North Carolina  Virginia
Maryland  West Virginia
All States Hike Map

Hiker Reviews for the Goshen Pass/Jump Rock Hike - 1 to 12 of 12   
Review the Goshen Pass/Jump Rock hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Allison Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 29, 2017
We hiked this on Memorial Day 2017 and expected to see someone else on the trail, but never did. There were lots of people putting in kayaks and canoes into the Maury River, but still plenty of parking. The area must have experienced very heavy rains in recent weeks, as the first .8 miles had lots of downed trees, brush, and standing water. The Maury was flowing quickly and made us envious we didn't make it a kayaking day rather than a hiking day. At one point the trail was fully consumed by the Maury and we debated turning back. There was always a rock or bank to hop on and that made for slow-going. There were other places where the brush carried by water completely obscured the trail. Got in a good workout after an initially very slow start.

If you want clear trails, easily recognizable markers, and un-obscured views, this might not be the trail for you. We never felt lost, but there were several times on the way to Jump Rock that I looked around thinking, hmmmm.... We opted to just do an out and back to Jump Rock and retrace our steps back down. That was probably a mistake because of the steepness of the trail.

All in all, it was a decent hike and we had fun with the woods all to ourselves. The drive in was very pretty and we stopped to relax at the rest spot on 39. Bring lots of water. We had 4 liters each on a warm day (~83F at the base) and that was just enough.

By: Chris Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, March 27, 2017
Thanks for the original post...it was very helpful as this is not the easiest trail to follow. I would like to update future hikers a bit with a few updates which might make it a bit easier for people to follow. As most of the reviewers have stated, it can be a challenge to follow as there are a lot of different colored blazes, signs and decision points. The hike took us 6 hours round trip including about an hour at the top and at a lunch spot. Spring time is a great time to complete this hike because you can still see through all the trees and have a view of Lake Merriwether and the surrounding mountains. We did this hike with our Rhodesian Ridgeback who had no problem with the hike. It is no fairly strenuous hike. We saw one deer and no other wildlife until we saw hawks from the top.

Following are a few notes to help stay on the trail to Jump Rock. The initial part of the hike starts along the Maury River going into Goshen pass from the Swinging Bridge. You make a left when you get to a sign marked "Chambers Ridge Trail". The single white blazes are easy to follow on this portion of the trail. Once you reach the top of the first ridge (Chambers Ridge) there is a nice level walk along the top of the ridge. You then descend a bit into a saddle between ridges and reach your first decision point....the trail splits left/right. There is a sign that has fallen off a tree there so you are not sure which way to go and there are white blazes on both trails. Take the trail to the right. You then start to climb quite a bit and eventually reach quite a barrier of large rock outcrops and the trail seems to disappear here. You can go straight over the rocks but for the less youthful there is an easier route just about ten or fifteen yards to the left so I suggest you bear left when you hit the steep rocks and you will see a much easier spot to go over the rocks and then hit the trail again. on the other side. You keep going up and pretty soon you will hit a set of big rocks where you can look over into the Shenandoah Valley for the first time on this hike. Someone has thoughtfully hung two gallon water bottles up in a white netting which can easily be lowered if you are out of water or forgot to bring any.This is a good spot to sit and eat. There is another one in about 20 minutes if you want to wait. From these rocks you leave to the left of them on a trail and follow it until it starts going down quite steeply to the right. you will see two or three white blazes and then there are none and the trail disappears. Do not despair. You can see a saddle between the ridges down bearing a bit to the left so just keep descending the direction you were going until you hit a trail which is coming in from the left. Follow this down to the saddle. There is a piece of debris from a previous structure in a small moss-covered clearing there to sit on and have lunch. At this point there is a sign saying you are 0.5 miles from Jump Rock. Follow the trail up to Jump Rock...it is well-marked and you will know it when you have gotten to Jump Rock. You emerge from the trail on to some rocks overlooking the Shenandoah along Little North Mountain. It is a great place to sit and enjoy the view, look into the Valley below, have a lunch if you haven't already, watch the hawks flying beneath you and enjoying the peace and quiet. You backtrack 0.5 miles down to the spot where the small clearing is and then continue up the trail where you met it after bushwhacking for a hundred yards or so coming down the steep part to the saddle. Keep going along the trail across a steep slope as you cross over a rocky debris field. If you look down slope you will see other trails and blazes but do not try to reach those...stay up on slope crossing across it (there is a trail with blazes across a lot of rocks) and you will eventually start dropping onto a clear well-marked trail. This is a the Tuscarora Trail, but it is not marked as such until you make a left turn off of it. When you see a sign called "Viewing Rock Trail" pointing off to the left, take this trail to the left. It starts to drop steeply and in about 150 yards you will see a small trail and a sign pointing to the left where in about 20 yards you will get to the Viewing Rock with a great view of Lake Merriwether and the valley to the West. Walk back out to Viewing Rock Trail and then immediately you hit a sign that points you to Camp PMI. DO NOT ignore this sign. Take this trail towards Camp PMI. (Note that the primary notes say not to follow it...you should definitely follow it, we believe it must have been in a different place previously). Keep going down (quite steeply) on this trail and you will hit an intersection with a sign pointing to the left saying "Hunter's Trail". Take a left here and soon you will hit an old logging road which goes down to the right on Round Knob Trail. From here it is easy sailing 2.7 miles back to the swinging bridge. Keep going on this and you will hit a small creek going through an old steel pipe under the trail and continue descending until you hit a gravel road. Take a left on the gravel road and you are now on the edge of Camp Bowman (on your right). You will see camp sites for the scouts in the woods. Keep going along the gravel road until you see Lake Merriwether in front of you a hundred yards ahead of you. We did not take the Anderson Trail sign on our left (and are not sure where this leads). We took a left soon after it before we hit the lake at a shooting range. There is a gravel/dirt road here that runs along the base of the mountain and eventually hooks up again with the trail (take a right on the trail) and it will take you back to the Swinging Bridge. We never saw any signs for the Swinging Bridge. Really enjoyed this hike but it was a bit stressful at times not knowing exactly where to go...hope this helps to make it easier for you.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 26, 2016
The description is pretty spot on and navigating was not difficult. There were several fallen trees and trail signs. The bushwack had us nervous ahead of time, but we stayed on the ENE heading when the white blazes ceased and located the trail to take us up to Jump Mountain, which was clearly marked, but overgrown. Coming back down Jump Mountain towards Viewing Rock was marked by white blazes, but not very packed down in places. Just past Viewing Rock, there was a sign that said “To Camp PMI,” which had us second guessing whether or not to continue down Viewing Rock Trail. We continued down Viewing Rock Trail and made it down to the intersection where we were took the "hard left onto an un-named trail," which was now marked as Hunters Trail. One last note - the green sign indicating the return to Swinging Bridge was not there or we missed it, so be alert.

