Stephens Trail

Edinburg, Virginia 22824

Stephens Trail

Stephens Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Camp Roosevelt opened in 1933 as America’s first Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Living in tents and earning $30 a week, unemployed men built the roads, campgrounds, picnic shelters, and fire towers we still use today. Their handiwork included a limestone block tower and shelter on Kennedy Peak.

Its squat, low-rising design often surprises hikers expecting a tall lookout, but it’s still high enough to give commanding views off the 2,600-foot Kennedy Peak. Eastward lies Page Valley and, to the west, Shenandoah Valley, both outlined with patchwork farms, towns, and forests."

Stephens Trail Reviews

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A few days early for peak fall color (dry year) but the long stretch along the ridge was lovely. Started from Roosevelt campground around 1:30 PM and made the circuit back to camp at dusk, just in time for supper around a campfire. Next day we did the Duncan Knob hike just a few kilometers south of here which was just as beautiful - lots of maple in peak color.
This trail is a great day trip from the Washington, DC area. But word to the wise - if you walk the trail in reverse from what the guidebook step-by-step guide indicates, the trail becomes difficult with 5 miles of on-and-off elevation gain. There are several patches of rocks so good shoes and socks are a must. The payoff for all this work - the fantastic views on the Shenandoah Valley and the town of Luray. Definitely worth your time! Just be sure to bring lots of water and your energy bars.
The trail was a mixture of rocky dirt(everyone in the party tripped and fell at least once), smooth dirt, mud, and stream crossovers. The scenery was beautiful. However this hike is NOT easy. It should definitely be considered moderate especially for recreational walkers. I'd love to see what the person who called this trail easy thinks is moderate!
During my time at Massanutten Academy (79-82) and living in the DC area as an adult (89-96 & 99-01) I've hiked every trail and bushwhacked just everyplace around Massanutten/Little Fort Valley. It's exemplary of the Northern Virginia mountains. I visited here at least one weekend a month during the time I worked for the DC. The head of the valley between Buzzard Rocks and Signal Knob is one of my favorite places to visit in Virginia. The changes of the flora from one layer of sedimentary rock to another gives a unique quality one cannot find in SNP. There's a lot of good hiking here, especially on the Big Blue Trail, that doesn't bother putting on the site. Beautiful vistas, good camp sites, easy as well as challenging routes - I love it there - lot's of good memories.

Stephens Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
5 hours
Open year-round. Camp Roosevelt is open May through Oct. Hunting is permitted in national forests, with the busiest season Nov to early Jan.
Additional Use
Lee Ranger District, Edinburg (540) 984-4101
Local Contacts
USGS Hamburg, Luray, Rileyville, Edinburg
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018