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12 Greatest Hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park


The US has some unbelievable nationwide parks, and Shenandoah Nationwide Park is one in all them. Only a 1.5-hour drive from Washington DC, Shenandoah has over 200,000 acres of wildlife and spectacular surroundings. The park extends throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, with the well-known Skyline Drive chopping by the center. Shenandoah Nationwide Park has tons of wildlife, together with black bears. It additionally has dramatic mountains, and Previous Rag Mountain and Hawksbill Mountain supply among the finest hikes in Shenandoah.

What are one of the best hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park apart from summit hikes, although? Shenandoah has over 500 miles of mountain climbing trails to discover, so you aren’t wanting choices.

High Hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park

From waterfall hikes to mountain climbing, we’ve picked the best possible hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park. These mountain climbing trails are positive to get you feeling impressed.

1. Mill Prong Path

Hikes in shenandoah National Park Mill Prong Trail

Mill Prong is a scenic, fairly woodland hike. Hikers are surrounded by wildflowers like mountain laurels and shaded by the timber round them. The path additionally runs alongside Mill Prong River, and also you’ll cross over the river through a number of footbridges all through the hike. A return hike takes round two hours, and Mill Prong is an out-and-back path.

So, why do you have to hike this path? Properly, its Rapidan Camp’s endpoint was as soon as the vacation house of President Herbert Hoover and First Girl Lou Henry Hoover. The couple spent many a contented time within the woodland camp, and now you possibly can view the camp as a historic attraction. There are three cabins in whole, with one signposted because the Prime Minister’s and informative indicators dotted round with tales and information concerning the camp and the way Hoover spent his time there.

Mill ProngTrail Map

The path begins reverse Milam Hole Parking Lot, located alongside Skyline Drive. You briefly be part of the Appalachian Path earlier than practically instantly turning left onto the blue-marked Mill Prong Path. After following the riverside path for a short time, you make the primary river crossing, after which you retain proper on the yellow marked Mill Prong Horse Path. From this level, you follow the path till you attain Rapidan Camp.

Mill Prong is a unbelievable hike of average problem. The path distance is simply 3.7 miles return, quick sufficient for households or much less match hikers to sort out. If you happen to fall into these classes, simply enable an additional hour or two to finish the hike.

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Prepared for some quickfire information? These are the statistics that it’s best to know

  • Path distance: 3.7 miles
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 223 meters
  • Trailhead: Milam Hole Parking Lot

2. Rose River Loop Path

Rose River Falls Trail Hikes in Shenandoah National Park

Rose River Loop Path is one other lovely riverside hike. Nevertheless, not like Mill Prong, this route hops alongside totally different waterfalls. The dramatic endpoint is Rose River Falls – one in all Shenandoah’s most well-known waterfalls. Hikers can benefit from the Rose River Path at a sedate tempo, because the average hike is simply 3.8 miles lengthy on a loop path. It’s best to enable round two hours to finish the whole hike.

Rose River Falls is a shocking 67-foot waterfall, hidden away in woodland and solely accessible through the loop path. After following Rose River for a lot of the route, reaching the huge waterfall is an appreciated reward. Some individuals select to swim within the waterfalls plunge pool, and also you’ll in all probability be simply persuaded on a heat day. Both method, pack a picnic and plan to take a seat for some time for a break subsequent to the falls.

Rose RiverTrail Map

Rose River Loop Path sits reverse Fishers Hole parking space, which is positioned on Skyline Drive. When you’ve parked, cross the highway and head straight down the hearth monitor, aka Rose River Fireplace Highway. After a couple of minutes, you attain a yellow marked lefthand flip off for the Skyland Large Meadows Horse Path. Taking this flip, you proceed for simply over half a mile earlier than recognizing the blue-marked Rose River Path. It’s right here that the journey begins, and you’ve got numerous cascades ready for you alongside this route part – together with Rose River Falls itself.

Rose River Path is a phenomenal average hike of simply 3.8 miles. The spherical journey is well tackled in half a day, so it’s good in case you are quick on time however desire a rewarding mountain climbing expertise. Deliver your mountain climbing boots and a swimming costume, and also you’ll have a unbelievable time.

