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Whiteoak Canyon to Cedar Run Loop



8.2 mile 13.1 kilometer loop
76% Runnable


Ascent: 2,255' 687 m
Descent: -2,255' -687 m
High: 3,385' 1,032 m
Low: 1,191' 363 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 47% (25°)


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Trail shared by Nicholas Crow

Among the best runs --if not the best run-- in Shenandoah. Enjoy waterfalls for 9 miles.

Nicholas Crow

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife


This route has you climbing through Whiteoak Canyon along beautiful waterfalls. During warm months, you're under a canopy and during winter months you'll likely enjoy fog. Sections are fairly steep, but you'll never be far away from a great view allowing you to catch your breath.

Once past the upper falls, your climb continues across a bridge and up a fire road that connects you to Cedar Run Trail. From here, you'll run down 2500' along Robinson River, where you'll discover more waterfalls and will see more wildlife.

Near the bottom, there is a swimming area and a waterfall slide.

Need to Know

This route looks like a 7-mile run on some maps, but when you actually do it, you'll find it's just over 9 miles, so please adjust your plans accordingly.


When running this loop you are immediately greeted with easy stream and bridge crossings, leading up to a steady climb. Rain changes the nature of the stream crossing; sometimes you have to splash through a couple of inches of water at 3 of the crossings. The careful stacking of rocks or the use of trekking poles can prevent a wet misstep. During this period, the trail is also wet, so bring a change of socks just in case.

Though never far from water, each crest and bend reveals yet another waterfall. Near the top, there is a stunning overlook where you can peer down the canyon and enjoy the waterfall far below you.

After the upper falls, the Whiteoak Canyon trail continues on, but you'll cross the river using the bridge, which will take you to a fire trail where you'll gain more elevation. The whole area is heavily forested and is absolutely remarkable when the leaves change.

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Apr 13, 2019
Adam Holt
May 29, 2018
Philip Kempf
Cedar Run to AT N to Crescent Rock Trail to Limberlost Trail to White Oak Canyon. 9.8mi
Jan 28, 2017
Steve DeVilbiss

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 99 votes


  4.7 from 99 votes
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138 Views Last Month
17,293 Since Jan 17, 2016



The second of 6 waterfalls in Whiteoak Canyon (the 1st being the very upper falls).
May 15, 2016 near Stanley, VA
The lower falls of Whiteoak Canyon (the 6th of 6 waterfalls).
May 15, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Looking back across the bridge connecting Whiteoak Canyon trail to the fire road.
Jan 17, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Whiteoak Canyon Falls.
Jan 17, 2016 near Stanley, VA
Lower set of falls. Nice place for lunch.
Apr 20, 2018 near Stanley, VA
This is the lower falls on a winter day when water is very active.
Feb 26, 2016 near Stanley, VA

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