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This is one of my favorite hikes! It is very crowded during the summer because people swim at the base of the falls, but the trails are never overpacked. The rocks can get very slippery so you need to wear shoes with good traction. The views are incredible every step of the way!

1 day ago

Loved this hike! Fall weather is perfect for this trail because I hardly sweated at all (even though the hike is long)! Super beautiful views from so many spots and everyone is really friendly. No pets are allowed for a good reason (some parts are very challenging climbs)!

Almost run entire way up in 2.5 hrs to make sunset, exhausted. What a race!

Very beautiful sunset!

From autumn colours to snowy winter on top and iced road at the end, you would experience huge different landscapes which makes the hiking very exciting.

Very muddy in certain area indeed.

Coming down taking memorial highway, which closed in Oct. Took 2 hrs. Clear night, star shining and Milky Way is high up in the sky. But it ends in a different trailhead. We were so lucky to meet a family from Tennessee. They drove us to our car. Big thanks here!

Overall, perfect and excellent hiking.

hiking
1 day ago

What a great hike. We started from the observatory parking lot and of course added Esther for a total of 10 miles. Check out my full write up.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/whitefaceandesther/

This was such an amazing hike that I came back 2 days later and hiked the loop again. A must see for everyone.

Amazing experience! Just watch the weather because it was dry and sunny at the base but rainy and slippery at the top. Also carry an extra jacket and leave your hands free; you’ll need them!

It was an excellent hike. After Marble Hill the trail does get pretty wet, and I’m not even talking about the trail to Esther. No visibility from the top today but it was still worth it! It took me 3 hrs and 20 min up and 2 hr and 20 min down.

7 days ago

This was a really beautiful hike with great fall colors. It was pretty muddy, especially Esther, but still a fun hike!

Lots of rocks! I had tennis shoes and definitely wished I had hiking boots. Tough hike for a novice and I think I nearly sprained my ankle 4-5 times. It was very challenging but lots of fun.

Fantastic & dynamic trail with large boulders to climb over

As always - Old Rag never disappoints. Took a leisurely 8 hours with stops for views, lunch, rests (we're in our late 50s/60s). Saw about 20 people on a Tuesday. Not much color yet. Check the humidity before going. It was 70 degrees, but humid. Shirt was soaking wet in no time. Drink 16 oz water at parking lot, and carry at least 48 oz. I only took 32 oz and was thirsty. No bears or snakes. But fun to watch the birds soaring beneath you. With no passes, it will cost you $20-$30 for entrance fee, based on the number of people in your car. There is a ranger at the parking lot.

Fantastic hike! The view on the rocky part of the hike is truly beautiful.

13 days ago

Beautiful trail with moderate hiking difficulty and abundant water sources and established campsites. Did the trail south to north parking my car in the northern terminus parking lot and using the Pine Creek Outfitters shuttle to be brought south to the start. Upon the shuttle drivers suggestion, I began on the Bohen Trail, a 1.4 mile trail a couple miles north of the southern terminus, which gives a really nice view of the Bohen run creek and saves a few miles of hiking through stinging nettles (according to the shuttle driver). Very glad I made the decision to start here. Bohen trail is technically “closed” due to a washout a few hundred meters into the trail, but it is very easily climbed over.

Did this trail as my first solo hike in about two and a half days. Almost all hiking through forest for the first half of the trail, then views of the canyon start peeking out along the second half after Bradley Wales campground. The trail does cross dirt roads a couple times and there are a few miles that you have to hike on dirt roads, but for the most part the trail is very secluded. Did the hike Saturday to Monday, and saw no one along the trail until I got close to the end.Best views are around Barbour Rock in the last couple miles of the trail. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a good 30 mile easy-moderate trail with plenty of access to water!

