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Hiker Comments for the Indian Grave Ridge Hike - 1 to 38 of 38   
Average Rating:

By: JLP Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Love ridge hiking, and enjoyed the views of the river when walking along the road. A couple of notes -
1) Look at the picture for the left onto 236, because there are no road names or trail signs there to tell you you're in the right place. The stop sign was my only indicator that that was where I was supposed to turn.
2) The parking at Indian Grave Ridge trailhead is on your left and easy to miss - the parking is set back off the road with a tiny sign, and the short driveway into the parking lot is a little sketchy, but I was able to get my low-clearance car in, as did several others.
3) I personally prefer parking at the Indian Grave Ridge trail and getting all the road walking out of the way first, especially in the morning before there's any traffic, but a bonus for using the middle parking at the closed boat ramp is that there's a pit toilet there and easy access to the river if you were hiking in summer and wanted to finish the hike with a dip in the river.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 3, 2019
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.

By: Daddy Rating: 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.

By: Rating: 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.

By: hopeful Rating: 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.

By: Saunagoblin Rating: 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.

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, September 1, 2017
I enjoyed the several views very much. I was impressed how good they were considering the leafy trees. The views would be even more impressive with fewer leaves in the off season. I liked this hike overall. The descent from the ridge was quite steep at the start and a little annoying. Was glad I had one trekking pole -- I could have used two. I was confused a couple times on navigation and was glad to have the map and description, and also the trail route loaded into my GPS device.

No signs of others, not even boot prints, except for horse hoofprints along most of the trails. I agree with others that this is a solitary hike. Chiggers: I haven't been bothered by them in years of hiking in these parts but discovered about 50 chigger bites at home. No big deal but annoying. I don't know where they came from as the trail was relatively wide and I wasn't in brush or grass area, except where I parked my car. I would use insect repellent on this hike, especially around my ankles, next time.

Parking: For parking area 1, to get into the main part of the first parking area you need a high-clearance vehicle due to deep potholes. There is a little space for one low-clearance vehicle to the right before the main area, right as you turn off the road, in which I parked. The second parking area, after I hiked past it, seems the most convenient to me. The third parking area is a little indefinite but would work too. Use caution and watch out for vehicles while hiking the part along the road. There were not many vehicles.

I often use Google Maps to navigate from my home to hike parking areas by inputting the coordinates. I tried Waze this time, which took me to a dead end on the other side of the mountain. Went back to Google Maps which worked fine.

By: Ash Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 23, 2017
I parked at the first parking area and followed the route as prescribed. I would rate this 3.5 if I could. It's a tale of two halves. The first half is gravel road and fire road. This part of of Luray is so pretty that even the road walk is nice. However, it's not as nice as the back half. So nice and nicer for me. Once off of the roads the trail had a lot to offer as its characteristics change often. It's a pleasant walk in the forest. The views, while difficult to capture in a photograph due to the trees, are beautiful. If I do this again I think I will do an out and back on the second half.

By: old man walking Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 14, 2014
This hike has a little bit of everything, other than stream crossings.  It has a walk along the river, gentle sloping logging roads, steep rocky trails near the top, and views as you hike along the narrow ridge.  I"m sure it would have been spectacular earlier in the fall before the leaves fell.  The walk along the river was pleasant, and this time of year, canoeing related traffic was not a problem.  I saw a belted kingfisher.  I saw lots ob bear scat farther up the ridge but no bears.

After hiking up VA236 to the start of the "orange blazed" logging trail, I observed that the blazes were more of a yellow hue than orange.  They were distinctly different in color from the familiar orange blazes along the Massanutten Trail at the top of the ridge. 

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 7, 2014
Second time on this hike and I liked is just as much as the first time! The views from the ridge are not 100%, but the trails are definitely beautiful along the ridge and stream. It's also a great workout. I aimed for a completion time of 3:00 hours and made it back to my car in 2:50. Phew! I would like to return when there's snow on the ground - it would be so pretty.

By: RR Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 27, 2014
I have to say that overall this hike is one of my favorites I've been on in VA. You start off walking by the Shenandoah River and some open land (which is beautiful)! You then walk up with beautiful scenery and the top has decent views. Not the greatest views ever, but they are still beautiful. It was a very quiet hike, only ran into one other couple the entire trip. That made it even more enjoyable! I would highly recommend taking this hike!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 14, 2014
A good hike. As others have reported we didn't see anyone except while walking the road portion. Word of caution on the road. The local canoe outfitter runs buses and float carriers up and down the road to the boat ramp. We were constantly sifting sides of the road to ensure the drivers saw us walking a road that obviously they are not accustomed to seeing hikers on. Once past the boat ramp, there was no traffic.