Statistics about this hike:

  • Path distance: 4 miles
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 267 meters
  • Trailhead: Fishers Hole Overlook Automotive Park

3. Darkish Hole Falls Path

Rose River Falls Trail Hikes in Shenandoah National Park Dark Hollow Falls

Darkish Hole Falls Path is among the most gorgeous waterfall hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park – particularly in spring when mountain laurel dots the path with pink and autumn when the leaves flip yellow. The 70ft Darkish Hole Falls is among the most well-known points of interest in Shenandoah Nationwide Park. The waterfall’s path is considerably of an area icon within the mountain climbing scene.

The title ‘Darkish Hole Falls Path’ makes it sound fairly gothic. It’s true that the river stays within the shadows for a lot of the day. Nevertheless, that is way more exaggerated in autumn and winter. Throughout these months, the low lighting is ideal for long-exposure pictures. It cuts a phenomenal distinction in opposition to the moist rock and autumnal leaves. Darkish Hole Falls is an atmospheric, scenic quick hike.

Dark Hollow Falls Trail

Darkish Hole Falls Trailhead is within the parking space, which sits at mile 50.7 on Skyline Drive. Park up and head to the north finish of the parking space. You’ll entry the trailhead, crossing a stream and heading downhill alongside the Hogcamp Department River. After round half a mile, you’ll emerge at Darkish Hole Falls, and you may spend a second admiring the 70ft waterfall up shut.

Strolling to Darkish Hole Falls is ideal in case you battle with instructions. The out and again path is one route down and one route again – easy and easy for a calming quick stroll. Aside from the uphill return hike, the monitor is undemanding and suited to freshmen. Keep in mind that it may be slippery in moist months and that venturing off the path might be dangerous due to all of the hidden drops.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 1.4 miles
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 172 meters
  • Trailhead: Darkish Hole Falls Parking Space

4. Higher Hawksbill Path

Hawksbill trail Shenandoah National Park

Are you extra of a panorama individual than a waterfall lover? Take our recommendation and climb one in all Shanandoah’s mountains. Hawksbill Mountain is among the finest hikes for lovely viewpoints in Shenandoah Nationwide Park. It has gorgeous views over the encircling mountains and Shenandoah Valley. Higher Hawksbill Path is an thrilling summit hike, but it solely takes round an hour to finish a spherical journey. The Hawksbill summit hike is brief and candy – packing a punch right into a 2.1-mile path.

So, you’re in all probability questioning how tough tackling Hawksbill Mountain actually is. The route is a little bit of a combination and has some difficult hike sections, however it’s a straightforward path for essentially the most half. The one difficult half is within the final quarter of the hike, the place the trail turns into steep, rocky terrain that you have to decide your method by fastidiously. Put on sturdy mountain climbing boots, and also you’ll be completely tremendous. It helps that the path distance is low, and the elevation acquire is comparatively gradual.

Upper Hawksbill Trail Map

Park up on the Higher Hawksbill parking zone and head straight to the blue-marked Higher Hawksbill Trailhead. The preliminary part is a large path that weaves by dense woodland. You then head barely downhill to intersect Hawksbill Fireplace Highway and be part of the highway for the ultimate climb to the summit. This part is essentially the most difficult underfoot, with rocky terrain to navigate.

The Nationwide Parks Service maintains the path properly, however you have to be ready for this part to be slightly extra tough and prepared than the opposite sections. Walkers emerge triumphantly on the summit and are met with sweeping views of Shenandoah Valley, Previous Rag Mountain, and Betty’s Rock. In case you are feeling bold, you possibly can strive time reaching the summit with the dawn for the last word views.

