HomeTravel12 Finest Hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park

12 Finest Hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park


The US has some unimaginable nationwide parks, and Shenandoah Nationwide Park is certainly one of 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 reducing by the center. Shenandoah Nationwide Park has tons of wildlife, together with black bears. It additionally has dramatic mountains, and Outdated Rag Mountain and Hawksbill Mountain provide among the finest hikes in Shenandoah.

What are the very best hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park moreover summit hikes, although? Shenandoah has over 500 miles of mountaineering 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 mountaineering 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 by way of 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 must you hike this path? Properly, its Rapidan Camp’s endpoint was as soon as the vacation dwelling of President Herbert Hoover and First Girl Lou Henry Hoover. The couple spent many a cheerful time within the woodland camp, and now you may view the camp as a historic attraction. There are three cabins in complete, with one signposted because the Prime Minister’s and informative indicators dotted round with tales and details in regards to 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 a 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 while, you make the primary river crossing, after which you retain proper on the yellow marked Mill Prong Horse Path. From this level, you persist with the path till you attain Rapidan Camp.

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

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Prepared for some quickfire details? These are the statistics that it is best to know

  • Path distance: 3.7 miles
  • Problem: 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 stunning riverside hike. Nonetheless, in contrast to Mill Prong, this route hops alongside totally different waterfalls. The dramatic endpoint is Rose River Falls – certainly one of 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 is best to enable round two hours to finish all the hike.

Rose River Falls is a shocking 67-foot waterfall, hidden away in woodland and solely accessible by way of the loop path. After following Rose River for a lot of the route, reaching the large waterfall is an appreciated reward. Some folks select to swim within the waterfalls plunge pool, and also you’ll most likely be simply persuaded on a heat day. Both manner, 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 observe, aka Rose River Hearth Street. After a couple of minutes, you attain a yellow marked lefthand flip off for the Skyland Huge 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 definitely tackled in half a day, so it’s excellent in case you are quick on time however desire a rewarding mountaineering expertise. Deliver your mountaineering boots and a swimming costume, and also you’ll have a improbable time.

Statistics about this hike:

  • Path distance: 4 miles
  • Problem: 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 without doubt one of the most beautiful 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 without doubt one of the most well-known sights in Shenandoah Nationwide Park. The waterfall’s path is considerably of a neighborhood icon within the mountaineering 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. Nonetheless, 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 towards 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’ll 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 – simple and easy for a calming quick stroll. Other than the uphill return hike, the observe is undemanding and suited to novices. Do not forget that it may be slippery in moist months and that venturing off the path may be dangerous due to all of the hidden drops.

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

  • Path distance: 1.4 miles
  • Problem: 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 particular person than a waterfall lover? Take our recommendation and climb certainly one of Shanandoah’s mountains. Hawksbill Mountain is without doubt one of the finest hikes for stunning viewpoints in Shenandoah Nationwide Park. It has beautiful views over the encompassing 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 might be most likely questioning how troublesome tackling Hawksbill Mountain actually is. The route is a little bit of a combination and has some difficult hike sections, however it’s a simple path for probably 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 choose your manner by rigorously. Put on sturdy mountaineering boots, and also you’ll be completely high-quality. 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 Hearth Street and be a part of the highway for the ultimate climb to the summit. This part is probably the most difficult underfoot, with rocky terrain to navigate.

The Nationwide Parks Service maintains the path nicely, however you ought to be ready for this part to be just a little extra tough and prepared than the opposite sections. Walkers emerge triumphantly on the summit and are met with sweeping views of Shenandoah Valley, Outdated Rag Mountain, and Betty’s Rock. In case you are feeling bold, you may strive time reaching the summit with the dawn for the final word views.

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

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

  • Path distance: 2.1 miles
  • Problem: 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 large as Hawksbill, however the peak nonetheless has spectacular summit views. You may attain the summit by way of 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 have to be pleased to strive new issues and get caught in in case you are a newbie. Rock scrambles require persistence, confidence, and a constructive perspective. However in case you can tick these qualities off, you’ll have an amazing 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 adjustments terrain from a steep slope to rock scrambles. From a navigational perspective, it’s a simple hike because you simply preserve 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’ve got a primary 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 novices and intermediate hikers.

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

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

6. Stony Man Path

Stony Man Trail Shenandoah National Park

Fancy a simple hike? The Stony Man Path is the one for you. It is without doubt one of 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 simple, and also you quickly attain the Stony Man Viewpoint. The Stony Man Viewpoint is just a little rocky outcrop overlooking the valley. Often, 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 improbable. And, if you’d like a brief stroll, it’s simply certainly one of your finest choices. Stony Man is a match made in heaven for mountaineering novices with the spectacular summit viewpoint, clearly marked path, and quick path distance.