Given all the traffic at the boat ramp, we decided to park at the third option. The hike up the fire road was uneventful. We did see what looked like bear scat in the road though. We never did catch sight of any bear tracks though. At the intersection of the white blaze trail we took a break and discovered a benchmark. Sadly it is not listed in geocaching database.

The Indian Grave Trail down was quite steep and we were glad that we hiked the trail in this direction as it would have been a tough climb to make going up.

The views were mostly obscured by the growth. We didn't see any Indian mounds, though perhaps where there would have been one there was a big hole.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 2, 2013
Hiked this on a beautiful fall weekend and camped one night on the ridge. The colors were just amazing. We decided to do this one clockwise to get the most workout and it was definitely a steep climb carrying 20 pounds! But after that it was easy and we just enjoyed the views. A bonus - we watched the solar eclipse the next morning! It was so peaceful. We saw two hunters and two hikers on the way in on Day 1, and no one else for the rest of the hike. Like many of the hikes, this would be best fall to early spring.

By: Martha Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 18, 2013
Spotty fall color but great hike with our dog. We all wore orange just in case, saw no one...parking at boat launch was good idea, gives you an easy start and end to the hike to stretch a bit, and views from road are very nice. Hiking ridge line was spectacular, would love to come back after leaves are off...of all things there was a rather large box turtle on the ridge line! Wonder if he'd spent his whole life climbing this mountain!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 5, 2013
This was a really nice walk in the woods!

Parked at the boat launch which featured a lovely sign that declared the bathroom facility  "closed due to a lapse in federal funding". In my opinion they should have left the bathroom open and put that sign inside the toilet paper dispenser, now THAT would show impact! Anyway, I took a few minutes to walk down to the river and saw what I believe was a Blue Heron. I tried to get a picture but it flew away too quickly, very majestic though.

Lots of hunters out and about, although no one was shooting near the trails, it might be advisable to invest in some blaze orange headgear for the remainder of the fall season if you want to hike in this area.

The hike itself is quite nice, a good portion of the trees are starting to turn and although I feel like a lot of views were blocked by leaves, there were enough peaks through the foliage towards the river along the ridge to be rewarding, although they are hard to photograph. I have to say this definitely didn't feel like 8 miles, the "3" for difficulty may be a bit much as this was a very easy hike compared to some other "3" difficulty hikes, although it may be more challenging in the winter months.

If you are a rally fan and drive an AWD car, you may find yourself tempted to indulge yourself on Page Valley Road, just be aware that there may be oncoming traffic coming the other way with the same idea.

Overall, a very relaxing and pretty jaunt. The best part about it for me was some of the views of the river.

By: Fort Valley Man Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 12, 2013
I've hiked this several times.  What makes it interesting are the remains of two Indian mountains about halfway up the mountain - very uncommon these days.  At the very bottom is a sort of beach facing some limestone bluffs.  A lot of Indian lithic materials (i.e., arrowheads) from the Clovis era.  The views at the top during winter are very nice.  On the Fort Valley side can be found some old dens that are said to have some historical significance.

By: Alex Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Great hike for a mild December day. Did it clockwise from parking 1, thus opposite to the directions. Lots of terrific elements steep climb up to the ridge, fine trails, nice views thanks to the lack of foliage and a very pleasant and scenic walk along the north fork of the Shenandoah late in the day. Saw eight Wild Turkey on the way down.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 3, 2012
This is an OK hike, at least at this time of year.  Positive:  some nice views from the ridge, extremely quiet/nobody else around, easy fire road/dirt road hiking part of way (if you don't mind road hiking), parking area 2 has you beginning and ending along Shenandoah River if you want to camp/swim/fish, well-marked (Note:  the route described is a circuit, but this could also be an out and back hike).  Not so good:  partly a dirt road/fire road hike (if you don't like roads), part of "trail" was the ravine that drained the mountain, so it wasn't well-groomed, some recent tractor work on part of trail, loose rocks in parts, very steep in parts (the circuit has you coming down the steep parts, not going up them), views obstructed by foliage in summer, and numerous cross-trail spider webs at this time of year (mostly small spiders but a couple of lunkers too, wave a spider stick in front you to avoid them).  Wildlife:  squirrels, deer, crows, woodpeckers, various songbirds, unidentified snuffling forest animal (heard but not seen, sounded large).  Traffic:  none on trail, some cars on road, campsites along river at a distance.  Difficulty:  steep parts coming down hard on knees, arm sore from spider stick, need to be careful not to twist ankle on rocks, moderate overall difficultly.  Repeat?  Yes, different season.  Destination hike?  Probably not.

