South River Falls Trail

#1 of 4 trails in Rapidan Wildlife Management Area
South River Falls Trail is a 5.2 mile loop trail located near Stanardsville, Virginia that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.

5.2 miles Loop
hiking river rocky waterfall
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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.

Leanna Smithberger

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 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

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

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

5 Completed3 Reviews

Easy and fun trail

SB Shrestha

5 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

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.


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 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

12 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.