Hiking Project Logo

gem icon White Oak Canyon Swimming Hole [Suggest Edits]

24 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key



The upper falls portion of the White Oak Canyon (WOC) Trail is a great spot to relax on a hot summer day. The water is consistently cold (really cold) and the abundant trees provide plenty of shade for a nice lunch by the water. Just make sure to bring a pair of water shoes/sandals in addition to hiking boots because the rocky shore can injure unprotected feet.


The WOC Trail is marked with blue blazes.

From the parking lot at the base of the WOC Trail, follow the path at the trailhead and cross the steel bridge. At the intersection, keep straight to stay on the WOC Trail (the path on the left is the return route if you decide to do the WOC/Cedar Run Loop).

Follow the trail for about 1.5 miles until you get to the first waterfalls of the hike. These are definitely photo-worthy, but the pools at the bottom are not quite deep enough for swimming. However, they are the perfect depth for young children to splash around in if they are too young to swim.

Continue for another 0.5 miles until you get to the second set of falls. You'll know it when you see it.

After enjoying a day of swimming, you can return to the parking lot the way you came or finish the WOC/Cedar Run Loop (highly recommended).

All-Day Hike: Roughly 2.5 miles away from the parking lot with some relatively steep sections of trail. It should take about an hour of hiking, probably closer to an hour and a half if bringing kids.

Family Friendly: There are plenty of places to sit and have lunch around the pool. As long as it hasn't rained recently, the water will be calm enough for children to swim in.

Gem Type: Swimming

Shared by:
Nick Whatley
Better to arrive early. Checked in there a couple week ends ago. Saw 2 yearling bears, and plenty of hikers and swimmers... Aug 9, 2017
definitely one of the most popular trails, you park at a fairly decent size parking lot at the rail head on the boundary of Shenandoah National Park. You still need to pay entrance fee/have a pass to enter the trail. Best to arrive early in spring/summer/on nice weather days, it gets crowded very fast. Mar 25, 2019

You & This Gem

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Share This Gem

Check In


Oct 12, 2018
Kenneth Mcbee
Aug 12, 2018
Alex Jacobs
Jul 8, 2018
Lo Mo
Jul 6, 2018
Karen Terry
Perfect day, perfect hike.
Jun 25, 2018
Aunt Jackie
Apr 28, 2018
Ben Mac
Apr 15, 2018
Hannah Wiley
Mar 31, 2018
Prateek Singh
Several downed trees, and for people doing this for the first time, you have to cross the stream twice

Nearby Trails

8.9 mi 14.3 km
Old Rag Loop
Stanley, VA
8.9 mi 14.3 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
6 days ago
Stanley, VA
8.2 mi 13.1 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
Mostly Dry, Some Mud
2 days ago
3.8 mi 6.1 km
Rose River Loop
Stanley, VA
3.8 mi 6.1 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
3 days ago
Stanley, VA
1.1 mi 1.8 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
Dry - All clear, no mud. Rock scramble is fun, recommend shoes with grippy soles.
18 days ago
Stanley, VA
2.7 mi 4.3 km Stanley, VA
2.9 mi 4.6 km
Ridge Trail
Stanley, VA
2.9 mi 4.6 km Stanley, VA
1.7 mi 2.7 km
Dark Hollow Falls
Stanley, VA
1.7 mi 2.7 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
17 days ago
Stanley, VA
0.9 mi 1.4 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
17 days ago
5.0 mi 8.0 km
Whiteoak Canyon
Stanley, VA
5.0 mi 8.0 km Stanley, VA
Washington, VA
2.0 mi 3.3 km Washington, VA
Shared by Nick Whatley on Dec 16, 2015. All Page Views: 8,417. Last Month: 166.