South River Falls Trail

MODERATE
#1 of 4 trails in Rapidan Wildlife Management Area
true
South River Falls Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stanardsville, VA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from March until June.

3.4 miles 912 feet Loop
hiking river waterfall rocky
Hide Map

Directions from Front Royal, VA: Skyline Drive travels the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. Mile markers are placed along the right-hand side of the road heading south. They are numbered from north to south beginning at the northern terminus in Front Royal, Virginia. Facilities, trails and park features use the mile markers as points of reference. Park in the South River Picnic Area where the trail begins near the third parking area. The milepost is 62.8.

Martha Barrett
1 month ago

10 Completed0 Reviews

I enjoyed this one. Did the fire road return due to time constraints, which made it considerably easier. Falls were lovely!

Jeremy Johnston
1 month ago

43 Completed0 Reviews

Jeremy Johnston
2 months ago

43 Completed0 Reviews

John Twigg
3 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Great day hike even for the moderately in shape non hiker. Going in is a pretty easy downhill stroll. Take the time and hike all the way to the bottom of the falls, it's worth it! The hike out is pretty tough if
You're not in decent shape.

Young Kim
4 months ago

6 Completed1 Reviews

This loop has two distinct flavors – my wife and I started with the downhill along the streams all the way then to the base of the fall. It was absolutely majestic with the views and sound of the stream for most of the way. The trail was well marked with signs. We took the return trip on the fire road, which was the steady incline all the way back to the South River Picnic area parking lot. I believe the fire road return trip was better for us – we can’t imagine walking back up the rocky, steeper trail along the stream. We finished the trip in less than 4 hours. We can’t wait to come back with grandkids in the summer – I presume it will be quite crowded. We only ran into 2 groups today.

Shannon Marciano
5 months ago

8 Completed1 Reviews

Leanna Smithberger
5 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

The trail along the river and falls is beautiful. It's pretty wet and muddy and there are a few stream crossings. The trip on the way back is mostly up a fire road so it's not as picturesque.

Becky Blake
7 months ago

7 Completed6 Reviews

Would love to hike this one in winter when there is more water and leaves are off the trees. Nice hike down to falls overlook. Hiked to the base of the falls adding about another mile. Total distance was 5.2 miles on the loop coming up the fire road. Trip back up up is long but a good workout.

Joey Gabriano
8 months ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

Great hike. You get to hear water much of the way as you're following a trickling river. The waterfall was far away, but still fun to see. I'd go again.

Jarvandi Tarbania
10 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Nice trails, not too hard. Was my first time hiking there and my friend's first time hiking ever. Really enjoyed it and the waterfall is beautiful.

SB Shrestha
10 months ago

6 Completed3 Reviews

Easy and fun trail

SB Shrestha
10 months ago

6 Completed3 Reviews

It's an easy hike downhill. Uphill can be a battle if that is a second hike of the day. Also, follow the signs to reach the main Waterfall, else you might get disappointed.

Laura Kraft
11 months ago

7 Completed6 Reviews

We might give it a 3.5. The hike down is very easy- dirt trail with several switchbacks- that will haunt your return. There was some good scenery on the way. The waterfall is pretty cool due in part to its size. We visited several others in the area that were a better payoff for the hike required to get there, hence our rating. Additionally, we weren't up for the 1.4 mile additional hike to the base of the falls. We had lunch here and it was a great time. Didn't see many people on the trail.
Be ready for a long climb up to your car.

MATTHEW HAMILTON
1 year ago

30 Completed2 Reviews

Just a note, the "rattlesnakes" noted in the photos are the less dangerous, less reclusive copperhead snakes. Venomous, yes, but not as worrisome.

Allison Middleton
1 year ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

I just did about 4 miles of the trail. VERY pretty and loved the creek crossings. There is not much parking and the trail head is not marked from the road.

David Baker
1 year ago

13 Completed7 Reviews

I have hiked to the falls numerous times and always enjoy going back. My favorite was a Christmas Eve hike with a little snow still on the ground.

Pilgrim B
1 year ago

7 Completed7 Reviews

We've taken this trial twice in the past few years. Once on a cold rainy spring day, with lots of fog and lots of snow melt and rainwater in every gully; more recently in mid October on a cold rainy fall day, with fog and a colorful leaf strewn pathway. In the spring, be prepared to ford at least two places. Due to the weather, we pretty much had the trail to ourselves, which is how we best enjoyed it. The extra descent to the base of the falls adds another mile or so to the total. The fire road is a boring way to to hike this, but if you're tired, it is an easier return route.

Zehra Nasif
1 year ago

12 Completed5 Reviews

Will Patterson
1 year ago

16 Completed2 Reviews

Me and my family where hiking and there where vines that you could swing on like Tarzan!

Susan Laiewski
2 years ago

4 Completed2 Reviews

Used to hike when younger... started hiking again with the start of the new year. Have done 4 hikes thus far and this was the best. Wide trails, clean... there were a few spots across streams that were rocky and had to look beyond to see best place to cross (adds to the adventure!). There was snow on the ground from the previous snow and made for picturesque scenery, some sloshy spots, but all-around awesome hike. Make sure you have camera ready! The falls are an awesome stop for picnic, photo ops, and to really take in nature! If you are in the area, I recommend this hike.