Oh man. We hiked the White Oak Canyon/Cedar Run loop yesterday, and it was an 8 mile, nearly six hour doozy. Don’t get me wrong, it was gorgeous and I felt so good after, but I don’t think I’ll want to do this one again. If you do this hike, definitely don’t make the mistake we did of not starting this hike until almost 1 p.m.

White Oak Canyon

It took us about 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to the parking area from where we live near D.C., and the drive was gorgeous. I mean look at that scenery below! You just can’t get views like that close to the city. I always feel recharged after being out in no man’s land.

Drive to White Oak Canyon

We got to the trail entrance, paid our $15 per vehicle entry fee and talked to a very nice ranger about the hike. One thing I love about park rangers is that they always seem to be the best people. All of them!

You see three waterfalls in the first (steep) half of the hike, and they are something. I loved being able to put my feet in the water and hear the sounds of the waterfalls throughout the trail.

White Oak Canyon waterfall

At about mile 6, I started to get worried we wouldn’t finish the hike before dark. It turns out we did with plenty of time to spare, but I tend to be a worrier.

I think starting out a little earlier than we did and having more time to take in the beauty would have helped. Also, I think this would be a great mid-summer hike so you could cool off in the many streams and pools you get to. As of mid-April, they were still so chilly.


We passed some people camping, and I knew they had the right idea. Somewhere along this trail would make a great camping spot, especially since there are so many great spots by the water. Now I want to camp! To do list: get a tent.

That’s my short and sweet update about this hike. Who knows where next weekend will lead us! Here’s hoping it’s not raining!