Explore To Hike in VA - 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
5 days ago

Trails well maintained but upper trails to the view of the cliffs still closed because its private property. Fortunately I got to hike it and nice pics before it closed.

on Bull Run Trail

hiking
6 days ago

This is a great day trail to take kids and pets on. Its fun and easy. And its beautiful.

This is a perfect place to build your kids’ hike stamina. We are avid hikers and it’s important to us that our kids enjoy hiking as a family. We build our kids up to longer and more strenuous hikes over time, but generally follow the principle that kids should be able to hike 1 mile for every year of age. We just hiked this trail again today and our 23 month old hiked the entire green circuit (3.25 miles). Our kids (7, 4 & nearly 2) really enjoy this hike and it’s nice that there’s a great place to stop and play in the water and picnic lunch roughly at the halfway point. It’s also a boone that it’s not as popular as SNP hikes as far as foot traffic.

Just finished hike. The swimming hole is nice. It is about 200 yards to the right when you get to loop. The view of the large water was amazing about 3 miles straight up to left. The rest of the hike is really just in the forest with the bugs. Did see rattle snake which I posted picture of and two snakes on the water fall above the swimming hole. Have to say very disappointed in the hike and think there are way better hikes at Shenandoah then this. I recommend swimming hole then drive to top and see water fall from Matthew's Trail as other poster said. Last this is not moderate, it is hard.

hiking
13 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Definitely need waterproof shoes if you're not one to like getting your socks wet. I hiked in chacos and loved it!

I wouldn't rate this trail as moderate though. It's definitely a toughie. For inexperienced/out of shape hikers, I would recommend going straight to the waterfall. I throughly enjoy backpacking and do it often so am in shape enough for the full loop, but I was with my dad this time around and was not an easy trail for him.

View is totally gorgeous and lots of fun swimming trails too! We brought our dog and she had a blast!

Awesome trail one of the best in the Fredericksburg area. Lots of different terrain and wildlife. Would be great for mountain biking. Long enough to give you a great work out yet easy enough to keep it fun.

Very easy hike. Great for kids. Lots of cool things to see.

backpacking
19 days ago

A quick and easy one night trip for two best friends and two dogs. Very close to the trail’s head we ran into two other hikers who claimed to have gotten lost from the campgrounds and weren’t prepared to be out as long as they were. One of them was sitting slumped against a tree, sweating and looking pale. The crushed beer can and cigarette butt next to him made us wonder if that was the real reason he got sick. But we shared some of our snacks and water with them before hiking on. It was a little discouraging to see how nonchalantly people can mistreat nature, but they were the exception to the rule and everyone else we encountered on the trail was friendly and respectful!

The hike was absolutely beautiful, although the very best moment came within about the last mile when we saw a black bear and her four cubs playing on a log! I definitely recommend this one to anyone who wants a little bit of everything.

hiking
20 days ago

Make sure to follow the directions to the location from the app; do not use the name to search directions on google maps. You will not end up at the correct location.

Once you use the correct directions, you will end up at a great and challenging site. Waterfalls, rattlesnakes, butterflies, rabbits and a great terrain to give you a challenging hike.

Once you park, you will walk up to a mile marker that allows you to go left or right. Make sure to go left for an easier hike and right for an intense uphill workout. Have fun, check yourself and pets for ticks before you get in your car!

Pretty good ! Hiked with my 15 and 16 year old daughters . Had a flash flood warning yesterday and it rained the entire hike today so needless to say most of the “creek” crossings were just about swimmers . Waterfalls were SUPER COOL with all the runoff and pressure from a few days of rain. Unless you’ve done it before use the app as it gets a little wonky when the Belcher (yellow blazes) runs in with the Blue’s but nothing crazy ! Overall we had a blast even though I don’t think I’ve ever been wetter haha !

An excellent hike! Your thighs will be burning by the time you reach the top of the waterfall! I did the complete loop -- anticlockwise -- which takes you up the waterfall, and back around to the parking area (at the boundary, not Skyline Drive) via the fire road. Next time I'll take the advice of other reviewers and come back down the waterfall. The fire road did seem to go on for a long time -- still in the beautiful forest, but with nothing much to look at. It was an unusually cool day -- around 70 degrees -- but it was very humid hiking up the waterfall. I can't imagine what it would be like on a sweltering August day! So you might consider a change of shirt for when you get back in your nice vehicle. And maybe a change of pants in case your run into a bear. :)

I love this trail. It has decent views, rugged terrain, and decent elevation gain. I highly recommend doing this hike clockwise, as AllTrails suggests. A clockwise attack is not only easier, but you save most of the views for the end which is a good pay-off. The fire road portion is boring, but you only have to endure it for about a mile right in the middle of the loop. If you are super anti-fire road walking, you can always skip it via the Meneka Peak Trail that makes the loop a little shorter by cutting through right at the ridge line (also avoiding a 500 ft elevation loss/gain right in the middle of the hike).

