Explore Blue Ridge & Shenandoah - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
40 minutes ago

Great challenging trail. I’m 52 and not on great shape. This trail was an adventure. Each time I felt like turning around there was another spectacular view. Take time to take in the beauty and sounds of nature. Last leg starting from the South is very steep. Use poles along the way to stabilize. Breathe deep and complete this wonderful trail.

Gets windy. Bring a jacket.

Typically a great trail. We did it two days after an ice storm. It took at least 2.5 hours more to do this than last time in 2017. Many large branches across trail and some very big trees right across the trail. It required considerable bushwhacking on steep hills. It will probably be some months before the trail is fully clear. Check with park before you go or allow extra time. Be careful.

Best trail EVER.

First time hiking Old Rag on Veteran’s Day (Sunday 11/11). Arrived around 8am. Parking lot was pretty empty. My friend and I took the first few miles at a quick pace, passing families and the more leisurely hikers. Rock scrambles were challenging, required arm strength and strategic foot placement. At one point, a line formed at one of the trickier scrambles. Last 3 or so miles of the loop is a flat service road, slightly boring... until you get close enough to the stream near the end. Total time for 4.5 hours for us, even with some waiting in line. Would love to do again!

A great hike with a rock scramble (from a crawl to a climb). It has switchbacks up the mountain until the rock scramble, then a nice descent with some hop in it until you get to a flat(er) road that leads back to the parking lot.

Beautiful overlooks throughout, challenging rock scrambles and a well maintained fire road on the way back

Excellent trail. Gorgeous views. Challenging, but by no means brutal.

What an amazing trail

Nice trail. Lots of stairs in the beginning but after the stairs it’s not too bad. We’re not in the best shape but we’re able to handle it just fine but it was tough. Saw a variety of people (kids, elders, runners) so it’s really not that hard of a trail.

Views at the top were very nice as were views of the falls on the way up. We went on a day it was a little rainy and it was a little slippery (wet rocks and wet leaves) but very doable even if the weather isn’t ideal.

It’s an out and back and my Fitbit clocked in just over 4 miles for the whole thing so I don’t think the distance is accurate on here.

Bring $3 for parking and ladies bring toilet paper if you plan on using the restrooms at the parking lot.

Amazing hike! The ascent isn't too bad until you get to the boulder scramble and then it gets a little challenging; definitely requires a little strength, agility and balance. Hiking footwear recommended. There were places where simple running shoes would have been less than desirable. All in all, once you get to the top, it couldn't be more worth it. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life to date.

This is my second time hiking this trail and its one of my favorites. I love the challenge. This is a difficult trail that involves climbing over, through, and down boulders. It’s not for the weak at heart, children, or dogs.

amazon hike! arrived 9am on a saturday and had to park in the neighboring lot for $10. GO EARLY. not only will you get to park in the normal lot but there will be wayyyy less people to wait behind when you get to the top rock scramble. we made it to the top in 1 hr 20 minutes but took almost 1-1.5 hrs to go through the rock scramble portion cause there were so many people, many of who do not hike often. however, even with the line it was so worth it and so fun. tests your strength to go through the scramble. walking down was easy.

There had been lots of rain and the falls were fantastic. Glad we had our hiking poles for stability on the wet rocks and leaves.

hiking
12 days ago

It’s tough but the view is worth it!

Great, quick hike!!

Hiked this trail this past July. It was a well maintained trail and a good workout! It gets you sweating and feeling good. It is steep but nothing crazy. Pack snacks and bring plenty of water to enjoy the view at the top!

best hike ever

This was an amazing hike. Of course the highlight of the hike is the rock scramble and spectacular views! Started our Hike Saturday morning about 9:30am. The lot was full and we had to park in a private lot for $10. We did not get back to the truck until 6pm. The crowd and backups in the rock scramble slowed us down. Would love to do this hike on a weekday with no crowd. I am a short guy so that made it more difficult LOL. I have also done “Humpback Rock” and “MaCafee Knob”. This was definitely the most challenging.

Third time summiting Old Rag. I really believe it is Virginia’s best hike...assuming you avoid the crowds. We arrived at 6 AM on a Sunday, with 15 or so other cars in the lot. We only saw a handful of folks on our way up, and only had to contend with 3 or 4 people on the rock scramble in its entirety (no waiting!). At the summit, there were maybe 5-10 other people, but we easily found a private spot to enjoy the views and lunch for 45 minutes. The descent down the backside of Old Rag and the fire road is a nice reprieve from the arduous hike and scramble up. We arrived back at our car at 11:15 AM to hordes of people and cars arriving (the Old Rag lot was full and there were dozens of cars parked at the private lot next door). If you value quiet and privacy over camaraderie, I highly recommend getting here early!

The hike was challenging but the view was worth it!

14 days ago

The downsides are that some sections of the trail are basically a fire road. The top is so amazing though; it’s really worth the so-so scenery beforehand. Camping at the top just before the rock is great fun too. The you can get a view of the sunset when the crowds have died down.

This is a great “developed hike”. The trail is maintained , with wooden lookouts over the falls to keep visitors safe. Great trail for kids if they will listen and stay where instructed. The lower portion is accessible and when it isn’t too wet wheelchairs can even get access. Hmm. Go during an off season and avoid the crowds. We’ve done it while it was snowing lightly and were nearly alone.

We hiked connecting from McAfees Knob trail and it made for a beautiful vista as well.

I ran a 3 mile section out and back starting at Rockfish gap. It was a great run. There is a lot of elevation change to the trail. So it is not a long climb one way. There are a number of creek crossings that keep it interesting.

The southern part of the trail is excellent. No more can be said than that. Just go....however, the scramble and boulder stair case gets so backed up that you could be there for hours if you decide to go late in the morning. I saw one poor bastard that walked from the northern section of the route get stuck in the blasting wind.

walking
15 days ago

Great hike with an amazing view!! Tough start, but totally worth it. So much fun climbing the rock to get to the end!

I highly recommend downloading the area on Google Maps beforehand as there is no/limited cell service there.
Otherwise, to repeat others: go EARLY (and also maybe not on the last nice Saturday of the season when the trees are in peak color); I planned to arrive by 7am but I snoozed on my alarm clock. Lot had just filled up when I got there at 8:40am, so I was one of the first people to park at the adjacent private lot and paid $10 to the lady there. From there the walk was a bit tiring and crowded getting up to the rock scramble. Just pace yourself here.
Rock scramble: If you are out of shape, I wouldn't recommend it. I work out, so it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was bit worried as some reviews said it was really hard. It was more like a really good workout. If my two friends could do it high and if Tina Fey could do it at night, I figured I'd be able to hike it. 3 spots we had to wait in line to pass and people were helpful (if you need assistance). After the summit, the downhill is easier and turns into a less exciting trail back to the lot. Finished in about 5h50min.

hiking
15 days ago

Very fun hike! I’ve done this circuit a handful of times. Took my 8 year old son and he was able to complete. It did however take us all day. Great views! The scramble at the top is always the best part. Like an adult playground. Depending on the time of year and day you go, it can be a little busy. I prefer weekdays during late fall.

hiking
17 days ago

Does anyone know if the Fish Hatchery Route is open or if you can hike up the private road?

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