By: Mr. Floppy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 26, 2012
My wife and I did this hike as a camping trip this weekend.  We parked in the first parking lot and hiked the gravel road up to the third parking lot as recommended.  There were nice views of the river along the road but I am not a fan of hiking gravel roads. You get plenty of the same views on your drive to the first lot. The first half of this hike is on gravel.  Then you proceed up the washed out Toliver trail.  There was nothing of interest but ticks along this trail.  We camped along the ridge and  had a good time.  I camp often and I will have to say that the insect level was much higher than I am used to.  We could not leave our tent door open for more than a few seconds without large black ants and daddy long legs paying us a visit.  The second day of our hike was much more enjoyable than the first.  The hike along the ridge was pleasant and we only encountered 3 ticks on the way down the mountain.  In retrospect, I would have done this hike as an out and back from the first parking lot to the intersection of the Massanutten Trail and the Toliver Trail.  The Indian Grave Ridge Trail could also use some cutbacks.  It was a bit steep at times.

Direction Tip: Route 236 is hand painted on the back of a street sign as you take your left to head up to the third parking lot.  Don't expect an official sign.

By: Ghost Pebble Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 8, 2012
The first part of the hike is pretty uneventful, as you walk along a road, but there are good views of the Shenandoah River.  The day was beautiful and there were no other hikers on the trail (most likely because it was Easter).  The views are great of both the East and West.  There are no streams on the hike.  Lots of blooming dogwoods and butterflies throughout the whole hike.  Also some spots are pretty steep but overall wasnt that too harsh.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Initial directions (taken from link) caused a bit of confusion regarding the turn off Mechanic Street onto Bixlers Ferry Road. There are 2 Bixlers Ferry Roads - take the SECOND one. The first one just takes you back to Main Street in Luray.

It was great weather and we only saw hiking boot prints at the end and a few people driving so solitude was nice. Hiked it in 4 hours with minimal stopping and I am not in hiking shape. The initial uphill climb was a bit challenging with loose rocks covered by leaves, but definitely doable.

By: Matthew Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, December 15, 2011
Date/Time: Thurs the 15th of Nov 11, from 0915-1115.

Difficultly: I agree with the stated difficultly level (3). It is a slow but continuous incline all the way up to the ridgeline. I am inclined to think that the total elevation change is more than 1550, but I am limited here on experience to ascertain definitively. There are no rock scrambles. The trail narrows a bit and is a combo trail / stream bed, but nothing too crazy. This one is quite doable for most who do not have mobility restrictions. The trail is jogable for 4-5 of the 8 miles I made an overall time of 2hrs (mid-fitness level I have 15 extra lbs).

Streams: The trail shares a stream bed in a couple of locations. The Toliver Trail being the first, and the first part of the descent from the ridgeline being the second. I think I would avoid this hike if it had rained considerably in the past few days (wet feet in stream beds and overly slick leaves).

Views: I agree with the stated rating (4). The ridgeline affords solid views of the valley and river on one side, and a city / country house view on the other. If your packing some kit I would recommend a nice sandwich and a wine miniature to enjoy on the ridge, perhaps with a pipe. The wind whips a bit on top though. 

Solitude: It was a weekday, noted, but saw no others. 

Camping: I've never camped on one of these hikes so I don't have a benchmark. There is/was a fire spot at the first parking location. If camping is permitted on the trail (no clue if it is), I would recommend a tent up on the top. The lights and view at nite would be pretty sound I think. A side note: the road leading into where the trail starts has lots of places for RVs and it has cabins. It looks like lots of outdoorsy stuff goes on along the river right near the trail. A good time could definitely be had by camping/canoeing on the river and then doing a bit of hiking (existing businesses available).

Foliage/Fauna: I saw no animals save birds in the air. I haven't had any poison ivy. I noted no ticks. 

Weather: Thereabouts 45-55F on the day of. Partly cloudy. Some clouds/fog in the lowlands as viewed from the ridge. Some wind when on the ridge. 