3rd time for me. I’m 63 years old. It is very hard but very rewarding when you reach the summit. I wear Solomon hikers, low tops, and have zero issues with gripping on rocks, and toes pushing forward in long downhill. Can’t say enough how important lightweight but strong soled shoes are. Also good fitting gloves. Mine are leather and sinch at wrist and are actually garden gloves but they work awesome for getting traction in rock crevices and surfaces. Unless you are doing it alone, it’s important to check the condition of your companions along the way.. Sometimes I can go without a lot of breaks, other times I’m stopping 5 min after each obstacle. I use 1-1/2 liters of water for the entire loop. But I bring 2 in case someone doesn’t have enough. PB and Js, nuts, and fruit seem to work for me. Water pack should be small and fit well for climbing. So far I’ve seen 2 black snakes, one on path and one in the rock scramble, and a bear crossed the path in front of me a while back. I don’t carry bear spray because this trail is so busy. We were there in a Monday, and still there were maybe 20 cars in the parking lot and we saw folks all along the way. But no backup at the rocks and everyone helped each other get through the obstacles. It took us 6 hours RT back to parking lot. Don’t plan a lot of physical stuff for the next day! It’s an awesome place though and I will go again. There was a little water on some off the rocks, and they could be slippery in places....again good gripping shoes help tremendously.

The hike is moderately difficult up along the steep side (I recommend decending down the alternate blue route when it’s slippery). The trail is obviously thoroughly well-hiked, and is a little difficult to follow at times because folks have hiked along the sides and off the trail so much. It was definitely busy while I was there (an afternoon in mid September) which isn’t my style. Lots of off-leash dogs, so beware if you have a reactive dog or dog that doesn’t like strange dogs too much.

I solo trekked this nice and slow with stops for photos on the way up. From this starting marker is 10.4 miles round trip not including Esther, so that should be updated. It was very muddy after all the rain last night. Worth the hike but took me about 8.5 hours solo with my short legs with some breaks and soaking up the sun and at the top.

Rock scramble was awesome

I was in Richmond for buisness and had a free morning. Went early on a Wednesday, no crowd. Was a little wet so some rocks were slippery. About 4 hrs. Trail was amazing. The boulders up high and rock formations were awesome. I would definitely recommend this hike. Worth the drive.

hiking
20 days ago

I love it here

I would have brought thin gloves with me as it was cold and starting to ice towards the summit. Long sleeves and another layer would be appropriate. It was a beautiful day and challenging hike. There was a lot of water on a lot of the trail too.

A little crowded on the rock sections yesterday but overall great views and weather. Would suggest some caution given all the rain recently through the rock sections, finding alternative areas to grip may present additional challenges but overall still a great hike.

Did it today, definitely a couple parts that are challenging. Ensure you have a good set of shoes or boots with some grip for the areas of the boulders that are slippery. Awesome views, would love to get some pictures during the fall when the leaves start changing!

Great hike with lots of steps. Recommend hiking boots as it was wet throughout the trail.

I’ve done this hike once before and I’m excited to do it again tomorrow! Very fun and gorgeous views!

Love climbing the rocks

Challenging and long! Beautiful views.

Great hike. One of the best in Pennsylvania I would have to agree. Went the full loop and saw all the falls. Definitely will come back and do it again.

Even though it is kind of a tough loop. I had not hiked in a long while and was able to make it through it without too much pain. Very important to have good hiking shoes because the trail is quite rocky and wet.

went yesterday and was amazing. my phone died so my recording all got half but it was beautiful ontop. everytime you think you made it, you didn't. the best 360 degree view is a little before you reach the summit. it wasn't too hard but it did take awhile because I stopped a million times to take alot of pictures. I really think if you try hard, anyone can do this hike. my husband isnt into hiking like I am. .so he is a little out of shape...but he did fine with me helping. I also saw kids doing it. the trail is pretty easy to follow. you have no service up top but all trails always works no matter service or not

rock climbing
26 days ago

Been there almost annually for past 5 years in January. Crampons and ice gear a MUST in Winter

What can i say that hasn’t been already said. Must do if you’re in Shenandoah!!!

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