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Rose River Fire Road

Easy/Intermediate
 3.5 (4)

It is what remains of the Gordonsville Turnpike completed in 1853 by the Blue Ridge Turnpike Company


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

11.0

KM

Point to Point

3,077' 938 m

High

1,182' 360 m

Low

10' 3 m

Up

1,906' 581 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

Park at the Fishers Gap Overlook and head out the north entrance. Cross the Skyline Drive to access the fire road. A hundred feet down the fire road you'll see a trail to the left, which is the start of the Rose River Loop trail. If you opt to do that circuit, you'll be returning up this fire road. Otherwise, continue straight down the fire road.

You'll eventually pass by the Cave family cemetery, located on the right, just off the fire road. About 0.6 mile further down you'll come to a small bridge which crosses Hogcamp Branch, the stream which drains Big Meadows Swamp, flows through Dark Hollow, and becomes the principal tributary of Rose River.

To your right is a long, narrow waterfall, which descends from Dark Hollow Falls. You'll see the blue-blazed Dark Hollow Falls Trail to your right, which goes uphill. If you make a side trip to the base of the falls you'll add 0.3 mile and 145 feet of climbing to your outing. To the left of the bridge you'll see the loop trail (mentioned above) which connects back to the fire road.

Continue down the fire road as it descends through the Rose River Valley to the park boundary, where it then becomes Virginia Route 670.

Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this trail description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great hikes, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park.

Flora & Fauna

Black Bears and Whitetail Deer are often seen in this area, especially in early Autumn when acorns are ripening. However, the bears prefer to climb up into the trees and eat the acorns when they are still somewhat green, so always look up if you hear branches breaking and/or see leaves and acorns falling to the ground.

Contacts

Shared By:

Larry W Brown

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 4 votes

#22190

Overall
  3.5 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings

#559

in Virginia

#22,190

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Photos

One of the many cascading falls as you descend Rose River Loop
Oct 21, 2018 near Stanley, VA
One of the many cascades found along the Rose River Loop Trail
Mar 19, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Fly fishing on the Rose River Trail.
Mar 19, 2016 near Stanley, VA
A view of the waterfall at the bottom of the Dark Hollow Trail.
Mar 19, 2016 near Stanley, VA
One of the many cascading falls as you descend Rose River Loop
Oct 21, 2018 near Stanley, VA
A clip of the waterfall located at the lower end of Dark Hollow.
Mar 20, 2016 near Stanley, VA

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Check-Ins

Jan 30, 2021
Elk Baiter
Hoping to photograph frozen waterfalls: our GPS took us to the END of the trail. We were NOT disappointed. Last 2 miles has smaller falls, but lovely. 3.9mi — 2h 40m
Dec 25, 2020
Stan N
Started at the bottom and the lower section of the trail/road near VA 670 was a stream of water shoulder to shoulder. Too wet for us today.
Nov 3, 2019
Kunho Cheung
Apr 21, 2019
Michael Smith
The fire road gets quite rocky at times and almost seems like you are walking down a creekbed ending at Dark Hollow Falls. 6.5mi
Sep 9, 2018
Sheena M
Very rainy, after wet year. Long portions were a stream. Path was clear, well marked, easy grade, but rocky (hard on knees v. dirt) waterfalls++ 9mi
Aug 19, 2018
Taylor Browning
6mi
Feb 13, 2018
Chris McCloud
Feb 12, 2018
Chris McCloud
Done as part of Dark Hollow waterfall day at SHEN