#7 of 61 national parks in United States of America

Best trails in Shenandoah National Park

34,580 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia? AllTrails has 240 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 139 moderate trails in Shenandoah National Park ranging from 0.7 to 104.7 miles and from 606 to 4,048 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Located along the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park runs with the broad Shenandoah River, valleys, and rolling hills. Covered in forest, Skyline Drive and the famous Appalachian Trail run the entire length of this narrow park. There is so much more to explore including scenic overlooks, waterfalls of the Shenandoah River, and Hawksbill Mountain, the highest peak. Shenandoah National Park is always open. However, portions of Skyline Drive -- the only public road through the park -- are periodically closed during inclement weather. Visitors may still enter the park on foot to hike even when the drive is closed. Fees: Single Vehicle - $35.00 This fee covers unlimited entry for one vehicle and passengers for seven consecutive days, beginning on the day of purchase. Vehicles must be private, noncommercial, and with a seating capacity of 15 or less. Single Motorcycle - $25.00 Covers entry for one motorcycle and one passenger for seven consecutive days, beginning on the day of purchase. Individual Person - $15.00 The fee for walk-up or bicycling visitors, when 16 years of age or older (children under 16 are admitted for free). Includes entering the Park by all means other than a private, non-commercial vehicle. A family traveling together shall pay no more than the vehicle fee. Annual Pass - $55.00 Provides unlimited entry for one year to the pass owner and passengers in the same vehicle. At "per-person" fee areas this pass covers the pass holder and three adults, not to exceed 4 adults total. Children under 16 are admitted free. Accessibility: Information about accessible trails and facilities for those with disabilities or using strollers can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm

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Map of trails in Shenandoah National Park
Park information
Acreage:
197,439 acres
Contact
540-999-3500
Top trails (240)
#1 - Old Rag Mountain Loop
Shenandoah National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(3971)
Length: 9.4 mi • Est. 4 h 48 m
This hike is one of the most popular hikes in Shenandoah National Park. It is a challenging hike, but when you make it about 3/4 of the way up, you will then have some rock scrambling that makes your pace a little slower. There are alot of switchbacks, so you will not be going straight up, but the trails are still at a steep grade. The descent, which is a longer distance than the ascent, is a much more gradual grade, ending on a fire trail. This hike begins with a one-mile walk up the road to the original Old Rag parking area (port-a-pots here.) Turn left onto the Ridge Trail and begin your approximate two mile ascent with switchbacks before reaching the boulder scramble section. There are handwritten numbers below the blue trail blazes throughout the trail. You’ll be going up, down, in between, around, and underneath granite boulders throughout the scramble. While going through the boulder scramble, keep your eyes open for the blue blazes, as sometimes they are in the strangest places. If you have a fear of heights, or jumping across crevasses, this will challenge you and encourage you to overcome your fears. When hiking Old Rag Mountain, each time you think you’ve reached the summit – you haven’t! This mountain has several false summits. You’ll know that you’ve reached the Old Rag Summit when you see the Old Rag Mountain brown elevation sign. Find a lovely rock with a fabulous 360 degree view for your lunch spot here, before starting your descent on the back of the mountain by way of the Saddle Trail. Rock hopping down, you’ll pass two shelters. First the Byrds Nest Shelter, then the Old Rag Shelter (privy here) before hitting a cross-roads. Stay to your right to continue back on the Weakley Hollow Fire Road for about four miles to return to the parking lot. This section can seem like it’ll last forever. You will pass through beautiful forests and see Brokenback Run that leads into the Hughes River.Show more
#2 - White Oak Canyon and Cedar Run Trails Loop
Shenandoah National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1155)
Length: 9.0 mi • Est. 5 h 14 m
The 1st section of the trail takes you to the right along about 30 big and small waterfalls! This is the strenuous section of the trip. There is a great rock wall for climbers on this section approximately 1-1.5 miles from the trailhead (road 643) parking lot (weakly hollow road) which also makes a great place for lunch. The yellow trail, marked by yellow markers, is the 2nd part of the loop, you will go over a steel bridge crossing the river where there is a fork. The yellow trail is to the LEFT, and the blue trail on the right goes 3 miles to skyline drive (which is not part of this loop). The yellow trail is a horse trail, but still climbs to approximately ~3200 feet gradually. There are no stair steps here, and you still may need to stop and catch your breath. You will encounter the next intersection which you should follow to the left (still yellow blazes). This leg of the loop ends at the skyline drive parking lot which can be your other entry point for this trail. At this intersection (4 way) you will take the blue blazed trail which returns in the direction that you came. The 3rd and final part of the trail is blue marked and starts from the skyline drive parking lot intersection. This leg has a very notable waterfall called "the slide" because it is a sheer gradually sloped face with lots of waterflow over it, kind of like a slide. Having reached the peak of the hike in the 2nd leg end, this leg of the hike is downhill all the way. BEWARE that there are 3 river crossings, and this can be dangerous because they are on logs if you don't want to get wet. You can safely scoot along on the logs and make all the crossing. The final crossing will have red blazes on the trees marking all the crossing (approximately 4 log crossings). Be careful as the rocks may be slippery and can result in serious injury. This hike can be considered more strenuous than old rag mountain which is right next door. If you are taking tons of pictures of the falls, swimming, or taking an extra long lunch, then you should plan on 6-7 hours for this hike. The trail has groups come through heading to big meadows and can be busy at times, so start early. Larger wildlife may be present, especially on days with fog.Show more
#3 - Hawksbill Gap Loop via Appalachian Trail
Shenandoah National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1141)
Length: 2.6 mi • Est. 1 h 33 m
This is a short and steep hike with outstanding views at the top. Parking can be a challenge, so it is advisable to get there early.Show more
#4 - Dark Hollow Falls Trail
Shenandoah National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1484)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 57 m
Dark Hollow Falls is one of the closest scenic falls to the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. This is a fairly easy walk down, but the trek back up on the way out may be slightly challenging. A very popular hike at mile 50.7. There are some sitting rocks along the trail if you need to rest especially on your way back up. In the spring the blossoms of Mountain Laurel adorn the path with bright pink blossoms. The trail follows the Hogcamp Branch stream as it leaves the Big Meadows spring and eventually drops over the falls. The trail is cool and shaded by a canopy of trees that offers welcome relief in the summer. As you are hiking down listen to the sounds of the water and also to the sounds of nature. One of the birds that may serenade your hike is the Blue Headed Vireo. This neotropical migrant that breeds at high elevations in the park has a very sweet melodious voice that seems to say "Look-Up, In-the-Trees". If you happen to see a dragonfly it may be one of the uncommon species that requires pristine, shaded mountain streams. When you spot one of these you know you are in a special place. Near the bottom of the trail you will come to a viewing platform where you can see the top of the falls. If you continue another tenth of a mile down the trail you will reach the base of the falls for a much more impressive view. Legend says that Thomas Jefferson was quite fond of these falls and spent time quietly contemplating the wonders of nature at the foot of Dark Hollow falls. Learn about black bears, wildflowers, and enjoy the falls as President Thomas Jefferson did back in the day.Show more
#5 - Rose River Trail
Shenandoah National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1123)
Length: 3.5 mi • Est. 1 h 59 m
#6 - Stony Man via Appalachian Trail
Shenandoah National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1079)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 49 m
#7 - South River Falls Trail and South River Fire Road Loop
Shenandoah National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(960)
Length: 4.6 mi • Est. 2 h 43 m
This route is well-marked, with a good balance of steep terrain, rocks, roots and switchbacks on the way down on South River Falls Trail and smooth trail on the way back up on South River Fire Road. The moss and waterfalls are beautiful, and depending on what time of year you visit, you may find the breathtaking fall colors that are typical of Shenandoah National Park. If you want to go to the base of the falls, continue past the observation point until you see the base of waterfall marker. This additional viewpoint is highly recommended. On the journey back to your start point at the South River Picnic Area, make sure you turn onto the Appalachian Trail from the fire road - if you stay straight you will end up on Skyline Drive instead of at the parking lot.Show more
#8 - Bearfence Mountain Trail
Shenandoah National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(980)
Length: 1.0 mi • Est. 34 m
After parking in the Bearfence Mountain parking lot, cross Skyline Drive and follow the blue blazes of the Bearfence Trail. The Bearfence Trail leads up a steep slope that eventually turns into a scramble climb to the summit of Bearfence Mountain. Blazes mark the best scramble climbing route. The view from the summit is well worth the climb as it is one of only three summits in the park that has a 360-degree view. Getting down from the summit requires a short scramble climb, after which the Bearfence Trail returns to a normal hiking surface. The Appalachian trail can be accessed from either one of two right turns from the Bearfence Trail. The second right turn should be followed to complete the one-mile loop. The Appalachian Trail leads back down the mountain to Skyline Drive. The scramble climb makes this trail a unique hike to a great view. Anyone who is reasonably fit and flexible should be able to handle the scramble climb, but hikers who have issues with heights may want to skip this trail. Near the summit, the climbing path occasionally passes within eighteen inches or so of sheer drops. This is also definitely not the trail for families with kids small enough that they have to be carried, and older children may also find the climb difficult.Show more
#9 - Little Stony Man Loop via Appalachian Trail
Shenandoah National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(608)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 57 m
#10 - Little Devils Stairs Trail
Shenandoah National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(712)
Length: 6.3 mi • Est. 3 h 9 m
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