“Along this trail you'll see scattered ruins of a former church/school and mountain settlement.”
— Larry W. Brown
Wildflowers · Wildlife
Do not disturb any mission ruins. Artifacts are protected by law.
Running this trail is like taking a step back into history, with visible ruins of what once was in these mountains, before it became a national park at the turn of the 20th century.
Look for a concrete marker post on the right, near the start of this yellow-blazed Pocosin Trail. As you turn onto the trail, the first ruin of a wooden structure is about 100 feet diagonally left. It was part of the Episcopal mission here (named the Pocosin Mission). Explore if you wish, remembering that snakes like to take cover in such areas.
20 yards from the house ruins are the steps of a church that doubled as a schoolhouse. The church is gone, and its foundation is covered with vegetation. To date, sections of the rock walls of a small side room are still standing.
25 yards beyond the church steps are the ruins of a wooden structure, now long gone, under a large chestnut oak. The vines on the upper limbs of the oak are loaded with grapes in autumn - but way up out of reach. On the other side of the Pocosin Trail, which once was a road, is an abandoned, overgrown cemetery with fieldstone markers, and the site of at least two houses.
Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great runs, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park