Explore the most popular lake trails in George Washington National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Cool short hike. We went 1/21/18 the lake was still frozen. Stocked trout fishing available (requires special license) several ppl fishing. I’m not 100% sure what trail we took. I think we did Lake loop on one side and the Cliff/overlook on the other. Some elevation on the overlook side but no spectacular view (no actual “overlook” or “cliff”) overall it was a fun loop. Dogs were allowed on leashes. Moderately trafficked for January. Park was closed and no payment required to get to where we hiked.

Nice little back yard treasure

Pretty lake. The trail isn't anything special. Short and loops around the lake. Very small incline at one point. Branches off to an overlook if you want, but the ranger said it hadn't been cut back and likely had no view. Costs $8 per vehicle to enter the park.

Bunch of snakes in the area. Saw a few in the water and one on the trail.

And to be clear, this is only for hiking and maybe mountain biking. It is NOT for off-road vehicles like the description says. Not allowed per the ranger anywhere on the park.

I enjoyed this easy and scenic loop around the beautiful mountain lake, even on a crowded pre-July 4th visit.

I paid $4 for access to the beautiful mountain lake and recreation area in the George Washington National Forest not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway. I parked in the smaller and much quieter lot on the northern end of the lake, away from everyone recreating on the opposite side. I enjoyed the scenic and easy 1.3 mile loop that travels mostly along the water's edge. There are additional trails that allow you to extend the length and difficulty of the hike by going up into the surrounding hills.

I hiked this trail in conjunction with the Slacks trail connecting to Torry Ridge trail, and Sherando Lake trail to equal about 10.5 miles. My family started in Sherando Lake and hiked up to Torry Ridge over to Slacks, & then White Rock. There were multiple streams that you will cross and I had to take my shoes off for 2. My husband had waterproof boots and he was fine. The rushing water was beautiful and cold on May 30th, when we hiked.

Nice easy trail around the beautiful Sherando Lake.

do not bother with this one it's on private property on a private road.

hiking
Saturday, October 29, 2016

I followed the direction and it led me to the Shenandoah Woods which is a wedding venue and accommodations in Luray. Unless you a guest do not hike there.

backpacking
Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cool small trail, was really only about 1.3 miles not 2. Good for kids. It is at a park they charged $4.00 for one person to get into the park. No foot traffic on the trail but tons of people in the park during mid October.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

We went to the trail on 9/4/16. The trail was closed and blocked with a gate. It cost $6 to get into the National Park. I only gave it a one star since it was closed.

hiking
Saturday, July 23, 2016

I did two loops around the lake. First loop was short and easy. I started the Lakeside Trail from the right up to Overlook Rock Trail, completing the loop by taking the Cliff Trail. Second loop was moderate and long. I took the Lakeside Trail on the left and continued onto the Yellow Trail, up to the Torry Ridge Trail, then the Blue Loop Trail, and onto the FDR 91 for a total distance of 6 miles and elevation of 1430 ft. The second part was more challenging because the high elevation and longer distance. Overall it was a good hike and I enjoyed it.

hiking
Saturday, June 18, 2016

When you park in the parking lot and mile marker 19.9, DO NOT GO ON THE TRAIL NEXT TO THE PARKING LOT, GO ACROSS THE ROAD AND INTO THE TRAIL. If you go to the trail across the road, the trail will be 3+ miles shorter. Also, when you go down the trail that's across the street, when you see two yellow paint strokes, go that way because that's where the waterfall is. Great trail just wish I new where to go. The waterfall is great and the water around it isn't deep (2-3 feet maybe). I highly recommend bringing water shoes so if you walk on the rocks to get to the waterfall and you slip it won't be an issue. It's better to get close to it!

hiking
Sunday, January 24, 2016

We come here a couple times each year. There are all levels of hiking. The beautiful mountain lake is shallow so it is warmed by the sun. There is fishing, canoeing, picnicking, or just laying on the beach. We stay in nearby cabins but Sherando Lake offers campsites for both the canvas and the aluminum folks.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Heads up. This trail is at least a mile and a half longer each way than what the forest service trail guide says. That said, I really loved this trail. It is my kind of trail.

hiking
Saturday, December 05, 2015

I have hiked the trails at Sherando Lake many times over the years and never seem to tire of it.

paddle sports
Saturday, December 05, 2015

Done this almost every year but this was a first from a canoe.

paddle sports
Friday, December 04, 2015

I have done this beautiful hike several times. The first time this year was in April. If you want to see the lake from a different veiw, you can rent canoes and kayaks from Cabin Creekwood in Lyndhurst.

hiking
Friday, December 04, 2015

This is a beautiful trail around a beautiful lake. I have been coming up here for years and am still in love with it. The lake is shallow, (rarely over 5 feet deep) so it stays warm all summer. The last time I was here was in early August and I did the hike around the lake again.

hiking
Thursday, August 14, 2014

From the two beautiful mountain lakes to the more remote trails, this is a beautiful place to hike, swim, fish, canoe, relax, or take pictures. There are a wide variety of trails from the gentle Upper Sherando Lake Loop to the strenuous 7 mile, rocky Torrey Ridge Trail. My favorite was . . . . . . all of them! But if I had to choose one it might be the Sherando Lake Loop. Unlike the level upper lake loop, it does bounce up and down a few feet with one big hill and some of the views are incredible. An optional addition to this trail is to take the steep trail up to the top of the rock slide.

hiking
Thursday, August 14, 2014

From the Upper Sherando Lake beginning this trail makes a gentle climb all the way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and a gentle descent all the way back. The Forest Service brochure makes it sound like you are walking along the creek all the way. I guess you could argue that the trail does follow along the creek, but you will not actually see much of it. The forest is beautiful and the trail is nice.

hiking
Monday, August 11, 2014

The lake has four distinct areas: swimming, canoeing, fishing, and the picnic area. The beautiful trail around the lake is gentle most of the way but it does shoot up near the dam. If you hike around clockwise, you can see the dam up ahead, so you may wonder why it is taking you so high in the air???? The reason is that there are high cliffs on that side of the dam so you go a way past it and then zig-zag down. If you want to avoid all but 10-20 foot gentle vertical, go around counter clockwise and turn around at the dam. My pictures are a little dark because it was a dark, rainy day but still beautiful.

hiking
Sunday, August 10, 2014

Swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking, or just plain relaxing in a beautiful spot. These lakes have it all. Make sure you come on a weekday if you are visiting in the summer. The secret is out and you may find it too busy for your liking on the weekend.

hiking
Sunday, August 10, 2014

This is a pretty little mountain lake with an easy trail going around it. The only elevation change is the 50 foot high earthen dam that you go up on one side and down the other.

hiking
Thursday, November 28, 2013

Great trail! Had a lot of fun and great views.

mountain biking
Saturday, June 22, 2013

We come up here almost every year. It is a wonderful place. Sherando Lake and
the surroundings are part of George Washington National Forest. The trails are beautiful, but the lake is the shining jewel. Sherando Lake is like a swiming pool in the summer. Even though it is a mountain lake, it is shallow and heated by the sun.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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