Staunton River Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,000' 610 m
Descent: -4' -1 m
High: 2,981' 909 m
Low: 984' 300 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)
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“A moderate trail that winds through the woods alongside the tumbling Staunton River.”— Terra Pacem
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.
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