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)
Great hike today up Cedar Run, continuing up Hawksbill, then down the Forest Road and down Whiteoak Canyon to the parking lot. Lots of people already out hiking and camping when I started hiking at 7 a.m. On the hike saw a hot orange salamander, the mountain laurel in bloom, and clouds pouring like a waterfall over nearby mountain tops. Also notice the trail elves have been repairing or adding water diverts to several places along the loop - thanks.
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 26, 2013
This is a fantastic hike. It took about 4/12 hours but if we had started earlier we could have taken 8 hours to do it because we would have stopped more to enjoy the views and do some rock climbing. I have climbed Old Rag a few miles up the road 5 times and wanted to try this one. This hike has beautiful views of water and waterfalls most of the way. You can almost always hear rushing water which is nice. We started at the bottom and took the 3 mile climb on the cedar run portion. This is 3 miles on a stair climber basically--It's straight up. When you get in view of the parking lot, turn right and take the poorly-marked yellow horse trail 1.7 miles to the White Oak Canyon trail. Stay to the right.
In contrast to this hike, the Old Rag hike is wooded switchbacks all the way to the rock scramble, then fun on the rock scramble with great views---then 4 miles of wooded, non-scenic woods on the way down. You are just basically heading back to the parking lot after the views on top--anxious to get back so you can get to a winery. In contrast, White oak Canyon is scenic the whole way.
You have to be in pretty good shape to do this hike, or take a lot of breaks. I recommend a lot of Naproxen before you start and before you go to bed! I will definitely be doing this one again and be bringing my better camera with zoom. I recommend this hike highly.
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 16, 2013
What a wonderful hike. We had the weather odds against us, but lucked out. It only rained for about 20 minutes our whole hike. The water crossings were very high and we had to find alternative routes to stay on the trail which was fun and challenging. The snow from last weeks massive snow storm was pretty much gone off of the trails. However, we did find some bear tracks which made us on edge for awhile, but other than that, it was a great hike!
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 16, 2013
I led a small group of hikers from Central Virginia Trailblazers (www.cvatrailblazers.org). Most of the people who were signed up for the hike backed out due to the weather forecast, but it ended up being a perfect day except for a brief rain shower...and best of all, we had the trail pretty much to ourselves. We missed our turn at the fire road and ended up hiking further up the mountain to the Limberlost Trail, and then hopped on the Crescent Trail to get to Cedar Run. This added about two miles to the loop, but allowed us to enjoy the view from Crescent Overlook. The trail was a little muddy, and there were still a few inches of snow on the ground at the higher elevations. My trekking poles came in very handy. We were slowed down by the water crossings, but managed to complete the hike in about six hours. Definitely a strenuous but enjoyable hike.
Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 05, 2013
First time I hiked this trail, and loved the amount of beautiful views it had to offer. The icicles were melting throughout the hike due to the weather warming up a bit, but those left over definitely added a nice touch to the hike. The water level for both WOC and Cedar Run was adequate. Worth bringing a nice camera if you plan on stopping to take pictures along the trail.
If you start your hike on WOC take note that the fire trail connecting the two trails is all uphill which fails keep new hikers/nonhikers entertained. (Thought my friend who volunteered to come with me was going to give up at this point in the hike) Took at least 5 hours including stops to take pictures. Didn't see a soul the whole time. I really enjoyed the hike and thought it was perfect, but it was a bit much for my nonhiking friend who was really struggling by the end.
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.