Hike to Little and Big Rocky Row

Rate this Adventure Virginia James River Foot Bridge

Added by Elyse Clark

This hike along the Appalachian Trail leads to two beautiful rocky outcrops with stunning views of the James River. 

Starting at the James River Footbridge, which is the longest foot traffic only bridge on the entire Appalachian Trail. Head north on the Appalachian Trail.  You will quickly cross over Rt. 501. 

After a mile of hiking through the woods skirting the Rocky Row Run stream, you will cross over Forest Road 812. There is an intersection with the spur trail to John's Hollow Shelter 1.8 miles into the hike. 

After 2.9 miles you will start to switchback up the mountain with 21 switchbacks in a row. This part is quite difficult, but after 1.1 miles of these switchbacks you will emerge onto the rocky outcrops of Little Rocky Row. This is a good place to stop for lunch. 

The best views of the James River are from this viewpoint. Therefore, if you want to turn your hike into an ~8.0 mile hike you can turn around at this point. 

To continue onto Big Rocky Row, keep heading north on the Appalachian Trail for another 1.4 miles. Keep in mind that you will gain over 550 feet in elevation on this portion of the trail. Big Rocky Row has similar views to Little Rocky Row, but is worth the effort if you have time. 

Once finished exploring Big Rocky Row, head back south on the Appalachian Trail for 5.4 miles to return to your car. 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

10.8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2700 Feet

Features:

Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Elyse Clark

Explorer. Hiker. Photographer.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Saint Mary's Falls

Virginia / Saint Mary's Road Parking Area

Saint Mary's Wilderness is one of Virginia's largest designated wilderness areas and is an old iron ore mining area.

Jess Fischer
12 Saves

Hike the Woodmarsh Trail

Virginia / Woodmarsh Trail, Mason Neck State Park

Just at the entrance to Mason Neck State Park is the Woodmarsh Trail. The entire loop is about 3 miles. This is a pleasant easy hike that is relatively flat with no rocks to speak of.

John Maurizi
2 Saves

Hike through the New River Cave

Virginia / New River Cave

After reaching the parking area, cross the road and continue up the trail for about 0.3 miles. At the kiosk, make sure to register in order to indicate that you are going into the cave.

Geo Min
16 Saves