dogs on leash
Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Shenandoah's Blue Ridge Mountains are covered by hardwood forests that are home to tens of thousands of animals. The Skyline Drive and Appalachian Trail run the entire length of this narrow park that has more than 500 miles (800 km) of hiking trails along scenic overlooks and waterfalls of the Shenandoah River. The highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain at 4,051 feet (1,235 m).
Budi R. on Hawksbill Gap Loop
beautiful scenery, plenty of wildlife it's a great hike for the family.
It was an amazing hike! There was a lot of traffic on the rock scrambles which slowed our momentum, but it was a great hike nonetheless. Some of the rocks are slippery so wear shoes with traction. Be sure to cover your ears and wear mittens when hiking late November till winter because it can get really chilly.
We started around 10:30 am on 50 degrees. I'm a 5'2" 58 year old somewhat fit woman. I had no problem with the rock scramble until we were very close to the top. There was a part where you needed to jump up and I lacked the height or upper strength to do it. I had to ask for help to a gentleman on the other side. He hoisted me up and I could continue. Had he not been there I would have had to return. The views are well worth the effort even in November! We did the whole loop and were back at the parking lot at 3:30 pm after a nice lunch at the top of the mountain. The way down is nice and easy and we made good friends with some young hikers.
It's was insane!!! I'm not going to lie, my group had a hard time with this one, but the views are great at the top and well worth it. I went on a cloudy day so when I got to the top, the clouds went through me and looked soooooo cool. Word of advice: GET THERE EARLY. Parking fills up quick. If you want to complete this you should be somewhat fit b/c some parts are thin and tight. This is a long trail so bring 4 bottles of water and have the whole group bring snacks (my group failed at the snacks part, so we were getting hungry at the summit) and be prepared to leave around dark.
WILL BE THERE DURING SPRING TIME!!!!!!!
This was a great day hike. Took about 4 hours total. There were probably 200-250 people on this trail when I tried. The trail was so backed up at certain points where it was required to go one at a time. There is a more difficult option at these areas to skirt around the rocks and make your own trail. All in all I will do it many more times.
I also started with the waterfalls and ended with the AT. Not many people, but FINALLY saw my first black bear! Great hike; love hiking along the creek. Falls not spectacular, but it's been a pretty dry season. Took me 3.25 hours to do the 7.7 mile loop.
Cain H. on Old Rag Mountain via Weakley Hollow...
This is a much better choice to get to the summit then the more direct route of the Summit Ridge route. Good warm up and then the last 2.5-3 miles of climbing to get a great view from the top. The Summit Ridge starts with climbing at the trail head and then you get stuck in traffic at the rock scramble.
m h. on Powell Mountain Trail
This is a great little trail. Tough at first but provides relief once you reach the summit. The trail head is difficult to find - there is a concrete trail marker about 15 ft off the road on the left side. Drive past the little white church on your left about 50 yards, it is hard to spot. We parked in the church lot.
The hike was very secluded, which is nice. Beautiful mountain views and I'm sure we would have encountered a lot of wildlife if the fall leaves did not make so much noise with every step. Great hike, good workout, hard to find (which is nice), beautiful experience. I would certainly do this one again.