Easy, flat hike. After the rain there is some areas that are muddy/watery. Lots of mosquitoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Not a crowded park - great for peaceful walks with the dog.

trail running
1 month ago

I live down the road from this trail and love it for biking and running. One of the best 3mi loops I have been on. Tons of scenery and a variety of terrain (rocks, roots, flat plains, etc). I am here 3 times a week. Adequate parking, safe, and multiple trail routes. The outer loop is the 3mi one I am reviewing.

Not bad

This is an awesome trail! What a unique experience to be able to hike up a waterfall. We decided to do the hike up and back because others suggested that this route was more scenic than the fire road loop. The ascent (2 miles) is a steep incline with a bit of rock scrambling and scattered steps. You cross over the water multiple times, zig zagging your way up. You gain the nearly all of the elevation in the first 1.7 miles up, so get ready to work! When you reach the top there is no view or summit, just an option to continue down other trails. Coming back down is steep, so take your time! For up and back the trail is 4 miles: as an experienced hiker, without stopping, this hike took me 2 hours. It was an awesome opportunity to hike in a bit of different scenery, it was so beautiful! Would definitely suggest!

What used to be an oasis in the area is now becoming abused by visitors. Bike riding is prohibited but people are ignoring the signs and the rules as well as leaving trash along the trails, including a growing number of cigarette butts- disgusting! I'd like to see park rangers/authority out there enforcing the rules to keep this beautiful location from becoming trashy and abused for the rest of us.

VOF ruined this trail. First, the closure at the top which, let’s be real, was the only worthwhile part of this trail. Otherwise it’s just a walk on the woods. It was supposed to be temporary, it has been closed for several years now and “rangers” are indicating its permanent.
Also, even if you wanted to walk the other boring trails, they now close the mountain in the winter, sometimes during the week during other seasons, and don’t post or update websites.
Please take the management of this area away from VOF!

Completed this hike counterclockwise as recommended on a 100 degree day in DC- was very HOT even inside the forest. We appreciated the shade and cold water it provided though for the first hour along the waterfall. We completed it in little over 2 hours...if going again will definitely try to go up by the falls and come back down via the falls. The downhill walk felt super long and on gravel.

07/01/2018: Awesome overnight loop that is clearly marked and well traveled. I went counter-clockwise, so the first day was mainly a steep descent. Once I reached the bottom, I found an awesome campsite near the swimming holes at the far end of the loop. (Great hammock-camping spot at the base of the falls, tricky to reach though.)

Day two was definitely a leg day. Once you round out the far end of the loop it’s all uphill from there. If you’re carrying a 30lb+ pack I would consider it a moderately strenuous climb.

Overall awesome hike and a great introduction to overnighting in Shenandoah National Park.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike for a hot day because nearly 100% shaded. The elevation map was accurate with the highest elevation and hard work over about halfway through the hike and the downhill getting the knees. Saw a bear a ways off the trail. Then at the end rewarded ourselves with a dip in the swimming hole. Wonderfully refreshing. Light traffic except for the swimming hold area which was very popular. Two lovely waterfalls and a beautiful valley view. Moderate is correct but the mileage made it into hard if you aren’t used to longer hikes.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best hikes I’ve found in this part of the country. I did it a little different than most people, instead of the circuit I started from the top and climbed down to the bottom before turning around and climbing back up. I thought it was even more challenging that way as you skip almost all of the flat terrain going around.

It’s great that they allow dogs, just make sure your dog is an experienced hiker. My dog is a very experienced hiker and even he is really sore and tired today (as am I). I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone inexperienced person or dog.

The way-finding is decent, but not always the most intuitive. That plus a lack of good views gives it 4 Stars in my opinion, but I rarely give 5 Stars out. It’s a very good trail and I would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a challenging hike. Certainly one of the best in the region.

hiking
1 month ago

First off do not follow this map, it is not an actual trail. You have two options: Option 1 - follow the fire road and take a right onto Simons Graveyard trail, follow it until you come up to a T and go left and follow the Blue markers until the top; Option 2 - stay on the fire road until you come up to the Pink markers on the right and follow that until you come to a T then go left and follow the Blue markers. Trail is not Easy it is more in line with Moderate/Hard. Rough estimate for both trails is Blue out and back is 7.6 miles, Pink out and back is 7.4 miles. Hope this helps everyone and the trail really needs re-mapped so people know what they are in for.

hiking
1 month ago

awsome hike took the right instead of the left gradual incline vs step incline waterfall and scenic pictures were worth it

Beautiful trail through an interesting part of our country, but I didn’t get far before the hoards of mosquitos turned me back. Bring bug spray and cover up.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike with lots of water points at campgrounds along the trail.

The upper portion between mile 1.8 and mile 2.8 has been closed since 2014. I spoke with a worker at the park, and she said she does not expect that portion of the trail to be ever opened again. This is because of damage to that portion of the trail and that portion being on private property. Recommend AllTrails removes that portion.

The park worker did say they are trying to secure another route to the high point on the mountain.

Beautiful foliage, nice that it is so close for a quick escape. Easy, shady trail, flat except for a few rocky areas. Mosquitos also enjoy the shade, so remember your bug spray in the summer months!

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