Thing to Do

South River Falls

A forest view with tall trees and a leaf-covered green canopy.

From the South River Picnic Grounds, this route is a circuit hike that takes you to the base of a 83’ waterfall. A great hike for wildflower and bird enthusiasts, alike! This hike has one stream crossing.

Distance: 3.3-mile circuit hike
Difficulty: Moderate (explanation of our hiking difficulty scale)
Hiking Time: 2 hour 15 minutes
Elevation Gain: 910 feet

Hike Description

  1. From the trailhead just below the South River Picnic Grounds comfort station (mile 62.7), take the blue-blazed South River Falls Trail.
  2. You'll cross the Appalachian Trail, but stay on the South River Falls Trail to the stone-walled observation point.
  3. From the observation point, continue on the South River Falls Trail to the trailpost.
  4. Go left onto the yellow-blazed South River Falls Road. 
  5. The trail joins the South River Fire Road.
  6. Continue on the fire road to its intersection with the Appalachian Trail.
  7. Turn left and follow the A.T. (white-blazed) to its intersection with the South River Falls Trail.
  8. Go right to return to your starting point.

The average hiking duration does not take into consideration fitness, exploration, rest, contemplation, etc.


Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.

An entrance fee is required to get into Shenandoah National Park.

The trailhead for this hike is located just below the comfort station at the South River Picnic Grounds.

Year Round
Accessibility Information

This trail does not meet ADA accessibility guidelines.

Shenandoah National Park

Map of South River area with notable roads and trails marked.

Download the trail map
Click the image to download the trail map. Print it out at home or save it to your phone to take with you on your hike.

Last updated: February 9, 2021