Piney Branch Trail
ElevationAscent: 20' 6 m
Descent: -1,620' -494 m
High: 3,070' 936 m
Low: 1,470' 448 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)
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“A gradually descending trail with multiple stream crossings and a few waterfalls.”— Larry W. Brown
Family Friendly Though there is one steeper section, this trail passes various waterfalls, which make good destinations for younger hikers.
This is not a hike to take if there has been considerable rainfall. That being said, this is a lovely trail through the woods with no distant views but following the Piney River. Along the trail, there are at least two small waterfalls and a number of pools and cascades to explore.
The trail gradually descends heading along the forested canyon floor and has been relocated to avoid a few stream crossings. There will be at least two crossings before reaching the junction with the Hull School Trail.
In a number of stretches, the trail can get fairly steep. Keep your eyes and ears open for waterfalls and cascades the lower you get. The trail occasionally overlaps an old road trace, following the Piney River past the park boundary to its end at Swindler Hollow Rd. Please respect private property and stay on the trail.
There are concrete marker posts with directions and distances at all trail junctions.
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.
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ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna