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Hiker Comments for the Moorman''s River Hike - 1 to 25 of 25   
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By: Pok Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 19, 2019
Great hike for a warm late spring day. Its a simple wide trail with some obligatory stream crossings, plan to get your feet wet or take your shoes on and off a bunch. A bypass route by the first and second crossings goes up and over the canyon by a cliff, and is technical and not recommended for smaller kids or those without modest scrambling skills, the upstream side is slippery. You still have to do the third crossing to get to the falls, so commit to the journey with all the stream crossings. Great swimming holes along the way, our dog loves it here. Making mid-May extra special, there were huge numbers of butterflies- Tiger Swallowtails were everywhere and even congregating in clumps- so many! It was great to see them thriving. The waterfall is pleasant, a swimming hole at the top as well. If you wanted to continue up to skyline drive & black rock gap you would head right at the signpost across the steam, instead of going straight to the falls. The sign is a few hundred yards before the falls. An out and back -your choice of distance or its a long hike south on the AT to Turk Mountain to make a loop, longer than a day (17mi) for most.

By: Isabel Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
I really enjoyed this hike! Not too hard and even did it with my 13 lb dog. The only thing is the water is still quite high as of late April. Got my feet soaking wet but still enjoyable in warm weather. I actually found it to be really quiet on a weekday late afternoon. I saw two fishermen and that was it for 2 hours.

By: Priscilla Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 12, 2019
This is one of my favorite hikes but as of today (1/12/2019) the water is still too high to cross the river with dry feet (heading either north or south of the parking area). Plan on getting wet if you attempt this, so wouldn't recommend on a chilly day at least til the water goes down!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 29, 2018
This is a great hike. This was the year of the rain that would never stop. As such the river was cold, fast and deep. The first crossing was very fast and about thigh deep. The second was about as slower but rib deep. The third crossing was about as fast the first one but was about waist deep. Obviously this is going to vary greatly. I had to carry my 7 and 9 year olds across, but my 13 year of and black lab could get across on their own. Hiking poles strongly recommended. You will get wet, but we scarcely cared because the temperature was in the mid 60's and we had a great time.

By: Keep Virginia Cozy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 3, 2018
This hike is fantastic! Perfect one to do if you're just looking to enjoy the beauty of Shenandoah and stretch your and your pups legs! Went up early..not long after sunrise...saw one bear (who clearly didn't care about me or my two hound dogs)...and didn't see a single person on trail until I was on my way back within 100 yards of the parking area. Trail is in great condition! Although there are SEVERAL trees and limbs down, none of them proved impassable. All in all...if you're looking for a hike that won't wear you that's dog friendly...and one that provides absolutely beautiful views of a Shenandoah forest...LOOK NO FURTHER! Throw on some boots...grab some water...and go disappear for a bit. You won't regret it. And remember... Be kind. Smile at strangers. Pick up litter. KEEP VIRGINIA COZY!

By: Barry Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 11, 2018
I'll add a quick update to the water level since the last post. Moorman's River is running pretty high after some nice rain the past few weeks. Max depth at the three crossings between 14"-18". Be prepared to get your feet wet! Trails still in good shape to the falls. Nice to see the reservoir levels up.

By: Diego S Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Did this hike as described from the 1st parking lot (the second is gated off now) and it registered as 4.4 miles over 2 hours. I would give this a 1 difficulty. There are no strenuous sections and you will not get winded at any point.

The trail conditions are excellent and the stream crossings were very easy (didn't get wet) with the low water levels. I really enjoyed this trail and the area. So do lots of others though! Parking lot was full when we left. I'd say the lot could comfortably fit 16-18 cars and anything over that is pushing it.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Arrived at the trailhead early on a beautiful morning and it was a good thing as the lot was overflowing when we finished around noon. The hike is easy and a well worn path but nice as it parallels and crosses the river. The hike to the top of the last falls gives a nice place to take a break. The trail past the last falls is uneventful but a nice walk. We went to where the road tuns and on the way ck down once we reached the river it was crowded the rest of the way with swimmers, families and groups enjoying the rare nice weather for the end of June.