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

  • Path distance: 1.5 miles
  • Problem: Simple
  • 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 a complete day to this hike, as it’s straightforward to get distracted by the numerous 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 well-liked cliff jumps. It’s possible you’ll want to pack swimwear to affix in (at your personal threat). It’s price 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 best way. When you go the primary few waterfalls, the route will get very steep and slippery, so that you’ll want glorious footwear. Cedar Run Cascade is close to the endpoint and value reaching if attainable.

So, must you select Cedar Run Falls? Sure, if you’d like a strenuous hike that can push you to your limits. The stroll most closely fits skilled hikers with good technical capability, health, and mountaineering gear. That stated, although, the route is filled with pure sights and really entertaining to hike.

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

  • Path distance: 5.8 miles
  • Problem: 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 certainly one of them. Should you wished to finish the entire path, you’d want between 5 and 7 months! Nonetheless, you may full Shenandoah’s part of the Appalachian Path in lower than sixty hours. Should you love multi-day hikes and have a robust sense of journey, tackling this part of the path is without doubt one of the finest hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park.

The path has many shelters alongside the best way. You need to use them for in a single day tenting and filling up water bottles at freshwater faucets. You’ll go to most of the sights from our different prime hikes on this listing – together with Stony Man and Loft Mountain (which we’ll cowl shortly). Mountaineering Shenandoah’s Appalachian Path is a improbable technique to mix plenty of totally different sights in a single expertise.

Appalachian Trail Hiking Map

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

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

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

  • Path distance: 115.5 miles
  • Problem: 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 filled with spectacular waterfalls. Lewis Spring Falls Path is without doubt one of 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 observe is stress-free to hike and has picnic areas dotted alongside the best way. 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 observe, 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 the very 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 plenty of stunning flora, particularly in spring. Lewis Spring Falls Path is a good hike to immerse your self in nature.

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

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

10. South River Falls Path

South river Falls Shenandoah National Park

South River Falls is one other movie star on Shenandoah’s waterfall scene. The 83-foot waterfall is an actual sight to behold, and in case you love pure sights, this path is a high-reward path to sort out. You’ll observe stunning 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 right morning hike and is definitely 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 mountaineering 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 totally newbie pleasant. Simple 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 is best to know:

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

11. Loft Mountain Loop Path (by way of 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 helpful loop and is a breeze to finish at simply 2 miles in size – appropriate for even probably the most inexperienced hiker. The observe 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 a 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 that you must preserve your eyes out for the ‘endpoint’ view. The view is beautiful – 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. Finally, the path turns into a hearth highway, and also you’ll flip left when it intersects with Skyline Drive to achieve your start line, Loft Mountain Wayside.

Loft Mountain is without doubt one of the finest hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park if you’d like a simple loop path. Positive, it requires a little bit of navigating, however the observe itself is brilliantly untechnical, and the path size is good and quick at solely 2 miles lengthy.

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

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

12. Whiteoak Canyon Path

Whiteoak Canyon hike in Shenandoah National Park

Whiteoak Canyon is our last hike and includes a phenomenal collection of cascades and waterfalls. Whiteoak Canyon is a wonderful choice in case you are the kind of hiker who loves having heaps to see. You will have 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 primary purpose 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 stage of health and stamina. Moreover, the observe can turn out to be slippery and slim in sections. The spray from waterfalls and fallen leaves turns into a difficult mixture when discovering positive footing, so carry sturdy footwear with grip. In any other case, Whiteoak Canyon Path is simple and untechnical.

Whiteoak Canyon Hiking Map

Beginning on the Whiteoak Canyon Parking Space, you instantly take the Whiteoak Canyon Path. Comply with the trail alongside the riverside, pausing at scenic spots as you want alongside the best way. The endpoint is a rocky ledge; from right here, you may take a shocking view of the Higher Falls. In order for you, you can too make your manner all the way down to the plunge pool on the base of the Higher Falls, which is well-liked for swimming.

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

Mountaineering particulars that it is best to know:

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

Ultimate Ideas

Are you able to sort out these finest hikes in Shenandoah Nationwide Park? Shenandoah Valley is without doubt one of the most stunning locations in Virginia, if not the US as a complete. It is best to undoubtedly add it to your listing 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’ve got discovered your match amongst all these glorious mountaineering 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 will likely be memorable.

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