Other: The trail markings as per the instructions seemed sound, as did the given instructions in general. The descent from the ridge has a lot of leaf coverage, but the trail was discernible. There are houses on the first part of the trail, so a phone should never be more than 5 miles I reckon. Bathrooms seemed available at parking location #2 (I didn't go in, just jogged by). I noted no running water available anywhere, formally that is (no spigots). I really enjoyed this one and felt good doing it I wasn't overwhelmed at any point by the required exertion level and the view was solid I didn't get lost any. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 9, 2011
I hiked this with 9 others on a foggy, overcast morning.  We actually started this hike on VA 613 by the low water bridge, then ascended to the Massanutten trail via the Tuscarora trail, and eventually descended from the ridge via the Indian Grave Ridge.  This pushed the mileage up to 12, but most of the Massanutten trail was flat, and the descent on Indian Grave Ridge was all downhill or flat.  The trail is rocky, but not too bad.  This area is a great place for alot of different adventures from hiking, paddling, or mountain biking.  There are also horse trails in the area.  I arranged with a local outfitter to portage our kayaks at Seekfords Landing and we paddled another 12 miles downstream along the South Fork of the Shenandoah to complete a huge loop.  What a great day in the outdoors!

By: Go Hoos Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, December 28, 2010
My boyfriend and I completed this hike today with our dog. It was fantastic!  Because it is winter, we saw amazing views of the Shenandoah River and Valley, as well as Fort Valley.  The hike on the road was a bit dull, but it did provide glimpses of the Shenandoah River.  Once we entered the GWNF, the hike was interesting, quiet, and beautiful.  There are some amazing rock formations, and according to a local, this area was used by the Native Americans to burn bodies of their dead.  The ridge climb is steep but not daunting, and the ridge views were breathtaking.  We saw no one on the trail and only passed 3 cars on the road.  If hiking once leaves are on the ground, be careful to watch your step coming down from the ridge, as rocks are buried under the leaves and you can easily lose your step.  All in all, a great day hike!

By: Doug Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 13, 2010
My wife and I decided to do this hike for our 35th anniversary. We parked in parking area 3 in order to do the climb to the ridge top before it got too hot. We did not see anyone on the entire trail and only 3 cars on the road on a Sunday. Saw plenty of deer and a turtle with bright orange spots. We started around 10 AM and it was already 80 degrees and very humid. Bring plenty of water if you are going to do this hike in hot weather - there is none along the trail. Starting at parking area 3 also means that the road hike at the end is during the heat of the day and there is very little shade. With two decent breaks for snacks, the hike took 4:15. A great hike with wonderful views and a nice breeze on the ridge top.

By: Hokie Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 29, 2010
First off- once you make it to the dirt road- it is VERY VERY easy to miss the sign for the first parking lot (the 2nd and 3rd are much easier). But we did park at the first (after going all the way to the third and realizing our mistake) and did the roads first- ABSOLUTELY the best way to go. When we came out of the woods it was great to get straight into the car and not have to walk another mile or so down a road. Basically- if you want to park at the first spot- if you go down a hill (not slight down- but semi-steep down)- you've missed it.

As others said- DEFINITELY lots of ticks out there. I brushed about 6-7 off my pant legs- and even though I had been very careful the entire hike and kept checking myself- I pulled 4 off me after I got>
As for the hike itself- it is a good hike for the workout once you get off the roads- but when it comes to views etc- there really aren't many. Based off the other hikes I've been on, I generally agree with the view rating- but this one, in my opinion, should be a 3 at best. When there is a view- it is good- but there really was only 2, maybe 3 (but it also might be that I didn't wander from the path- wasn't wanting any more ticks!)

By: Dean Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 16, 2010
We started at the 1st parking lot, and got the gravel road out of the way first.  Unfortunately, even after entering GWNF after about 2 miles of gravel road, the "old logging trail" is actually a gravel road for another 1 - 1.5 miles.  So, a lot of gravel road.  Other than that, a great hike overall.  Note that you "must" take "business" Rt. 211 out of Luray in order to get on Bixler's Ferry Rd. that road goes over top of the Rt. 211 bypass, and so you can't get on it from the bypass.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 8, 2009  this link will show some photos & comments from 16 hikers who finished Indian Grave Ridge in a little over 3 hours.  Thanks to everyone's comments we were able to find the 3rd parking lot without any difficulty.  I'm glad we started there and headed up to the ridge.  I personally like to get the "up" out of the way.  It was in the 70s & hot as though it was the middle of summer.  Add to that all the leaves on the ground covering the rocks and we had a nice, challenging hike.  I was most surprised when we were @ the 1st parking lot in around 2 hours because this was NOT one of my hard core hiking groups.  I wish there were an alternative for the gravel road although the water was most inviting.  Twelve of us stopped in Front Royal & have finally found a decent restaurant.  The food was great and the wait staff were marvelous.  After we sat down, we learned the restaurant had actually closed for the day, but you wouldn't have known it by the impeccable service we received.

