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I was concerned about getting lost after reading reviews. Not sure how people got lost. There are signs everywhere. This was an amazing trail. The waterfalls are beautiful! Very peaceful fun hike. I even saw purple, bright orange and bright yellow mushrooms! I’ve never seen a purple mushroom or yellow and orange mushrooms that were so vibrant. Highly recommend this hike. When you come to first cascade, continue to walk over bridge and up many stairs to reach the waterfall.

backpacking
3 days ago

Was a beautiful hike went clockwise and after seeing and hearing about the counterclockwise hikers journey. I was happy with my choice. I did it in two days, wanted to take my time. The views were spectacular, trails were makes well. Camped at Harper's shelter, not sure if the mileage is correct I don't think switchback are being counted for mileage, there are a good amount of them. would definaly recommend it to a friend, there was very little water on the AT portion so be careful with that if hiking clockwise bring in water to hike up, crossed one natural spring and it is a dry Aug. so far so riverbeds have dried up mostly.

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.

Great hike. First mile is straight up- but doable! The hike is 5.1 this includes the walk to the parking lot. Wear good shoes and the “caretaker” left a note to “look out for snakes”. (Sunday Aug 6) They too are happy to have the sun-shining. I am very happy not to have seen any.

I LOVED this trail! Not sure why this says 5.1 miles...it is only 4.4, unless I missed something? It was just the right amount of hard and easy for a short day hike. Pretty much the whole first mile is uphill. Not terribly steep but not easy! Then it flattens out and is a nice walk to the rocks. The trail is so wide which is nice because it's heavily trafficked on a weekend!

After almost 2 weeks of rain the trail was pretty muddy. For the most part you are able to walk around it or rock-hop but there were a few times I was in my groove and just sunk down in the mud. But like I said...two weeks of rain!! So who cares about a little mud! I can't imagine the mud will clear up quickly since people are already back on the trail after so much rain, so just be prepared. The rocks were beautiful and there are several spots you can walk around to for a view. Just be careful obviously.

hiking
11 days ago

The trail was definitely challenging at the start, which I love. It levels off a little more than halfway to the top. Nice out and back trail, not too long if you’re kind of in a rush like we were, but you get a good workout in right away. Fun trail, and the view at the top is so worth it!

After a climb, you skirt along the top of the mountain. Highly recommend.

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

Yet another wonderful trail. I've been here twice now - once in winter and once in summer. I will definitely be going back in the fall. Awesome 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.

We did the Apple Orchard trail, Cornelius creek and a little part of the AT. At one point we got turned around. All in all we hiked 8 Miles. My husband and I did it with our two small children aged 7 and 5. Climbing back up to the car was a little workout. Definitely beautiful scenery and the falls on Apple Orchard trail are very nice. Perfect for a picnic

A great trail that's not too steep, and wide. Pup had a blast. Heavy foot traffic. No creeks for cool down, bring lots of water for your pup.

hiking
17 days ago

One of our favorites in the area, not thrilled when the Tourist train stops but no biggie. Scenery is Worth every mile .

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.

Great for running! easily accessible. Nice and flat.

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.

I agree with the moderate designation. There were a good amount of inclines towards the end which could be challenging for those not physically fit. There were some beautiful views, a lot of it was wooded, and a few streams. We never came across the wading pool that’s mentioned in some of the other reviews. I don’t know if it was due to low water levels or if it just doesn’t exist. All in all a great hike. Would recommend.

We were surprised to have the trail and falls to ourselves on a Sunday in mid July. Having the ability to approach from the blue ridge parkway or back roads off 81 made this a nice stop going from Roanoke to DC

This is one of my favorite hikes for a in and out, it is not hard, and the view is nice. Bring a lunch, and enjoy it on the rocks. Talk to the camp host, and just enjoy it.

hiking
25 days ago

Well maintained trail. Swimming hole is pretty. But otherwise it's a pretty uneventful hike.

Fairly easy hike. There is a section early on that most of the elevation gain occurs, but it is easy elevation. The view is amazing! Will definitely do this again.

hiking
27 days ago

40+ years ago, finding the trail faint from non-use, I blue-blazed it from the top of Shavers Mountain to the falls (the trail going down to the West Fork was, at the time, called the Beulah Siding Trail). And, shame on me, I havent been back since--though I've often wanted to. Maybe somebody could invite me?

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.

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