Trail Discovery for Kids: Rose River Fire Road

Hike Information

  • 2.6 miles out and back from the trail head to the intersection with the Upper Dark Hollow Trail. This is your turn around spot.
  • The trail is a fire road; therefore, it is wide, meaning vegetation won’t encroach upon the kids and make them itchy.
  • The trail gradually ascends the river valley without any steep portions.
  • This trail is NOT jogging stroller friendly due to large gullies and many rocks.
  • To access the trail head, drive to the end of Rt. 670 (becomes a dirt road) in Syria, VA.
  • Link to the trail map. The trail head on Rt. 670 is not on this map but it will give you an idea of the trails in the Big Meadows area of SNP.

Age Appropriateness

  • This hike is best for children 7 years an older. However, an energetic 5 and 6 year could complete the hike.

What is fun for kids?

  • Walking along the rapids of the Rose River. There are two locations on the hike where kids can safely access the river. At .5 miles, kids can easily access a shallow, slow moving spot on the river to get wet or throw rocks. At 1.2 miles, walk to the right down a short access trail (not marked) to some rapids and a small swimming hole in an eddy. There is also a one tent primitive camping spot here.
  • Seeing wildflowers in April.
  • The possibility of seeing a black bear along the river.


  • No good on-line map. Best map of this trail is PATC’s Map 10, Shenandoah National Park: Central District. There is a kiosk at the trail head with a map.
  • There are no bathroom facilities.
  • Trash free park โ€“ pack your garbage out.

Hiking Along engages children in exploration of the natural world through hiking on scenic trails around the metro DC region. Groups of children, preschool to high school, participate in hands-on science activities to learn about the natural surroundings while hiking on trails. Visit for more information.

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OK Editorial Team

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