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South River Tract (Saddleback Mountain)

 

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The South River tract is about 1,130 acres or 1.8 square miles.

Access to this tract is poor, but if you have a day to spend on this tract it can be well worth the visit.  It has a decent network of trails on the northern one-third of the tract (see map on bottom of this page). The Northwest portion of the tract can be accessed by SR 342 (Taylor Mountain Road) if you have a decent 4x4 vehicle.

There is a hunter access trail you can use (steep, rough, poorly marked trail) to go around the private land and get back on SR 342 on the West side of the public property.

The foot trail  running along the river (shown on the map to the right) doesn't have any public right-of-way from the East, despite what some maps show.  If you try to drive to it there is a big threatening sign that it is a private road going to it.  However, the trail is still in good shape as of February 2006, but there isn't a good way to get to it.  If you're not hunting, you can go down the South River Trail from Shenandoah National Park and turn left once you cross the river.  The trail is in poor shape, but once you enter the RWMA it gets much better.

You can also bushwhack down to the trail from the North part of the tract, but pick your route carefully.  It is really steep in places. 

Below is a 3-D version of the USGS map for this tract.

Updated 2/11/06

 

 

Rapidan Tract | Middle River Tract | Fletcher Tract | South River Tract | Big Tom Mountain Tract

Allen Mountain Tract | Blakey Ridge Tract | Kirtley Mountain Tract

Click on the map for a larger version.

Note: The trail colors are for map purposes only. None of the trails are blazed except for the Hunter Access trail.  Also, the area in the middle labeled as Shenandoah National Park, is really posted, private property.

 

Red

Hunter Access Trail as Blazed by DGIF

   
Purple This is a better maintained switchback to the hunter access trail.  If you're just following the trail and not watching for blazing, this is probably how you will go.  It's a little over 800 feet where you will be off the blazed trail.
   
Yellow  Poorly marked trail along stream bed that goes from the parking area to the hunter access trail
   
Blue A pretty decent trail that has seen occasional ATV traffic.
   
Orange While walking North on the blue trail, it forks.  This is a trail that forks to the right.  Where the trail goes into Shenandoah National Park (and hasn't been maintained there) it is possible to walk along the border of the tract going Northwest.
   
Green A decent trail that goes down to the field on the East boundary of the track.