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Awesome trail. I did it with my wife and 3 teenage daughters we all had a great time.

love the views and cliffs. much wild life

If you go now, the water levels are as high as they have ever been in a long time and it is amazing. bring water shoes or prep to get wet. went yesterday from the cedar run lot to the byrds nest lookout past skyline, and back again.

Completed 8/6 going counterclockwise- not the hardest hike in Shenandoah but nothing to laugh at, probably earns its “hard” rating. Very entertaining hike- the water on this this trail does not disappoint. The 6 or so waterfalls that range in size and look often have space to explore underneath and appreciate the view if you desire. Basically 7 out of the 8 miles on the loop are following one of the 2 rivers- switching from swift running waterfalls and rapids to slow moving, deep green pools.

Took me about 6 hours to complete, taking my time and going for a short swim in one of the natural pools (would highly recommend.) This loop can easily be done quicker if you’re in decent shape and not stopping frequently.

Side note: the waterfalls and pools are popular and attract a decent crowd on a nice summer day. It’s not overcrowded, but if you’re looking for solitude this is probably not the hike. That being said this is one of my favorite I’ve done in Shenandoah and has some of the best water features & scenery in the park. Definitely should be on everybody’s Shenandoah to-do list.

Not a big fan of this one. This felt like a long walk in the woods. The woods are beautiful, but there is no “real” overlook. I did not get the sense of a “summit”. Lastly, Cunningham Falls was a little disappointing. I expected more. Plus, the fact that the falls is not technically part of the hike(it has its own parking lot) took away some of the experience to me.

This was a beautiful trail. There are waterfalls and swimming holes everywhere and the water is very clear. There was a big rattlesnake along the path on the rocks (posted a picture) so keep an eye out. This was strenuous, but worth it. This states pets allowed, but it should state not recommended. I have a jack Russell that hikes long hikes with me, but this was way too rocky for her. We carried her most of the way and her paws are still irritated.

Great Hike. Did it counter clockwise and highly recommend that. Slide on way down was awesome. Must do! Elevation is a lot but once you hit the fire road it is a gentle climb. would highly recommend. Did with 4 kids 17-10 in age and had no issues. You will get wet on this hike. We took our time started at 9am and finished 4:30. Lots of swimming and eat lunch.

walking
12 days ago

As of today Trails A and B are closed but the trail to Great Falls overlook is great. It’s flat, smooth, small pebbles; easy for walking or biking. The overlook is incredible.

hiking
17 days ago

*** FLOOD CONDITIONS ON THE BALTIMORE. COUNTY. SIDE ***
Today, I hiked the park road on one side of the park heading to the Glen Artney side of the Avalon section. - My pictures depict the damage on that side. - Only a few trails on that side are OPEN. - You can drive up to the Soapstone trail head and hike your way up to S. Rolling Rd. but the trail has a few detours. - The Inner Soapstone trail along Glen Artney Rd. is CLOSED. The Bull Run trail is also OPEN. - If you park up at the Fire Rd. you can hike the Santee towards the Hilton Area but trails leading to the Grist Mill are CLOSED. - The 2-mile Grist Mill trail is CLOSED and will be for the rest of the year. - All the footbridges are washed away. - The parking lot at the Lost Lake Pond is CLOSED. - It was a iffy day with the weather so I hiked the road knowing I could take shelter if needed. - The skies looked bad but the rain never came. - The ( Left ) Howard County side is ALL OPEN. Enjoy !!

Fantastic trail! Well marked and challenging but worth the views.

A great adventure! I started at the lower parking lot (Weakley Hollow Rd) and went anti-clockwise, as recommended. A lot of uphill on the first leg along the river, with just gorgeous waterfall action along the way. I looked ahead at one point and saw a pair of ears pointing up in the air. It was a bear, sitting upright on rocks, taking in a view of the waterfalls. It ran up a tree (effortlessly!) as I approached, and then came right back down again! It hung out just about 50 feet or so from the trail as I passed.

You have to cross the water at the very top of the waterfall -- the best route that I found involved being almost knee deep in water. You will get wet on this hike. You really have to be very cautious on these water crossings -- you could easily slip on the glassy-smooth rocks, and fall and break something.

After crossing the waterfall at the top, you take the yellow trail to keep moving anti-clockwise, heading back towards the lower parking lot (and eventually back onto the blue trail). About half way around I had a feeling of being over the most challenging part of the hike, with plain sailing from here, Wrong! The back half of the hike is downhill through rocks, and rough on the joints. You need to be extremely careful on this section -- it would be very easy to make one bad foot placement, and fall and break something. And you'd be a long way/time from getting help.

A mile or so from the end of the trail I came across a snake -- sunning itself on a rock right on the edge of the trail. At this particular spot there was no way to continue other than to keep going on the narrow trail -- literally about a foot from the snake. As I stood debating my next step, a hiker came from the other direction (he was going clockwise) and stopped on the other side of the snake. He thought it looked like a copperhead. I took a picture of it, and the ranger at the end of the trail confirmed that it was indeed a copperhead. The other hiker and I both stepped on by the snake, and it didn't seem to be bothered, but you definitely want to be on the lookout! One little tip that I picked up -- never grab onto anything (a tree, for example) if you can't see what's on the back of it (where your fingers will be!).