Overall a moderately strenuous but beautiful hike on an early spring day.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 18, 2015
It was a decent hike and like the previous reviewer, a bit difficult to find the trial at point. As with the current instructions, it get a bit difficult with the downed leaves after the outlook onto the maury. If you know the general direction, you can navigate it. I had to refer to my garmin a couple of times to make sure. Furthermore, the gap leading up to Jump Rock can be confusing. There were yellow markers that represented the boundary of the reserve. Coming back from Jump rock is probably the most difficult and there are several trials that branch off (you'll have to take a left to get to view rock).

We had a hard time following the instructions and locating the route referenced after the view rock. We took the route to Camp PMI. I saw on my gps that it does get you down to the road that leads to the campsite at the end, which connects to the trial that leads back to the bridge. When you take the route to Camp PMI, you'll see a close route that branches to the left after some switchbacks. Keep right on the trial until the trial T intersects another trial. At the T intersect, we took a left and you'll reach a 2nd T intersect. At the 2nd T intersect, we too a right and eventually meeting the gravel road. From, there you can roughly follow the instruction to get back.

By: Casual C Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 05, 2015
I've hiked a number of trails using this site, yet this is the only one I felt the need to write a review for. The warnings about poor markings and potentially difficult navigation should not be taken lightly. We completed this hike in early spring, with autumn leaves obscuring the trail in several places. In some sense, as moderately experienced hikers, it was fun for my friend and I to get lost and find our way. We finished the hike in under six hours, including lunch and the hour or so when we were lost. Aside from being poorly marked, this trail is well-rounded with views, water features, solitude, and moderate ascent. Words to the wise: This trail is poorly demarcated. We saw single/double white, single/double blue, and single/double/triple/quadruple yellow blazes along this trail. Single white blazes are the most consistent and frequent, but there were places where these blazes were faded and, as mentioned, missing. The sign pointing to the green swinging bridge mentioned towards the end of the hike in the description was not to be found. There area seemed to have been recently logged (and was possibly removed?). If you hike within view of the dam, backtrack a few hundred paces to a logging road that will lead you to the trail to the swinging bridge. Navigation-wise, it may be easier to hike this trail clockwise. Cheers.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 06, 2014
This was my second time on this hike, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time.  This is a great, fairly short hike to get a nice sweat going.  This time, we headed up and back on the Little Peak trail.  I would certainly recommend bringing plenty of water if it is a warm day out (2 adults and 2 labs went through a gallon of water before making our descent), as the trail becomes a pretty steep incline and the temperature will play a major factor in how difficult this hike is (the first time hiking this trail, temperatures were much milder and the overall hike difficulty was substantially less).  I would not recommend bringing the pup(s) on this hike unless they are used to this sort of activity.  The incline on this hike will be too much for an older/inexperienced dog.  But if you think your dog can handle the incline, the only true obstacle on Little Peak is a rock formation the trail runs right through (although there is no discernible "trail") that can require some minor use of your hands.  My two labs found some enjoyment in making it up, but their cautious mother was a bit more worried than I.  For a much safer (and smarter!) route for the dogs, walk left along the base of these rocks and you will find a much easier path up and can re-connect with the trail.  If you're looking for a hike that will give you a great workout, while only taking up about half of your day, this is a hike I would recommend.  In my two trips up to Jump Rock, I have seen very little wildlife (a snake and 2 white-tailed deer in all), but even fewer hikers.

