

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