By: Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 8, 2009
One note on the directions.  If you enter an address from the Washington D.C. area, Google Maps shows a route through Front Royal and south to the hiking area.  DO NOT take this route - after crossing the river, you'll be on a private road that is posted No Trespassing with some strong warnings to turn around.  Instead, go to Luray and find Bixler's Ferry to cross the Shenandoah.  At that point you can use the Hiking Upward directions to find the parking areas.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 18, 2009
It is a good mix of hiking near the river and climbing to see the views of the river and Page Valley on the west. The Tolliver trail section is badly rutted from rain runoff but not too steep. The upper part of the descent on Indian Grave trail is steep and rocky but the lower part is good hiking in the woods. The views from the ridge top would be much better in winter after the leaves fall. The initial hike on the road requires looking out for traffic on weekend days.

By: Jeremy Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 31, 2008
Nice, quiet hiking spot I didn't see a single person on the non-717 portions of the hike. Definitely hadn't been anyone there in a bit at least, since I had the dubious honor of clearing out tons of spiderwebs. Good for wildlife, we came across a bear and two cubs right along the ridge trail, as well as deer and a box turtle elsewhere. It was also a pretty good workout going up, since the day was a bit on the hot side.

However, keep an eye out for ticks in the brush on the way up... perhaps I got unlucky (or was gifted them by the dog), but I ended up with hundreds (literally) of deer tick nymphs on my pant legs. Had to keep brushing them off every so often, and I ended up picking off dozens from my legs afterward.

By: Eric Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 5, 2008
Definitely enjoyed this hike, though it's much different than hiking in SNP.  The trails are not very well marked, and not always clear, but we seemed to make good decisions regarding where to go.  The trails do not look like they've been traveled in a while.  But the views were pretty good.  The decent is a little treacherous, so make sure ya got good shoes!  This one's a bit of an adventure.

By: Bruno Q. Pugglefoot Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hello!  Long time reader, first time reviewer.  Indian Grave Ridge is a thorough, half-day jaunt that allows you to experience multiple terrain levels within a relatively short amount of time.  The incline to the top of Massanutten was jack-knifed to avoid an over-strenuous climb.  However, BRING A LEAF BLOWER!  Our blind steps often caused nearly-twisted ankles and a few boo-boos. 

Caution:  Bruno, our 32-lb puggle, yakked at MP 8.1 (roughly 1000 yards from parking area #1).  Look closely and you'll notice the havarti and hummus concoction we gave him for stamina.

By: Alan & Carol Ritter Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, May 10, 2007
Due to unseasonably hot weather (87 degrees, full sun), all we did was hike from parking area #1 to 1/2 mile past parking area #3 & turn back to #1, but it was really nice.  That route was probably about 5-6 miles.The scenery is simple but lovely, walking the gravel/dirt road alongside a small flood plain of the Shenandoah.  The road to parking #3 (VA 236) was NOT marked.  Turn left at at old packhouse/shed right at the corner.  That's 236.  There's a house on stilts on the right just beyond the turnoff, so don't pass that house.  The 1st parking area has room for 1 car barely off the road, and the area beyond it where you are really supposed to park has a rut so deep I don't think a Hummer could take it on.  2nd parking area has the boat ramp (canoe ramp) and a restroom.  3rd parking area is shady & has room for several cars.  Don't do it in mid-day hot weather because there is very little shade.  VA 717 is really nice to walk along.  Only a couple of cars passed us.  This would make a nice day hike with older kids who would enjoy the road views more than they would just forest. 

