Do it! Watch out for some roots and rocks. This is a great place for beginners—just don't get caught up in the beauty and keep scanning the ground periodically (about every 15 feet to know what's coming).
The South Valley Trail
is a lovely trail known for its ability to offer a serene woodland experience to both amateur and seasoned runners alike. Whether you enjoy it for its pristine, gurgling creeks, or its variety of age-old hardwood trees, the South Valley Trail
is surely a treat.
Starting from the trailhead near the Oak Ridge Campground, follow the trail southwest as it begins a long journey through deciduous forests. On this section of the trail, keep your eyes peeled for signs of fire damage on local flora. Back in 2006, a voracious forest fire ripped through this area, burning over 300 acres of the surrounding forest. Impressively, the blaze was curtailed thanks to the courageous efforts of numerous wildland firefighter teams.
After enjoying this section of trail, continue south to pass through more gorgeous forests on your way to reach the Camp 5 Dam and the cabin camps across the water. Wave to your fellow recreators before continuing on through similar forested terrain nestled between the bends of the South Fork Quantico Creek.
From here on out, this trail maintains a similar character as it navigates through junctions with the High Meadows Trail
, various road crossings, and the Turkey Run Ridge Trail
before reaching its end at a junction with the North Valley Trail