By: Jack C Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Started the hike following breakfast from PMI with a group of webelos and dads total of 21 (14 boys webelos 1 and 2) day packed our lunch and what we thought was plenty of water. The hike to viewing rock was completed at a good pace with a short rest and some pics, weather was clear and warm to hot. The trail was slick at spots from viewing rock to jump rock and was completed at similiar pace. The group stopped several times to make head counts and toast to water. Following lunch and group and father son pics we desended to viewing rock once again for quick stop and view and made the remaining desent to PMI. All total the whole group make the entire trip with stops, lunch and pics w/ just enough water time on the trail was completed in less than 8 hours. Age range was 9 yrs to 50 yrs beginners to experienced hikers.


By: Charles T. Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 21, 2011
A great hike indeed!  I did not start at Swinging Bridge but rather from Camp Bowman with about 30 young boy scouts between 6th and 8th grade and several parents.  A couple of boy scout leaders who knew the way lead the troop and I was anchorman.  The weather was in the mid to high 90's and few clouds.  No breazes blew and most of us ran out of water.  However only two in the crowd failed to reach the summit (they were parents - all of the boys made it!)  The view was spectacular.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 19, 2011
This turned into an out-and-back for me because I couldn't find the Tuscarora Trail. The saddle is full of trees with yellow blazes -- some trees have four or more. I'm assuming these were boundary markings because the blazes didn't follow a trail. Hiking alone and without a hand-held GPS, I reluctantly climbed back up to the Little Peak Trail.

Perhaps they're new, but the white blazes didn't end after making the hard right on Little Peak Trail and heading downhill. I followed at least eight white blazes down the mountain to the saddle area. Finding the Jump Rock Trail was easy, but I couldn't locate the Tuscarora Trail when I returned to the saddle.

I'll have to try this hike from the opposite direction to check out Viewing Rock and hopefully get to the saddle to see where I went wrong.

By: Travis Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 07, 2010
This hike was a disappointment for me, My friends and I got there at 9:30 and the swinging bridge was a nice beginning. We did get lost once because there are so many intersections you come to that you don't know which is the intersection you need to be looking for. There was quite a bush whack in the first 0.8 mile stroll as we came off the bridge and went right to do the entire 8.2 mile loop. After that the hike got better, very tough at first as you climb quickly. The strip to jump rock was quite a bush whack too, I suggest wearing long pants or high socks. The views were pretty good, but definitely not what I'm used to seeing with Old Rag and others in mind. Viewing rock was much nicer. I recommend using gps or having some people with you if you do this hike. Other than that I saw no wildlife (snakes!) so that was great. Not a bad hike, but definitely better ones out there. My group did this hike in 4 hours and 30 minutes (we like to push it).

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 29, 2010
First & foremost... Great job Hiking Upward! I used to be a mapmaker and did lots of work for PATC and the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. You guys are a great resource and the commentary is very helpful.

We did this hike on a warm day (90+) and the suggestion to have lots of water is correct. 4 liters to a gallon is about right. I took three 12 yr-olds and the bush-whacking comment in the copy scared me out of going up the Chamber's Ridge route (I don't have a hand-held GPS). We took a left at the swinging bridge, went to Jump Rock, and came back the same way. When we got to the top of the trail where you head to Jump Rock, there was a single white blaze (looking backward). The bush-whack is, I think, in the saddle at the start of the Jump Rock Trail. It's just leaves and sticks, not difficult ground to cover. By heading east north east we easily found the Jump Rock Trail (lots of yellow blazes to our right, which might have been the other trail coming in). One note, about halfway up Jump Rock Trail, there is a fork where a well traveled trail angles uphill to the right. You need to take the left angle at the fork to go to Jump Rock (we were informed by some Boy Scouts and they were correct). This heads downhill slightly and then grade goes back upward. Our most memorable moment was a 20-minute shower heading up to Jump Rock with the sun streaming through the trees. Jump Rock is a great view and we did lunch there. It is a long trip back down and is a strenuous hike, but very rewarding. Our total time was 5 hours and 15 minutes.

By: Mdk Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, December 17, 2009
This was a spectacular hike.  I went with my friend Bobby and did it while carrying my infant son in the Bjorn.  I think the temps were in the low 20s!  It is every bit as long as it says, with some pretty steep uphill climbs, but the views are worth it.  For me, the hardest part was the downhill after Viewing Rock, as it was quite difficult when you can't see directly below you.  After Viewing Rock it seemed like a loooong way to the swinging bridge.

Nonetheless, it was highly enjoyable and I would recommend it to all.

Records 1 to 12 of 12
about us | terms of use | © 2018