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Rose River Fire Road



6.8 mile 11.0 kilometer point to point
93% Runnable


Ascent: 10' 3 m
Descent: -1,906' -581 m
High: 3,077' 938 m
Low: 1,182' 360 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


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Trail shared by Larry W. Brown

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

Larry W. Brown

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


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.

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1,202 Since Dec 1, 2015



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
A view of the waterfall at the bottom of the Dark Hollow Trail.
Mar 19, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Fly fishing on the Rose River 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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