The Devil’s Bathtub was recently names one of the Weather Channel’s Hidden Gems and is often cited as Virginia’s Number One travel destination.
The Devil’s Fork Loop Trail takes you on a seven-plus mile hike across stream beds, past Cascade Falls and to the Devil’s Bathtub, where a stunning stream races down a rock chute, swirls through the tub and heads downstream. The “Tub” is 1.8 miles from the trail, if you just want to visit this scenic wonder.
Length: 7.2 miles round trip all the way round (or optional 1.8 miles directly to the Tub up one way).
Trailhead: From Ft. Blackmore, head north on Rte 619, turning at the junction of Rte 619 and Rte 657 to stay on Rte 619. Soon thereafter, take FS road 2631 to the left and bear up the hill to the parking area. Recent rains have left this FS road heavily rutted and it is NOT suitable for a two-wheel drive vehicle. Total distance from Ft. Blackmore is about five miles.
To reach the other trailhead at the end of Straight Fork Ridge, follow Rte 619 north from Ft. Blackmore for 11.5 miles, winding up the side of High Knob. Turn left onto Rte 237/Big Cherry Reservoir and drive another four miles to the trailhead.
Devil’s Fork Loop Trail is perfect for the back country enthusiasts who are willing to get their feet wet. All hikers should be prepared to scramble over boulders, and should plan their visit during relatively low water conditions.
After the first creek crossing, you have option of going right or left. The Forest Service has the sign pointing both ways to the Devil’s Bathtub, but the mileage is not marked. To the right is seven miles round trip, but with no other creek crossings. To the left is the shorter and more heavily traveled trail with 13 creek crossings.
Weekdays are the best time to visit the Devil’s Bathtub due to its popularity.
Visitors should not park along the road along the road between the no parking signs or on private property.
Later in the summer of 2018, a new parking area will be available to visitors to the Devil’s Bathtub.