The Rose River Trail is located at Skyline Drive Mile Marker 81 in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It’s a 3.5 mile loop in which you hike down and along the river for a good distance. Along the river are a few nice smaller waterfalls and some wading pools. Being that we hiked here at the end of March we didn’t enter the water but it would be nice in warmer weather. There’s an 843 feet elevation gain on this trail which we found manageable for the most part.
This was probably the longest trail we’ve hiked so far and the first hike of the season so some of us were definitely feeling it near the end. We hiked the loop clockwise in which the last 3/4 mile is along a fire road as recommended by the park rangers. The part of the trail from the bridge to the fire road seemed to be the hardest section with a steep elevation gain. There was also a large tree blocking the path and we had to hike up the hill and around the tree. It was a bit hard to find the trail after we went around the tree but eventually we met back up with it. It was around this time it started pouring rain which made the trail very muddy and slippery. We all went back to the campground with soaked, muddy shoes.
As mentioned previously , the last part of this trail was on a fire road which is the way to do it, saving the easiest terrain for the end although there was a steady elevation gain along the gravel road leading back to Skyline Drive. The kids had a great time on this hike and were sufficiently challenged leading them to be somewhat behaved. I would recommend this hike to families with children (although not much smaller than mine) and it is supposed to be one of the more beautiful moderate hikes in Shenandoah National Park.
Check out the video below highlighting our hike (up until the heavy rains that is) and be sure to stay tuned as we’ll show you more of our Shenandoah National Park Trip next. Thanks for stopping by.