There's access to some beautiful swimming holes along the way down -- I didn't venture in, but some folks were in taking a dip and having a lot of fun,

I recently have done the Old Rag and Little Devils Stairs hikes (both in Shenandoah, and both wonderful in their own ways), and think that this one was maybe the more challenging of the three. There's not a lot of rock scrambling on this one (like there is on the way up Old Rag), but I found the long downhill through the rocks to be quite strenuous.

Overall, this was a fantastic hike! Highly recommended! Oh, and it took me about 5 hours -- pushing along at a steady pace, and I did stop for lunch at the Slide waterfall for around 15 minutes.

This trail kicked our butts. We made it but took about 7 hours which included time to soak and slide. We went down the fire road first so the falls were in view the entire way back up and up ... and up some more. I’m glad I had hiking sticks, great boots, snacks, extra water and a supportive tribe. Make sure to take a copy of the map — there are several trails intersecting and the SNP marks all trails with blue blazes making it difficult to recognize your trail. It was a great way to spend an entire day enjoying massive waterfalls. It’s quite an accomplishment for us.

Challenging and fun!!! Definitely coming back. Beautiful scenery.

According to my Garmin Fenix, we hiked 12 miles on this trail, and it took us 7.5 hrs.

It had rained for days before, so the natural slide was too rough to do. We went in for a quick swim at the lower falls, instead. This hike was very strenuous, with very rocky terrain and river crossings. We saw other people breezing through, but it took our group of 9 about 7 hours. Gorgeous scenery following the stream and cascades, but it was hard to look up from your footing.

This trail is really cool. It it slightly challenging due to the wet rocks and the semi steep grade of the trail. You stay right beside the water for well over 3/4 of the the loop. You pass lots and lots of waterfalls with plenty of photo opportunities and lots of places to sit and have a nice picnic lunch. There are lots of river crossing where you will get wet so be prepared for that. The water is anywhere between ankle to thigh deep. Awesome trail. Will do again.

Loved it, only a short walk before the rain but I will be back

on Avalon Loop Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Are there snakes and/or bees this time of year?

trail running
29 days ago

Please remove the protruding blowdown at 39.23987, -76.74987 — it is a true hazard and someone could get hurt. Otherwise, 5 stars.

Completed: 07/19/2018

Did the A trail with 2 teens. challenging spots for a nice workout. Not too crowed. Going back again for sure!

This is beautiful trail. It is a half day hike so plan to bring lunch and plenty of water. It was wooded and wet with lots of waterfalls and swimming holes. We stopped at one swimming hole to hang out and eat lunch. It was beautiful. The elevation does get steep close to the summit so prepare for a strenuous climb.

trail running
1 month ago

Ran a segment of the Avalon Loop Trail. Great trail for running, but watch out for bikers!

This segment is one of my go-to courses for training and mile repeats. 4 miles total.

Completed: 07/15/2018

fun trail, easy enough for kids too.

Great hike! We went up the White Oak Canyon trail and took the horse trail across to Cedar Run trail. Saw some small wildlife: birds, squirrels, snakes, and a skink. We also got to see a small bear cub at the top by Skyline Drive. Coming down Cedar Run trail was a little difficult, the trail was washed out in places and terrain was rough near the rock slide into a water hole. Very refreshing to jump in the water and cool off!

Do not take your dog on this trail!!! It destroyed my dogs paw pads and she hasn't walked in days. She hikes every weekend and we have never had this problem before. Please don't make the same mistake I did!

It was good not that great. but you will have couple of good views up there. for me its good experience because i climbed rock which is little bit challenging.

Loved this trail so much! Hiked from the skyline entrance down to the natural waterfall water slide and had lunch at a swimming hole along the way, will be back!!

Beautiful on the way up and down. Lots of water falls and large rock formations.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s been a year since my last trip here. I brought my puppy for a nice hike and wasn’t disappointed. There is plenty of shade and places to sit for water breaks; it is kept almost completely trash free; and it’s secluded enough that, if you don’t want to run into people, you don’t have to. I can see how the parking could run out, but there is another parking area near the pier that has plenty of space.

Started off at the white oak canyon parking lot, suggest to get there early as the lot fills up quick, overflow parking is available for $10 a car, in addition to paying the park entrance fee. But if you are there early enough parking is free. We did the white oak to cedar run loop, the hike itself was challenging but also wonderful in so many ways. Took up 6 1/2 hours, we stopped for lunch and spent time in the water. Beautiful scenery, many over looks to enjoy the water falls. The rocks on the down hill was the hardest part in my opinion, difficult on the knees, feet and ankles. The water slide was all I hoped it to be, refreshingly freezing cold water. The trail was crowded today, never felt like we were alone which I don’t necessarily enjoy, I prefer the solitude of nature but that didn’t take away from my experience.

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