Tackling the Hawksbill summit is superb if you’d like a hike that gives you a powerful sense of accomplishment. The route can also be good and quick – good for squeezing right into a busy itinerary. Did we point out that Hawksbill Mountain summit is the very best level within the nationwide park? Finishing this hike is kind of an achievement.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 2.1 miles
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 149 meters
  • Trailhead: Higher Hawksbill Trailhead

5. Bearfence Mountain Path

Bearfence Mountain Trail Shenandoah National Park

Bearfence Mountain won’t be as huge as Hawksbill, however the peak nonetheless has spectacular summit views. You may attain the summit through the Bearfence Mountain Path – an intense, single-mile path incorporating a rock scramble. Bearfence Mountain Path is an thrilling hike for many who need an journey and good views.

Whereas not technically difficult, you will want to be joyful to strive new issues and get caught in in case you are a newbie. Rock scrambles require endurance, confidence, and a optimistic angle. However in case you can tick these qualities off, you’ll have an awesome hike. Scrambling up Bearfence Mountain is ideal if you’d like a memorable journey in Shenandoah Nationwide Park.

Bearfence Mountain Trail Map

Begin your hike by parking in Bearfence Mountain Parking Lot, simply off Skyline Drive. You then cross Skyline Drive to the trailhead reverse the parking zone to start the stroll. Bearfence Mountain Path rapidly modifications terrain from a steep slope to rock scrambles. From a navigational perspective, it’s a straightforward hike because you simply maintain heading up in direction of the summit. Be ready to really feel out of breath, however the climb is so quick that you’ll handle so long as you might have a fundamental health stage. You’ll be richly rewarded, too, because the summit has 360-degree views over the nationwide park.

Bearfence Mountain won’t be the tallest, however it’s the most enjoyable. No different path in Shenandoah Nationwide Park has the identical distinctive construction as Bearfence Mountain Path. The rock scramble is ideal for adventurous freshmen and intermediate hikers.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 1 mile
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 74 meters
  • Trailhead: Bearfence Mountain Parking Lot

6. Stony Man Path

Stony Man Trail Shenandoah National Park

Fancy a straightforward hike? The Stony Man Path is the one for you. It is among the finest hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park and is simply 1.5 miles lengthy. Even higher? The path has minimal and gradual elevation acquire, but among the finest views within the nationwide park. Stony Man is a hike that rewards you for primarily the naked minimal.

Stony Man Trail Hiking Map

So, let’s check out the route. You begin your hike on the Stony Man Parking Space, becoming a member of the Appalachian Path briefly earlier than turning off on the blue-marked Stony Man Path. The path right here is easy, and also you quickly attain the Stony Man Viewpoint. The Stony Man Viewpoint is slightly rocky outcrop overlooking the valley. Normally, there’s a tiny rainwater pool on the summit. After appreciating the view, you simply retrace your steps to the parking zone since it’s an out-and-back path.

Stony Man Path is unbelievable. And, if you’d like a brief stroll, it’s simply one in all your finest choices. Stony Man is a match made in heaven for mountain climbing freshmen with the spectacular summit viewpoint, clearly marked path, and quick path distance.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 1.5 miles
  • Issue: Straightforward
  • Elevation acquire: 97 meters
  • Trailhead: Stony Man Parking Space

7. Cedar Run Falls Path

Cedar Run Falls Shenandoah National Park

Cedar Run Falls Path is a difficult waterfall hike that requires round 5 hours to finish. It’s best to allocate an entire day to this hike, as it’s simple to get distracted by the various waterfalls and pure swimming swimming pools dotted alongside the out-and-back path. Cedar Run Falls Path is a enjoyable, longer hike appropriate for these wanting a problem or whole-day exercise.

Many hikers use the path’s well-known pure water slide and problem themselves to some common cliff jumps. You could want to pack swimwear to affix in (at your personal danger). It’s value noting that Cedar Run Path has skilled some closures over latest years. Examine the Nationwide Park Service web site earlier than visiting to examine if the path is open and welcoming guests.

Cedar Run Falls Trail Hike Map

Begin your hike at Hawksbill Hole Parking Space. Quickly you cross a footbridge throughout Cedar Run River, and from this level, you observe the river and spot waterfalls alongside the way in which. When you move the primary few waterfalls, the route will get very steep and slippery, so that you’ll want wonderful footwear. Cedar Run Cascade is close to the endpoint and value reaching if attainable.

So, do you have to select Cedar Run Falls? Sure, if you’d like a strenuous hike that may push you to your limits. The stroll most closely fits skilled hikers with good technical capability, health, and mountain climbing gear. That mentioned, although, the route is stuffed with pure points of interest and really entertaining to hike.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 5.8 miles
  • Issue: Difficult
  • Elevation acquire: 685 meters
  • Trailhead: Hawksbill Hole Parking Space

8. Appalachian Path

Appalachian Trail Shenandoah National Park

Now the Appalachian Path isn’t any stroll within the park. The path really stretches by a number of states, Virginia being one in all them. If you happen to needed to finish the entire path, you’d want between 5 and 7 months! Nevertheless, you possibly can full Shenandoah’s part of the Appalachian Path in lower than sixty hours. If you happen to love multi-day hikes and have a powerful sense of journey, tackling this part of the path is among the finest hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park.

The path has many shelters alongside the way in which. You should utilize them for in a single day tenting and filling up water bottles at freshwater faucets. You’ll go to lots of the points of interest from our different prime hikes on this checklist – together with Stony Man and Loft Mountain (which we are going to cowl shortly). Mountaineering Shenandoah’s Appalachian Path is a unbelievable strategy to mix numerous totally different points of interest in a single expertise.

Appalachian Trail Hiking Map

In case you are mountain climbing the Shenandoah part, the path begins at Dickey Ridge Trailhead within the north of the park. You chop by the nationwide park, passing points of interest like Swift Run Overlook, Turk Mountain Overlook, and Sawmill Run Overlook earlier than reaching your ultimate waypoint at Beagle Hole. We advocate buying a bodily copy of a path map fairly than a digital one, particularly since that is such a long-distance hike.

The Appalachian Path is the last word hike in Shenandoah Nationwide Park. Hikers will have to be decided, match, and wholesome.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 115.5 miles
  • Issue: Difficult
  • Elevation acquire: 6,939 meters
  • Trailhead: Dickey Ridge Trailhead

9. Lewis Spring Falls Path

Lewis Spring Falls Trail Shenandoah National Park

It’s no secret; Shenandoah Nationwide Park is stuffed with spectacular waterfalls. Lewis Spring Falls Path is among the finest waterfall hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park. Towering 81 toes excessive, Lewis Falls is the crowning jewel of the path – and the fourth tallest waterfall within the nationwide park. The monitor is enjoyable to hike and has picnic areas dotted alongside the way in which. In order for you a hike you can amble alongside leisurely, Lewis Spring Falls is the one for you.

Lewis Spring Falls Trail Hiking Map

The path begins on the parking zone and instantly takes you into woodland. Flip left on the first path marker after which proper on the blue-marked monitor, persevering with by dense forest and previous many small waterfalls. On the path endpoint, you’ll attain a big commentary deck, and it’s right here that you just’ll discover one of the best views of the principle waterfall – Lewis Falls.

Preserve your eyes out for wildlife as you hike. There are deer and bears to identify, plus numerous lovely flora, particularly in spring. Lewis Spring Falls Path is a good hike to immerse your self in nature.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 3.5 miles
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 267 meters
  • Trailhead: Milepost 51.2 within the Large Meadows Space

10. South River Falls Path

South river Falls Shenandoah National Park

South River Falls is one other superstar on Shenandoah’s waterfall scene. The 83-foot waterfall is an actual sight to behold, and in case you love pure points of interest, this path is a high-reward path to sort out. You’ll observe lovely riverside trails and full one stream crossing – ending on the viewpoint.

The path is simply 2.4 miles in size and takes round an hour and a half to finish. The out-and-back route is the proper morning hike and is well squeezed right into a busy itinerary. South River Falls is a good candidate if you’d like a brief stroll to finish as a stretch of your legs after a strenuous hike the day earlier than.

South River Falls Trail Hiking Map

The trailhead is a blue-marked path south of the South River Picnic Space. Navigating a mountain climbing path has by no means been simpler. Simply ignore any turn-offs and keep on South River Falls Path till you attain the point of view.