By: Martha & Rick Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 29, 2017
This was a lovely hike and easy for us seniors. However, since it was just after some heavy rains, the four river crossings were about calf-deep. Not difficult, just bear in mind you will get your feet wet! The trails were also pretty muddy, some with water running down them as well.

The only scary part of the hike was the parking situation: on Memorial Day, the lot was full, and cars were parked on either side of the skinny winding road leading to the lot, so there was a lot of freaky backing up when you encountered a car coming from the opposite direction!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 5, 2017
This is a fun, pretty, easy, water-feature hike near Charlottesville that offers big pay off for low effort. Excellent low-key hike for when you want some pretty Virginia scenery and fresh air, without all that pesky UP. Because we went in early March, it wasn't crowded at all...but I don't think I'd go back in peak season, given its popularity.

Important note: There were 7+ trees downed over the trail as we started out. It may take some time before they get cleared away. They are passable, but should be noted. See our blog for more about our experience (and photos):

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, January 2, 2017
This is always a fun little hike for me as a local. Over the years I've done this trail more times than I can remember, but I recommend avoiding weekends and any nice day between April and October. This area has become so popular it is now abused. If you are looking for a peaceful hike on a nice day or a swimming hole without noise, those days have long since past for this one.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Please note that the second parking lot is permanently closed to cars, at the first parking lot there is a gate barring access. The water flows are variable, I've hiked it 4x since July, and have found the streams either easy to ford on dry boulders or completely submerged by water, requiring the removal of shoes if you want dry feet. Just keep the recent rainfall in mind. The people I meet on the trail are always friendly - and there are always people - but the density of humans drops off precipitously after the second watering hole. Going up to the Big Branch Falls I find the solitude increases exponentially.

By: Greg Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 26, 2016
Late March was a nice time to do this hike. We had sun and a cool breeze, sometimes chilly by the water. We started at 11, and got one of the last spaces in the first (and biggest) parking lot on the gravel road past the reservoir. As we hiked in from the lot, there was a much smaller area next to the trail that fit a couple cars, and farther on there was what I believe is described as the second parking lot, which fits 6 to 8 cars. River crossings were easy today. The cascades and waterfall were beautiful. Trail was getting more crowded on our way back -- looked like college kids starting out around 1 p.m. There were some dogs off leash, but everyone (including the dogs) was nice and respectful. It was obvious that this trail is popular with people of all ages including families with young kids and trail runners.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 8, 2015
Great hike! It was beautiful, fun, and great exercise for our entire group, which consisted of all ages (from 18 mos to 60+ yrs old) However, getting there is a little tricky using the GPS. When coming from Richmond, VA, when you are on Garth Road and you see Piedmont store, stay straight on route 614, DON'T turn onto route 810! You will ride along route 614 for several miles and eventually pass the Sugar Hollow Reservoir on your left the parking areas will be a little ahead.

Watch out for copperhead snakes - we saw two coiled underneath the rocks at one of the swimming holes, but they didn't bother us and we didn't bother them!

By: Sue eckroth Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 28, 2015
This is a beautiful hike especially with some good rain earlier in the week. We went early on a Sunday am and got "last" parking spot. We went up to the falls then on backtracking took left at fork for extra time out on a beautiful day. It's so amazing and a very easy hike ending up doing 7 miles but didn't feel like it. The upper parking lot is closed btw. Only complaints are people coming later in afternoon looking for parking spots and being rather obnoxious, even when we were trying to be helpful. And people with dogs off leash when asked to leash their much bigger dogs so we could pass with our older leashed dog acting like we'd totally put them out. Almost makes me not want to bring my girl. We had a bad experience with a "friendly" dog off leash and do not want a repeat. But a lovely hike and day none the less.

By: Ridgerunner Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 17, 2015
Decided to do this one on my way home from hiking in the GWNF. Great day to do this hike as it was in the 40's. Nice wide trail through most of the hike with several creek crossing. Not the hike you want to do if you're looking for solitude, but still a good time.

By: Laurie Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 6, 2014
One of my favorite hikes in the SNP area. Very green and decent water flow, even in late summer. Very popular with families and college kids, especially the watering holes, but everyone is very respectful. I have two dogs and they love to swim and wade in the water, so it's great for pets. But I will give one very strong warning- keep dogs close and youngsters even closer. The two times I've been out (Mar last year and this trip), I've run into copperheads on the main trail. So enjoy the green surroundings and great water, but keep your eyes peeled!

By: Barbara G Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 5, 2014
What a beautiful river! Walking was easy, decided to walk through the river and go on with wet shoes. Not a problem! Parking lot full, but other than the swimming holes, trail was not crowded. Filled with nice respectful hikers, people enjoying a beautiful day. The falls were very full! As was the river, with lots of places to wade or cool off. Will definitely do this hike again and again, in different seasons!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 20, 2014
This was a fantastic hike! We started early on Easter Sunday and had the trail mostly to ourselves on the way in. There were 3 stream crossings, shin to knee deep each, but the water wasn't as cold as expected. The waterfall was taller and fuller than we had imagined. I'm sure there is much less water in the summer and fall, but this was an excellent spring hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Hiked this trail on a cold and sunny Saturday. I have been on this trail many times, and I find it beautiful. If you live in C'ville it is a must see. The day I hiked it I knew water might be high but unlike myself I was not prepared. The stream crossing were not technical but def. a lot of water. My feet go wet, so what right? It wasn't until walking back I ran into some other hikers with dry feet and jeans. I wondered how did they not get wet? Well, there is a unmarked trail to the right prior to the first stream crossing, this "social trail" will allow you to avoid the first two stream crossing. I'm usually good about staying on marked trail but ....I guess the local people know about it. Great trail and it is must see, next time I'm going to hike to Skyline Drive, I just need to start earlier than 2:00pm.

By: Ren Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Been hiking this trail a lot. The north trail to the waterfall is much better than the hike to blue hole. Not too many people and many swimming holes. You can find more private areas if you go off the beaten path. As a day hike, it is my favorite and easiest to get to from Charlottesville.

By: Dana Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Used to go there in 1969 and never knew there was a hike. What did Lou Reed say?Those were different times.
Anyway we went yesterday not knowing there even was a hike and unsure about walking in the stream. After a series of fortuitous events we plunged into the water and walked to the Falls with our dog.
It was great, the waterfall was spectacular.The water was high, easy to wade but sort of anomalous in that most of the time when I have seen the Mooremans it is a trickle not a stream, today I'd call it a creek.
Yeah lotsa nice people and it was Mothers day. You gotta get your feet  wet to see the falls but definitely worth it.

By: nature mom Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 13, 2013
great hike with husband and child! lots of water to cross...luckily we went upstream by the parking lot areas and found a large tree to walk across before circling back to find the old road. Other crossing was across rocks. fun adventure!   Wonderful stop at "blue hole"(as my husband remembers it from when he was a child) for lunch. could of spent more time there but daylight was ending... thankful for a day in January with nice weather!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 11, 2011
This was a nice easy hike. It's not steep, and the trail is well maintained (albeit rocky in spots). I would heed the advice about the road in, and parking area- It's dirt, rocky and rutted as described. I wouldn't drive my Toyota in there, although many did.

There are three river crossings in all so wear shoes that can get wet. The second crossing is the swimming area. The water was wonderful!! Clean and clear. The rest of the trail was about 2 miles long to the "intersection", then 2.5 miles back to the car.

Garth Rd/Barracks Rd was beautiful and made getting there half the fun. It was a nice outing all around and I would go again. If you're an experienced hiker looking for a challenging experience, this wouldn't be for you. Weekend warriors and families should enjoy it.

By: Richmond Grrrls Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Hiking Sugar Hollow in September means you miss out on the falls, the swimming holes, although still pretty appealing, are shrunken, and river crossings are actually just rocky stretches of path. The river bed was completely dry, and the larger of the two falls was no more than a trickle, while the smaller was non-existent. In the spring, SH would be lovely, and this is definitely a great place to go for an outdoor swim (even now - there were plenty of folks taking advantage of the warm weekend.) Not difficult, but not stroller friendly or anything. As a nice bonus, dogs, which were previously forbidden here, are now allowed. Pleasant short hike, don't miss it if you live in the area!

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