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blue River Bank Trail

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6.7 mile 10.9 kilometer point to point
95% Runnable


Ascent: 691' 211 m
Descent: -678' -207 m
High: 492' 150 m
Low: 317' 97 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)


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Trail shared by Maddy Hatter

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A pleasant loop trail which skirts the shorelines of Buggs Island Lake as well as Staunton and Dan River.

Maddy Hatter

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views

Staunton River State Park is fee based. Hours of operation vary by season, but the park is open year round.

Runner Notes

Sections of this trail can either be muddy (clay-like mud at the base of the trail nearest Dan River) or flooded nearest the Staunton River side. Be on the lookout for horses as this is a multi-use trail.


Start by the visitor center and head toward the pool parking area and the easement between the woods (right side) to pick up signs for the Tulelo and River Bank trails. Take the River Bank Trail (blue blazed) on the left to start the loop.

This trail skirts the shoreline of Dan River and heads towards the cabins. Just before the cabins, you'll reach a fork where the right turn heads on River Bank Spur Trail to its terminus and offers good views of Buggs Island Lake. There are a couple of benches and a tie up for horses. Retracing your steps back to the fork and bearing slightly right takes one back on the River Bank Trail again.

The trail skirts around the lower side of the cabins and emerges out of the trees onto the park road. Cross over the road and re-enter the woods on the other side to continue on the trail. This section has been known to flood at the inlets, but much work has been done to improve drainage.

The trail winds up and down, following the shoreline with Staunton River. There are some benches to take in the views just before an intersection with Captain Staunton Trail. Continue onwards and upwards to pass another trail, Robin's Roost Trail which comes in from the left. It's terminus will be passed later in the loop.

After Robin's Roost Trail, the trail enters deeper into the beech forest and runs parallel but inland from the shoreline. As it bends further inland, another bench is reached and a pink blaze marking Twin Loops Trail is reached; this trail heads downhill and off to the right. Stay on River Bank Trail to head towards the horse trailer parking lot. The trail soon intersects with Twin Loops Trail coming in from the right side. Keep on the trail to reach the main road by the park entrance.

Cross the road and bear slightly right to continue on the trail on the other side of the road. A pitch and putt golf course/cafe can be seen to your right. The trail winds through pine and beech forest undulating up and down. Finally, the trail bears to the left and comes out of the forest and turns immediately and sharply left to an open area. A bench is available here. A wider trail follows to a "do not enter" sign before the trail continues right into forest.

After a short open section through grassy terrain on clay ground, Dan River comes into view. Soon after, Robin's Roost Trail comes in from the left. Continue on before making a sharp left and then immediate right past Crow's Nest Trail. Continue past the turnoffs for Picnic Areas 1 & 2 to finally close the loop.

Flora & Fauna

Beech and pine forest, deer, squirrels.


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in Virginia


3 Views Last Month
25 Since Dec 27, 2017
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