Explore DC area hike ideas - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

DC area hike ideas Map

We hiked up the Cedar Run Trail which was strenuous for the entire way up (about 3 hours). This was a good trail to go up because there were a lot of smaller waterfalls and a steady stream. When we got to the top, we got a little turned around and accidentally went the wrong way. So make you’re reading your map carefully. We went down the White Oak Trail which was beautiful. The waterfalls were huge! Great photo opps. Trails were well kept even with the recent windstorm. The whole hike took us a little over 6 hours.

I hiked this loop counter clockwise, starting at the ranger station off of Weakley Hollow Rd, on 3/10/18. Due to the recent wind storm there are a couple of trees down across the trail on the White Oak Canyon side of the loop, a couple across the fire road, and around 6 across the Cedar Run portion. Overall though, this is a great hike with lots of beautiful waterfalls and ponds.

I did this hike in January after a bunch of rain\snow. The falls were flowing great! it was a nice hike! A few inches of snow on top of the mountain but none at the bottom. Cedar Run was not too spectacular in my opinion, but I loved white oak canyon so much I took my 5 year old daughter the next weekend to hike a small portion of it. only one view to speak of near the top of white oak canyon. It's gorgeous! not too strenuous if you're in decent shape, but will definitely leave you sore the next day.

Great hike!

Nice easy trail! Beautiful at the top!

Just moved to Virginia and wanted a nice first hike in the state, I’m used to doing longer, strenuous hikes in NC so I was worried about this being too easy since it’s a moderate trail. It was actually a great trail with just enough challenge, rocky and ice/snow in February but still beautiful. View is absolutely worth it, I bought a park pass so I can keep exploring this area.

This was definitely a strenuous hike. I hiked this loop counterclockwise. There are many waterfalls shown on the map with some not shown but most of them you cannot get to without trekking off of the trail. I logged 3.7 miles from parking area to the junction of the skyland - big meadows horse trail. From there I crossed the footbridge then continued onto the fire road - horse trail. Around 5.5 miles I continued onto the horse trail which leaves the fire road at this point and is fairly close and runs parallel to the Skyline Drive. Close to a parking area on the Skyline Drive, around my 6.2 miles logged, I turned left onto the Cedar Run Trail. This was the roughest trail between it and White Oak. Simular story, some of the waterfalls on this trail are not accessible without trekking off of the trail. Getting to some of the waterfalls looks extremely dangerous, so if you do decide to be real adventurous, be careful. I managed to trek to a few and decided that was enough and stayed on the trail after that. Both trails were muddy and ice covered in spots, I slipped a few times coming down Cedar Run. When I finally reached the car, I had logged a total of 9.8 miles with a GPS unit & Fitbit.

Great horse trail.

My first time back to the Shenandoah’s in more than 20 years and the Mary’s Rock summit did not disappoint. Fun hike, and the view at the top was literally breathtaking. It was possibly a combination of beauty and the fact that the wind chill was -10, but breathtaking nonetheless. A hike my kids would love in the summer. Can’t wait to go back.

The trail was kind of wet from rain but was still very navigable. I went counterclockwise and decided to take a detour and go to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain which had spectacular views. The few people I ran into were very friendly! I would definitely recommend this hike although it can be quite challenging at times. Got a little wet at one of the river crossings as there isn’t really a way to hop across the last 10 feet when the water is as high as it was. Thankfully I was almost done with the hike at that point.

long but worth the pain went counter clock wise(it rained so it was harder and slippery) great hike!!

Amazing hike! It's hard in some places but is overall fun.

very challenging...goes from easy to strenuous. pay attention to trail markings, signs, and the trails itself. very beautiful. wear hiking shoes. lower falls is more scenic than starting at upper falls.

Great day hike. DO BRING a headlamp, especially if hiking in the winter as it gets dark quick. Awesome views and friendly people on the trail. Coming back down Cedar Run, we ran into a very large black bear... wonderful contact...we kind of surprised him as we were downwind and right by the noisy falls... late in the season, they will be sleeping soon :)

Really beautiful hike along creek w/ a wide variety of waterfalls, pools, and views of impressive rocks and ‘east coast’ canyon walls. Super steep and rocky so anticipate sore muscles at the end. The trail happened to be populated w/ warm, friendly people too so bonus there! Well worth the drive from DC on a low-traffic day!

Super pretty hike

Beautiful scenery, but don’t go in the fall the day after a heavy rain - so slippery!

Amazing trail. Hiked it counter but will hike again in spring clockwise

Finished this in about 6 hours. The ground was covered in leaves since it had just rained and the combination of wet ground and the layer of leaves meant that this was a very slippery hike. We did not see the first crossing of the river during the last leg of the hike on the Cedar Run Trail. The White Oak Canyon portion was easy enough and very well marked, but we felt the Cedar Run Trail could have been marked better. Also, be wary of this hike if it has just rained and/or if you plan on going in Autumn after a majority of the leaves have fallen. I would definitely recommend hiking boots with a grippy traction and high ankle support since you will be primarily stepping up and down.

Hard but beautiful. Recommended to do it during fall season.

Just beautiful !!!

Beautiful falls worth the effort. Regular hiking shoes will do, not too slippery.

Wear good shoes. Not suitable for children. I fell about 8 Times. Some areas are strictly rock. Beautiful summit go up further than the trail says.

Hiked this today, took me 4hrs 45min. One of my favorites so far!

Loved this trail. Only went to the summit, so out and back was under four miles.

4 months ago

Pretty good hike and great waterfalls!

My friends and I took a short hike to see two waterfalls. We loved the crisp air and the smell of nature. The trail was maintained and somewhat marked. The path was narrow and had lots of rocks that stuck out and fallen leaves. As a result, it was a bit slippery. It's easy to fall off the trail.

It is suggested to wear hiking boots or shoes with good traction, bug spray for nets, carry a stick to fight off the rattlesnakes, and use hiking poles to climb the steep trails.

Overall, a really great hike in mid-October. The leaves make the descent a little slippery and uneven but as long as you are attentive it shouldn't be an issue.

great trail, I was there today for hike with my dog and we both enjoyed it. the leaves are making the trail a bit more slippery, it's very rocky so use good shoes. the views are beautiful!

Very rewarding to hike up to the upper falls. Definite strenuous, but very much worth it especially since you can take a swim in the falls to cool off when you get back down to the bottom.

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