hike has some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Shenandoah National
Park. Combining two out-and-back hikes, White Oak Canyon & Cedar Run, this loop starts at the bottom of the valley and cuts over near the top of the ridge. With five major falls, numerous smaller cascades and pools, this circuit hike is one of the best.
Follow the blue blazed trail on the right side of WOC Run reaching the WOC/Cedar Run Connector Trail in 0.6 miles. Stay straight on the right side of WOC Run for another 0.7 miles, cross a small stream, then arrive the base of the first set of major falls.
Continuing uphill from the main overlook, and shortly arrive at the yellow blazed Bridge Path Trail that comes in from the right. Stay straight, then cross WOC Run in another 40 yards at the horse rail. If WOC Run is high, continue up the right side of WOC Run and cross a footbridge in 120 yards.
After crossing the run follow the wide yellow blazed WOC Fire Road/Horse Trail. In 1.6 miles the WOC Fire Road/Horse Trail will veer right. Stay left on the narrower yellow blazed trail, marked on a concrete post as "Horse Tr To Big Meadows". In 0.6 miles the horse trail intersects the blue blazed Cedar Run Trail.
Continue downward on the Cedar Run Trail for 0.5 miles where the blue blazed trail makes a sharp left to cross Cedar Run for the last time. After crossing Cedar Run follow the trail for 0.3 miles to the intersection of the WOC/Cedar Run Connector Trail. Turn right downhill on the Cedar Run Trail towards RT600, and in 0.4 miles arrive back at the WOC Trail intersection. Turn right, re-cross the steal footbridge, and arrive back at the parking area.
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Reviews For The White Oak/Cedar Run Hike (5 Most Recent)
Parked at Weakley Hollow "P" lot. Surprised to see the CLEAR-CUT forest behind the little ranger station kiosk -- a private woodlot sale? Started trail at 7 am, 35F, up Cedar Run to Hawksbill parking lot. A few early-spring flowers and birds no deer, no bears. Low/average water in the streams. The rest of the loop was a very easy run down the fire road and a pretty easy run down White Oak Canyon back to W.H. No rangers working as usual - why? Total time for the whole 7.9 mile loop: 2 h 34 m, my second best time ever.
Ellen and Tim
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 26, 2016
Now 60 and almost-50 and we are still able to do this hike! Nice day if a little chilly at the start. Arrived at 7:15 a.m. Second car in lot. However, the lot fills up and nearby property owners charge $10 to park on their land. Went up Cedar Run, up Hawksbill, then down White Oak Canyon. Trees not leafed out but some wild flowers were starting to pop out. Two migratory bird species heard & seen (Louisiana Waterthrush - several Blue-headed Vireo - three). More muddy than expected but not too bad. Love this hike but usually go elsewhere as there are too many people on White Oak Canyon because of the water falls. This time, not too many people - maybe due to holiday weekend. Whatever the reason, it made for a more pleasant hike. People were generally well-behaved. Only one had dog off-leash and she put the dog on the leash when asked to do so (but why have to ask her? it is a national park - the rule is that dogs must be on leashes). Only two pieces of dropped trash. Most people knew enough to single file when hikers were coming in the other direction or passing. Only two groups clogged the entire trail forcing us to stand to the side and wait.
Date of Hike: Thursday, March 10, 2016
My husband and I took the day off and decided to hike this trail because we figured that a weekend day would be way too crowded based on reviews. Since it is spring break for some of the universities in the area we did encounter a good amount of people (~20 or so), but mostly on the White Oak side as most were hanging out by the larger falls. We went with the reviews and hiked the circuit backwards - Cedar Run/White Oak - what an a** kicker! Up up and up for ~2200 feet, but the trails were well maintained and easy to navigate. We (okay, mainly I) ended up taking plenty of quick breaks to catch my breath, which was rewarded with constant views of streams, falls and enticing swimming holes. As we neared the fire road/horse trail that would connect us to the White Oak trail it got nearly silent as the water coming down the mountain was underground - pretty cool and welcome news that we were nearly to the top. We enjoyed the wide and flat walk on the fire road, making up for time from our slower ascent. We hit the White Oak Canyon trail, crossed a cool foot bridge and worked our way down. Again, I have to say, the work done on this trail is some of the best I've seen. We will definitely be back to hike this one again since we're training for some backpacking trips out west this summer. Go out and enjoy this one!
**The only disappointing experience was that people seem to think that nature is their own personal trash can. We picked up about 4 empty water bottles, a bottle cap, a kid's juice box, and an empty granola bar package. Unfortunately we couldn't safely get to an empty gatorade bottle we saw from the trail. PLEASE be good stewards/practice good Leave No Trace principles and PACK OUT what you bring in. There are trash cans at the trailhead that you can throw everything away before heading back to your car.
Suzy & Tom
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 28, 2016
Great hike! We took the advice of other reviewers and did the hike in reverse. Cedar Run is rocky and the footing is treacherous at times so we were glad to be going up and not down. It is a long "up" though and we were happy to finally reach the yellow trail which is mostly flat or downhill to the White Oak Canyon trail. The Cedar Run trail was quieter (far fewer people) and equally spectacular in its own way following the run for most of the time. Our GPS measured the hike at 8.85 miles.
Date of Hike: Sunday, February 21, 2016
My boyfriend and I hiked this loop yesterday. It was definitely difficult, but the conditions made it more difficult. We have done Old Rag before and absolutely loved it. This one is definitely difficult, but in a different way. Since we have had so much precipitation this year it was extremely slick and the hike down Cedar Run resulted in a lot of sliding. The horse trail between White Oak and Cedar Run is all uphill (so be prepared!) and it ended up taking us 9.6 miles even though we never got lost. I can imagine this hike would be much more manageable when it's not so wet. The views for the first 3 miles on White Oak were beautiful! We loved walking right next to the falls. It was just the last 6 miles that left us quite exhausted. At the end we both agreed that it would be easier with drier conditions. Overall, we enjoyed going, but it was more than we expected!
Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls! This has to be the most spectacular waterfall hike in Shenandoah National Park. With three sets of falls on the way up White Oak Canyon and three smaller falls heading down Cedar Run, this circuit is among the mid-Atlantic's most popular. Lots of company on the trail.
Usually, the ideal time for this hike is in early spring, but with the rain we've had in the last month, all the falls were near their best. The wildlife was also out; we came across several black snakes, this guy (vid) was a local celebrity with hikers on Saturday, and we also saw a juvenile black bear on the trail.