The Indian Grave Ridge circuit combines portions of VA 717, Toliver, Milford Gap, Massanutten, and Indian Grave Ridge trails, and is one of the least hiked circuits in the Massanutten range. This is probably due to people being put off by the VA 717 road walk. However the gravel road here sees very little traffic as it ends in another mile. This section of VA 717 is also is a pleasant walk beside the Shenandoah River. During the summer months you will see many people tubing and canoeing along this section.
Mile 1.05 - The Toliver Trail is yellow blazed. Pass around a closed gate where for the first 1.24 miles the trail is part of a forestry road. As the trail climbs Massanutten Mountain it will make two large sweeping turns. First to the left and then back to the right.
Mile 4.96 - Arrive at the intersection with the purple blazed Indian Grave Ridge Trail. Turn left/east downhill as the trail initially descends very steeply for the first 0.75 miles. Pass through a small saddle on the ridge and continue downhill until the Indian Grave Ridge Trail turns left at an intersection with another old hiking trail.
I've done hundreds of hikes in the Luray and surrounding areas and this one was one of my favorites. Yes, it was a little muddy. Yes, there were leaves hiding the rocks. But, there was literally no one on the trail except me, my two buddies and my dog. It took us just over 3 hours to complete, pausing on the ridge for a 20 minute lunch. We started at around 8am, parked at the closed boat launch and headed up 236. The hike up was good but the ridgeline was SPECTACULAR. The pine needles and moss added to the allure of the hike. Heading down was a little rough (look at the elevation map before going) because of the steepness but, overall I LOVED this one.
I'm sure there are a hundred little things I've missed so I'll be hiking it again. My Bernese Mountain Dog, Bailey loved the hike, as well and he'll be going again.
Here's a link to the pics I took along the way. And, yes. My dog lays in every puddle he can find.... He's weird.
Date of Hike: Friday, January 4, 2019
After camping out overnight at a nearby family farm on the Shenandoah River, my son (11) and I hiked starting at Toliver Trail. Its a road trail but was open. That is the gates were wide opened. So instead of hiking the road we drove our vw camper upto mile 2.29 of the map directions, then hiked to approx. mile 3.79 . All nice view and go to skip the road hiking which I do not like always. Toliver was muddy!!! That is MUDDY with all caps. If it were not for the leaf's not sure we would of had traction to get up the trail.
I would like to go back and do the entire loop one day.
I love Hiking Upward.
Date of Hike: Friday, February 9, 2018
We chose this hike because of no stream crossings as it had just rained quite a bit. It was a good choice. The trail was soggy in places, but not too sloppy muddy. We were not able to find the first parking lot as the sign was missing. There was just a red post where the sign probably should have been. We drove on down to 236 and had no trouble parking there. The road sign was also missing there, but someone has painted the number on a stop sign. I was happy to see that there is an outhouse at the boat ramp, but it was locked.
Date of Hike: Friday, February 9, 2018
In thinking about this more, I definitely recommend the parking on 236. It is a large, flat lot a little way up the road just as described.
Date of Hike: Monday, December 25, 2017
Hiked it on Christmas Day and not only did I not see another person, I didn't even see a car, driving or parked on the ~2 mile stretch of dirt road. I did it backwards from parking lot 1 going up the purple blaze to the ridge so I could let my dog run off some energy on the trail and leave the road for when he's tired. Directions were pretty easy to follow, the top of the purple blaze was very steep. Great views on both sides of the ridge, but not many streams at all - glad I brought plenty of water.