Explore the most popular dog friendly trails in Shenandoah National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Very nice trail and beautiful water falls. There are lots of tricky river crossings some of which I went barefoot for ease. Beautiful scenery and a great route.

backpacking
13 days ago

TICKS! Ticks, ticks, ticks, ticks, ticks. Admittedly went in to this trek ignorant to the prevalence of ticks in Virginia, especially as it relates to spring, but my goodness were they everywhere. They unfortunately consumed a lot of our time - fighting them off, checking each other, keeping bags off the ground, etc. We couldn't even sit at our backcountry camp site, as within minutes there'd be 2-3 crawling up your boot.

This was a combination of lack of preparedness by us (i'll never go in the woods without premethrine spray and /or treated clothes again) and negligence by the welcome center of Shenandoah National Park. We spent 30 minutes discussing possible treks with a Ranger there, going over every little detail including what to look out for. That ticks never came up, knowing how unbelievably prevalent they are there, was ridiculous. You have families and newbie backpackers coming in oblivious, and you don't even mention it? Whatever with the bears ....TICKS! One ended up getting me, and I'm not happy about it.

Regarding the actual trek, it was nice. The stream/river was beautiful and we set up camp about 30 yards off of it. Provided beautiful sounds all day and night. Had a day hike up Neighbor's Mountain (2400 feet) which was cool. Nothing amazing, just a bunch of pretty vistas at the peak. On your way down Jeremy's Run to start the ascent of Neighbor Mountain, you'll come across a pretty water fall. Nothing monstrous, but decent size and power. Adjacent to that waterfall is an ideal camping spot. I'm guessing it's very popular and it had a lot of signs of use. Yet another thing that should've been mentioned by the Ranger. I would target this as a camp spot for overnighters. Spacious and you're right on the waterfall. You'll see stone steps going up to the area across the stream near the waterfall.

All in all, good not great. Take a bath in permetrhine before you go! Kidding of course, it goes on clothes and gear only.

EDIT: I failed to mention that along Jeremy's Run you'll have to cross the stream/river about 15 times. When we went the water was very low, making crossing easy.

One of Virginia's premier hikes. I'd say moderate difficulty for the experienced hiker. Definitely strenous at some points. We did cedar run route and down white oak. Very happy with that choice.

An absolutely beautiful day hike! We did it clockwise from the top, starting with whiteoak. Whiteoak has incredible waterfall views and lots of excellent swimming spots. Cedar run has fewer views and is rougher and steeper, but is less crowded and has wonderful opportunities to see wildlife. We liked spotting watersnakes around the riverbanks (no bear sightings unfortunately).

I see many people are doing this hike counterclockwise to avoid going uphill on steep cedar run. Cedar run gets slippery and I would not want to be trying to go down it in any weather - - it felt much safer to be going uphill. Yes, it's hard, but stop for breaks when you need it and plan to be sore the next day and you'll be fine.

There were water crossings but at the time we went the water level was low (no wet feet).

We were two people, reasonably fit but not used to hiking, and did it in six hours.

Was my hardest hike until now. Not impossible but the last mile or two (clockwise) were super hard, also run out of water at some point - would need 2l pp in retrospective. Some points were not super clearly signed and one had to climb some times over trees.

We had a group of 8 do this hike the 2nd weekend of April. Lucky for us it was 69-70 degrees that day, the hike was beautiful on the way down with plenty of areas to stop and take pictures and enjoy he waterfalls. Climbing back up the other side of the falls put everyone in the group to the test. With about a 45 minute lunch break and many gasping for air breaks we completed the loop in about 6 hours 45 minutes. Muscles cramping in places I didn’t know could cramp. It was awesome!

We planned this hike as a "rainy day option" for weather in which ridge-hikes would be fairly pointless, and on a grey, overcast day with an occasional drizzle and proper downpour toward the end, it was just about perfect.
We did the loop in a counterclockwise direction, starting from the Skyline Drive, down the Cedar Run Trail and up White Oak Canyon Trail and I definitely wouldn't consider it a hard hike, although it does get a bit tedious at the very end between the river crossing and the Skyline Drive.
All in all, a pleasant hike through the woods with some lovely waterfalls (small and large) along the way. Definitely worth it, especially on a cloudy day and when the foliage changes color.

The first half/two thirds is pretty cool and fun. The last third was uphill torture for me. One of the toughest hikes I’ve done (I usually stick to moderate trails). Bring lots of water and a jet pack if you have one.