This path is completely newbie pleasant. Straightforward to navigate, quick, and fulfilling, South River Falls Path is a perfect path to stretch your legs and benefit from the sunshine.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 2.4 miles
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 230 meters
  • Trailhead: South River Picnic Space

11. Loft Mountain Loop Path (through Frazier Discovery Path)

Loft Mountain Loop hike in Shenandoah National Park

Loft Mountain Loop Path is one other quick hike on your itinerary. The path is in a useful loop and is a breeze to finish at simply 2 miles in size – appropriate for even essentially the most inexperienced hiker. The monitor has a shocking viewpoint on its descent part and quiet, peaceable woodland paths.

Loft Mountain Loop Hike Map

So, let’s dive straight into some instructions. Beginning at Loft Mountain Wayside, be part of the paved path on the alternative aspect of the highway. Virtually instantly, you attain a fork within the path, and from right here, flip left on the blue-marked Frazier Discovery Path. Preserve left and start your uphill stroll, turning left on the second concrete path marker that you just see. At this level, you’ll begin descending, and it’s this part that it is advisable maintain your eyes out for the ‘endpoint’ view. The view is attractive – overlooking the nationwide park, surrounding mountains, and woodland.

Proceed on the loop to get again, maintaining left to remain on the blue marked Blue Spring Path. Ultimately, the path turns into a fireplace highway, and also you’ll flip left when it intersects with Skyline Drive to achieve your start line, Loft Mountain Wayside.

Loft Mountain is among the finest hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park if you’d like a straightforward loop path. Positive, it requires a little bit of navigating, however the monitor itself is brilliantly untechnical, and the path size is good and quick at solely 2 miles lengthy.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 2 miles
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 151 meters
  • Trailhead: Loft Mountain Wayside

12. Whiteoak Canyon Path

Whiteoak Canyon hike in Shenandoah National Park

Whiteoak Canyon is our ultimate hike and contains a phenomenal number of cascades and waterfalls. Whiteoak Canyon is a superb possibility in case you are the kind of hiker who loves having heaps to see. You’ve gotten waterfall after waterfall and numerous plunge swimming pools for swimming. Whiteoak Canyon is the kind of dreamy hike you soak up your summer time holidays.

The principle cause for marking Whiteoak Canyon as a average hike is its path size. The path takes over 5 hours to finish, so that you’ll want a very good stage of health and stamina. Moreover, the monitor can grow to be slippery and slender in sections. The spray from waterfalls and fallen leaves turns into a tough mixture when discovering positive footing, so convey robust footwear with a very good grip. In any other case, Whiteoak Canyon Path is easy and untechnical.

Whiteoak Canyon Hiking Map

Beginning on the Whiteoak Canyon Parking Space, you instantly take the Whiteoak Canyon Path. Observe the trail alongside the riverside, pausing at scenic spots as you want alongside the way in which. The endpoint is a rocky ledge; from right here, you possibly can take a shocking view of the Higher Falls. In order for you, you can too make your method right down to the plunge pool on the base of the Higher Falls, which is common for swimming.

Whiteoak Canyon Path is one in all Shenandoah’s hottest hikes for a lot of good causes. It’s enjoyable, comparatively difficult, and has loads of issues to see alongside the way in which.

Mountaineering particulars that it’s best to know:

  • Path distance: 9.5 miles
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation acquire: 734 meters
  • Trailhead: Whiteoak Canyon Parking Space

Last Ideas

Are you able to sort out these finest hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park? Shenandoah Valley is among the most lovely locations in Virginia, if not the US as an entire. It’s best to undoubtedly add it to your checklist of the finest locations to go to within the US. You’ll have the pleasure of having fun with among the finest hikes within the nation.

We hope you might have discovered your match amongst all these wonderful mountain climbing trails. Whether or not you select a brief hike or sort out a strenuous path just like the Appalachian Path, admiring the rolling hills of Shenandoah Nationwide Park can be memorable.

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