By: Tim Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 28, 2007
This was a nice hike and would have been even better if we hadn't intially missed the trailhead. We followed the instructions on the website and parked in the first lot and walked towards the other trail head at the 3rd parking lot. Unfortunately, we missed the road to the trailhead because we were too busy admiring the nice house on stilts on the right. Once we found the trail, we enjoyed the views of the valley through the tree branches. There weren't too many clean photo ops of the valley if you stay on the trail, but with a little climbing about you can get a decent shot here and there. Walking the ridge line was a really cool highlight and being able to see over into each of the valleys was great. The initial descent from the ridge towards the 1st parking lot was pretty taxing and we wondered aloud why we didn't tackle this side first. There were tons of fallen leaves on the trail which made for interesting footing, but luckily we all stayed upright. This hike should get the highest ranking for solitude because we only saw 1 other group of hikers all day. One more thing to note: The 1st parking lot was almost inaccessible thanks to a couple of deep ruts filled with water. My brother made it through with his Ford Escape, but had us a little worried when he nearly bottomed out (we'll definitely measure the depth of the puddle next time). If you're looking for solitude, cool views of the valley and river, and a physically taxing experience, this could be a good fit for you.

By: Better Directions Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 3, 2006
The official directions to Indian Grave Ridge and Massanutten trail lack key clarity. Here are directions that will take all the apprehension out of finding the trail head and parking sites: Take I66 west to Front Royal 522/340 south, Drive through Front Royal staying on US340, After passing through Front Royal go south 28.0 miles on US340 to Luray, 0.5 miles after passing underneath US211 in Luray turn right on 675, AT MECHANIC STREET. Continue 3.5 miles then turn right ONTO ROUTE 684 after crossing the Shenandoah River. PROCEED ALONG 684 7.5 miles. 684 TURNS INTO A GRAVEL/DIRT ROAD NAMED PAGE VALLEY ROAD. ABOUT 0.5 miles AFTER IT BECOMES DIRT veer left uphill onto 717 (684 veers right INTO A DEAD END HOLLER BY THE RIVER). Continue 3.0 miles on 717 where the first parking area is on your left (sign on tree 'Indian Grave Trail'. 1.3 MILES FURTHER ALONG IS THE SECOND PARKING AREA WHICH IS A BOAT RAMP AREA. THE THIRD PARKING AREA IS FOUND 0.8 MILES FURTHER ALONG 717, 0.2 MILES NW OF THE JUNCTION OF 717 AND ROUTE 236.

We did not have time to take 4-6 hour hike. A nice 2 to 3 hour rigorous hike is to drive to Parking Area 3, hike along the logging road per the official directions, to the top of the Massanutten Ridge, rest awhile, have a picnic, take in the dramatic mountain, valley and river views, and return to your car on the same trail. This is not a hike for young children, as the trail up the mountain is steep and rocky with many switchbacks, but it is worth it for youth and adults. Be sure to take a knife or hatchet to get you a good stout stick to keep your balance as you negotiate the rocky trail. Mountain hiking doesn't get better than this.

NOTE: Thanks for providing more explicit driving directions. The published Indian Grave Ridge driving & parking area directions have been updated with your additions.

By: Mark Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 28, 2006
I led some friends on this hike on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.  We had a great time.  Even the less-experienced found the climb to be pretty reasonable.  The way down was a bit hard on people's knees, but not too bad.  The trail was covered in leaves in places that made it a bit more treacherous than it should otherwise have been. One comment I have is on the parking area.  My car was not capable of entering the first parking lot; it would have taken a serious off-road vehicle to get through those pits.  Also, as it was a hot day, we wanted to go to the river at the end, so the next time I go on this hike, I'll be using the second parking area.  Some canoe and tube outfitters use this area to pick up, so be sure to park out of the way as best you can. A final comment is that we made several wrong turns or missed turns on the way.  The sign for 675 may have been missing coming from 211 (and really tiny going back); it is called Mechanic St.   I measured 6.8 miles from the turn after the river until the dirt road, but the dirt/gravel nature of the road is poorly-defined.  I also measured 11.6 miles from the first parking are to 675 (measured coming out, so no wrong turns), so one of us is off by 0.6 miles....

By: John Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 18, 1911
The parking area 1 is very difficult to find.  Look for the sign that says "Indian Grave Trail" andturn in and there is parking about 100' behind the sign.  If you are looking for a loop, be careful that the blazes do not clearly mark where you should turn.  We missed our turn and had to turn around when it started getting dark.  We just made it before it got dark.  I strongly recommend bringing a trail map unless you are familiar with the trails.  Also, as others have said, there are lots of ticks.  After all of that, the views were obscured and you could only get a partial view of the river.  This is best in early spring or fall when the leaves are off or thin on the trees.

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