Hiking Project Logo

Staunton River Trail



4.0 mile 6.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 2,000' 610 m
Descent: -4' -1 m
High: 2,981' 909 m
Low: 984' 300 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Terra Pacem

A moderate trail that winds through the woods alongside the tumbling Staunton River.

Terra Pacem

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Waterfall


The Staunton River Trail is a moderately difficult trail that parallels the Staunton River. The trail is mostly uphill, frequently with a narrow one-person pathway.

To get to the Staunton River Trailhead, drive to Graves Mill, Virginia and take Route 662 north until its end. You'll arrive at a small gravel parking area. This is a no fee entrance to Shenandoah National Park. The trailhead is somewhat isolated but in a safe, rural area.

Take the Graves Mill Trai 1/2 mile and look for the concrete trailhead marker on the left. This beautiful four-mile trail is well marked and almost completely shaded during spring through fall. It is often used to make a longer out-and-back hike.

There are multiple views of the Staunton River highlighted with beautiful but small waterfalls, huge river boulders, and cool breezes off the stream rushing downhill. The trail is bordered with local wildflowers and with occasional wild blackberry and raspberry bushes.

The surrounding forest is mostly poplar and oak with thick undergrowth. The trail intersects with the Jones Mountain Trail at the 2.2-mile marker. This trail leads to the historic Jones Mountain Cabin which can be rented from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Another side trail leads to Bear Church Rock that provides spectacular mountain and valley views. This trail is open only to hikers. No horses or bikes allowed. This is not a busy trail and it is normal to hike up and back and see only a few fellow hikers. The closest store for food, drink and gas is in Wolftown, about seven miles from the trailhead.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna


Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


Nov 17, 2018
Joy Granados
On the way to bear church rock. Day hike 4mi — 3h 30m
Oct 6, 2018
Nathan Valentine
Jul 4, 2018
Diane Markva
Fully shaded. Great for swimming holes and a picnic! 3.3mi
May 27, 2018
Alyssa Tischler
Mar 30, 2018
Keith Noyes
Did the Jones Branch Fork and Staunton River loop. Still lots of blow down from the storm. Beautiful view from Bear Church Rock and the falls. 13mi
Aug 30, 2017
Joan Gilrain
Beautiful trail along the river. Interesting rock piles and walls left from previous inhabitants. Curious about the stacked lumber--old fence wood?
Jun 30, 2017

Stewarded By

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 7 votes


  4.1 from 7 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Virginia


61 Views Last Month
1,948 Since Jun 22, 2016



A creek crossing made up of large rocks and boulders.
Jun 10, 2016 near Madison, VA
Staunton River. with permission from rootboy
May 27, 2016 near Stanard…, VA
Heading up the Staunton River Trail.
Jun 30, 2016 near Madison, VA
A relatively smooth trail surface.
Jun 30, 2016 near Madison, VA
A shaded stretch below the canopy.
Jun 30, 2016 near Madison, VA
Coming up on the rocky creek crossing.
Jun 10, 2016 near Madison, VA

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking