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Hiker Comments for the Shenandoah River State Park Hike - 1 to 13 of 13   
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By: Lori Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 25, 2019
Wonderful hike! A gorgeous day (for late August) helped too. Worth the $10 parking fee. Plenty of parking in accessible lots. Also a visitor center with facilities. Trails very clearly marked. Pretty views, open fields. Like other reviews, not a lot of elevation, but makes up for it in distance especially if you add on a few miles with offshoot trails. A little worried about bears because they've been spotted, but none seen by me. Only passed mountain bikers-no other hikers. Close enough to Front Royal for gas and supplies on the way in or out of the park. Loved it!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 3, 2018
This is one of my favorite parks in the Virginia system. The relatively flat terrain makes it a fantastic hike for those beginning to transition into longer day hikes. We were out with a group of Scouts, and everyone had a terrific time despite the cold weather. The trails at SRSP are among the most well marked and maintained trails I have ever hiked. Every trail is blazed in a different color, and every junction or intersection has a clearly marked (and color coded) sign post. There is no getting lost on this one. Fantastic park and fantastic hike!

By: bns Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 29, 2017
This qualifies more as a stroll than a hike - I wouldn't put difficulty past a 2, and nearly all of it would qualify as a 1 - but it's a very serene area. I was on the trail before 9am and encountered only one other pair of hikers until I was returning to the parking lot. As others have mentioned, this route, which is cobbled together from a bunch of trails, is extremely well marked and easy to follow. My only suggestion would be to stick to the River Trail (dark green) after the cabin at the 5.7 mile instructions (also worth noting that there is currently a small pond over the trail just before the cabin, though you can pick your way off-trail around the edge) rather than staying on the orange-blazed Culler's trail. The River Trail would be more scenic and less multi-use than Culler's, which is really a gravel lane. I believe the River Trail breaks back off to the left after just a short bit on Culler's, and then rejoins Culler's just before you reach the 6.9 mile point where Culler's crosses a road.

A couple of other notes: make sure to bring exact change for parking as the booth was unmanned (currently $7 during high season and for out-of-state $5 for in-state and off-season but up-to-date info is at, and also worth sharing that this park would be great for cyclocrossers.

By: HoboHiker Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 25, 2016
Great hike. Lots of leaves on trails. The trails are rock free for the most part and groomed. There are some sections that are not level. I encountered no hikers but several mountain bikers and horses(and horse poop). All the bikers were extremely courteous so dang I can't complain about them. I can understand the review that said no views if the leaves were on the trees, but when I made the turn on the Red Ridge Trail... WOW! The views of the river valley were picture perfect.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 17, 2016
We set out to do the 8.5-mile hike outlined here, but had to stop at the Visitors Center to use the facilities before starting out. Rather than backtrack to the Horsebarn parking area, we decided to walk using the Overlook and Campground trails, adding an additional 2.2 miles to our day for a total of 10.7.

These are the widest, best manicured, and most rock-free trails I have walked on in some time. If you are of a mind, you can easily hit 3-4 miles per hour on these trails. They are perfect for trail running or mountain biking. We saw no other hikers all day, but did see four mountain bikers, all polite and all considerate. While we saw a ton of horse poop on all the trails, we saw no equestrians. But do watch where you step.

I suggest you pick up a trail map at the contact station on your way in. It has a good bit more detail than the topo here and it rates the trail difficulty with symbols similar to those used at ski resorts. But don't believe those black diamonds these trails are not difficult for anyone who has any legs about them. There is very little elevation change in the park compared to most of the hikes around here. I will say that I have a really good innate sense of direction and there were several points at which I could not make the directions here jibe with the map and with what I was seeing on the ground. The trails are impeccably well marked on the ground and with the river as a constant western boundary and with US340 as the eastern, there isn't any way to get lost. But there are lots of opportunities to be confused by the maze of trails as you encounter them. Consult your map early and often: this isn't a place that you want to do without a map. The walks along the bluffs and through the woods were delightful and the view from the Overlook Trail just to the north of Culler's Overlook is really nice, better than from the overlook itself. Also wonderful was the view from the observation point where the Redtail Ridge trail turns due south along the river. Now for the not so delightful. The River Trail and Culler's Trail along the river are in bright sunlight and in the 97-degree heat, despite a dip in the river, it was a brutal traverse. There are very few access points to the river you will often be mere feet from the river but not be able to see it. Culler's Trail is a gravel road with pasture on both sides. If that's not your thing, be forewarned. Knowing this, however, should you still decide to go down riverside on the River Trail, you will come upon a vast Cottonwood tree and an equally vast Sycamore right on the riverbank. Both have sizeable colonies of Red-Headed Woodpeckers and it is delightful to watch them sallying forth from the tops, catching bugs on the wing, and returning to the trees. It's a beautiful place with great views of the river and the Massanuttens. The trails are easy. The crowds appear to be absent. It's probably worth the $7 (instate, weekend) entry fee, but I would avoid the river in the summer heat were I to do it again. Your mileage may vary.

By: Chris Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 2, 2016
Overall a good hike and park. Lots of solitude. Only saw 2 hikers and five bikers (2 of which passed me 5 times), which was surprising since it was a holiday weekend. (There were a bunch of people out on the river.) The trails are exceptionally marked. I was worried with all the crisscrossing trails. It was also nice that the sign posts list the mileage also. The trails I went on are for hikers, bikers and horses. That being said, you need to watch your step.

I did a different route and started off on the river trail, however it was not a constant river view, only grassy side trails to the river bank. This area is in the sun, but the trails offers a nice view of a grassland with wild flowers and birds. The trails here are gravel and wide. I then headed up to the Shale Barrens, Redtail Bridge, Tulip Poplar, Big Oak, and finally the Bear Bottom(outer section) trails. These are nice wooded natural and easy to navigate. I saw several bird types, a small lizard, and even saw a young buck. There are some overlooks of the river. I picked this hike due to its solitude score (which it lived up to) and its stream score of 5 (which it did not live up to). Other than the Shenandoah River, I did not see any streams other than a dry stream bed. (I would have score this hike a 5 if there were some streams.)

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 2, 2016
One of my favorite hikes in that area. The trails are among the smoothest and widest I've found including in Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest. Excellent trail marking. I like the mix of being in the woods and being out in the open along a field and the river. Saw deer and a black bear (on the Bear Bottom Loop segment, of course). No one else on the trail for the first 7 miles then about 6 near the end, I think more associated with the nearby campgrounds than out hiking. The overlook is great.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 3, 2015
Three stars might seem like a low rating, and there was frankly a lot to like about this hike, but the description that goes wtih 3 stars, "overall a nice hike," is most accurate. I really only have one complaint, but this issue interfered quite a bit for me: This is a long hike cobbled together from about five short hikes, and this fact requires that if you want to follow this hike, which I did, since I wanted that distance, you really have to carry a map with you and take it out CONSTANTLY to see what to do next. The trails are all VERY well marked, no missing anything or getting lost, but there are what feel like dozens of them, and we did get misled by a new employee at one point. I also didn't love the part next to the river--hot in the sun and boring, for my money ($7 entrance fee because it was a holiday weekend). I appreciate that parks want to get a lot of trail variety, and I like that, but ultimately the hike felt as squiggly and cross-ing-backy as it was. You felt not too unlike a hamster on a wheel, since the park is but so big and so fitting a woodsy 8.5-mile hike into it requires a lot of doubling back on oneself. It is what it is. I wouldn't do it again though.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 11, 2015
Second time doing this trail and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. It's an easy hike and would be great for those starting out trail running. The trees were just starting to grow in so the views were much better than when I did this in August. I passed a few other hikers and several mountain bikers. Most of the mountain bikers neglected to yield to the hikers, but unfortunately I find that is the norm on shared trails… SMH. But nonetheless a great hike and would be great for families with older kids. There is a $5 entrance fee per car on the weekends ($4 on weekdays).

By: Amblon Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 26, 2014
We planned this hike to avoid the crowds in SNP and didn't expect a whole lot but it was a fantastic hike. The first half was a nice walk through the woods and the second half along the river. The weather was perfect. Many options for trail combinations. A great find!

I would have given it 5 stars but there were some mountain bikers and the trails are also shared w horses. We saw 10 bikes but folks were real polite.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 6, 2014
My dog and I started this on a sunny Saturday afternoon. There was one other car in the large parking lot and we saw no one until we reached the River Trail. Beautiful views, a pretty relaxing forest walk, and we saw several deer. The elevation changes were gradual, but frequent enough that it was a nice workout. I often grow tired of just hikes through the forest, so the trail next to the river and open field were a very welcome change. A note that after you go left at the cabin, there's a fork and the directions above say to stay right/straight on the road. We took the left fork (Green/River Trail) as I wanted to let my dog get in the river to cool off. You'll be separated from the Orange/Culler Trail by a large field to your right, but you'll eventually reach a small bridge and just before that, a trail is cut through the grass to connect you with the Orange/Culler Trail. The trails are very well marked. The only challenging thing about this trail was the heat (97 degrees today!) and the only negative were the bugs. The mosquitoes were awful. Looking forward to returning in cooler weather. I very much enjoyed this hike!

By: Martha Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Started our vacation with this easy hike, more like a walk in the woods warm-up, but a beautiful walk in the woods it was! Trail markings are great, on a Thursday afternoon we had the whole place to ourselves, thought that intermittent drizzle & light rain would spoil the day but actually God showed His hand with beautiful clouds and 4 different rainbows while we walked next to the river. SPECTACULAR! This is a lovely park we came back on Saturday and hiked another loop near the visitor center. The dog enjoyed it too.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 9, 2012
We hiked this beautifully, well maintained park on 6/9/12. MUST BE WARNED IT COST US $4.00 to get into the park, however, since it was such a good hike, we thought it was worth the entrance fee.  It also was 8.3 miles according to our GPS and completed in 3 hours. The trail is a nice pleasant walk in the woods with blazes following the entire trail, making it very easy to follow. We ran into 9 hikers, 2 people on horses, and 3 cyclists along the way. There were some nice hills along the trail, making it a comfortable hike for anyone of average fitness to accomplish. Once we got down the mountain, following Culler's Trail, there are a lot of open meadows and few shaded spots for about 2 miles, so bring sunscreen. If I would do this hike again I would have arrived very early so I could hike first, then spend the rest of the day on a tube in the river relaxing or renting a canoe, it all looked fun.  There was a lot of parking for the river activities and also large camping areas in the park, as well as cabins that you could rent. You could easily make a fun weekend out of it all.

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