White Oak Canyon

There are six waterfalls between the bottom of White Oak Canyon and Skyline Drive. However only one fall that’s accessible from the main trail is a good swimming hole. The trail follows blue blazes into Shenandoah National Park. A couple of hundred feet after the parking area it forks. You stay right.

After one mile and 250 vertical feet you come to a modest basin. It’s a good scale for kids who just took the training wheels off their bike. The next stop is an impressive couple of falls just above a confluence entering from the right, or about 1.35 miles in. The fall is a horsetail 30 feet high with a pool about 55 feet wide. Depth is lacking due to rock fall and snags. From there the trail climbs steeply toward the swimming hole that I like.

It’s a rocky pool, roughly oval in shape and about 2O feet long. Loads of debris rafted up at the bottom improves the depth. Problem is there’s no place to sit or get comfortable. You could probably swim over to the short cascade that feeds the pool and haul out on some smooth rocks there. Other rocks are very slippery. Definitely wear sandals or water shoes. A walking stick is also an excellent idea.

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