Was a good challenge for someone who is not a seasoned joker and slightly out of shape. Little foot traffic which was nice. Cool temperatures as it is mostly shaded. The river and small waterfalls were very pretty. Saw deer but no bear. We did get lost (did not see the trail marker) and ended up doing an additional mile down and back up a very steep climb. Also gets a little confusing when you get to the tourist/camp area. Lots of rocks and narrow paths, highly recommend wearing good hiking boots!! Also, look at the elevation...we started with the uphill climb for the first two miles or so, steady and a good “warm up”. Downhill was hard on my knees as it was fairly steep. There were quite a few spots where we had to climb up again and those required some stops/rests.

Where do I start. This hike is absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking views of many waterfalls! You can even climb a few rocks to get right up close to a few of the falls. Unfortunately we were not prepared for what was to come. The hike up was pretty tough. Once we got up to where you take the fire road to Cedar Run trail we took the wrong path (both have yellow blazes) we ended up hiking about a mile or so in the wrong direction and that’s when the fog rolled in. Temps dropped about 20 degrees and it began to POUR down rain. Needless to say once we started our decent down Cedar Run everything was soaked and muddy and it’s VERY steep. We were slipping and sliding all over the place and much of the trail down is nearly impassable by fallen trees and things. We hiked the trail counterclockwise which under normal weather conditions would’ve been much easier. This loop is definitely not for beginners. You will absolutely be sore the next day and your feet will most definitely get wet because there are several river crossings. Most of the way UP is well.....UP....steep and you will need to take breaks to catch your breath. This loop is a beast. Can’t wait to tackle it again in better weather.

What an absolutely beautiful hike! I expected it to be hard but I had no idea how hard it was really going to be. I’m not sure about the mileage because my phone said 8.4 miles when all is said and done and my watch said 9.6 miles. This is not for a novice hiker! We took this hike counterclockwise. We had met some other people on the hike that said that clockwise disease year. But I believe there is no easy way to do this hike. I really had to keep pushing myself. We got down to the bottom of the canyon and I was starting to feel tired. The hike downhill was strenuous. But the hike up was a test! With an elevation gain of 2200 feet on the way up it really testing me. The fire road itself was difficult as we were exhausted by the time we got to the fire and the fire is completely uphill. But I’m happy to say that I finished it!

My son and I loved this hike. Absolutely lived up to its “hard” rating, this hike has a lot to offer. Waterfalls and elevation change abound on this test, but the rugged terrain was the biggest consistent challenge. If you hike it counterclockwise as most recommend, be sure to stop and look back from time to time to avoid missing all of the amazing views this hike offers.

Along with Old Rag, this is one of my favorite hikes in the region. Old Rag has the 360 views, this has great waterfall after waterfall. I recommend starting at the bottom, going up White Oak, and coming down Cedar Run (going counterclockwise from the bottom). You put your work in first, then relax on the way back down and get the slide waterfalls and waterholes to relax in if you wish. Clockwise from the bottom means you miss the water holes or end up wet or carrying wet clothes the rest of the way, plus your back is to all the great White Oak waterfalls and you would miss the approaches. I dislike starting at the top as it means you put the work at the end vice the start and have to fight the Skyline Drive traffic. The way up is strenuous, but doable if you are in shape and the constant waterfalls make the time fly by. Highly recommend this excellent day hike.

We hiked up the Cedar Run Trail which was strenuous for the entire way up (about 3 hours). This was a good trail to go up because there were a lot of smaller waterfalls and a steady stream. When we got to the top, we got a little turned around and accidentally went the wrong way. So make you’re reading your map carefully. We went down the White Oak Trail which was beautiful. The waterfalls were huge! Great photo opps. Trails were well kept even with the recent windstorm. The whole hike took us a little over 6 hours.

I hiked this loop counter clockwise, starting at the ranger station off of Weakley Hollow Rd, on 3/10/18. Due to the recent wind storm there are a couple of trees down across the trail on the White Oak Canyon side of the loop, a couple across the fire road, and around 6 across the Cedar Run portion. Overall though, this is a great hike with lots of beautiful waterfalls and ponds.

I did this hike in January after a bunch of rain\snow. The falls were flowing great! it was a nice hike! A few inches of snow on top of the mountain but none at the bottom. Cedar Run was not too spectacular in my opinion, but I loved white oak canyon so much I took my 5 year old daughter the next weekend to hike a small portion of it. only one view to speak of near the top of white oak canyon. It's gorgeous! not too strenuous if you're in decent shape, but will definitely leave you sore the next day.

The trail the app took us on was extremely challenging by horseback - borderline dangerous. Thank goodness we had good horses! Wouldn’t recommend riding in the wintertime as the trail was frozen solid at the highest points of the path. Several really slippery, rocky, mountainous areas where we dismounted & lead our horses. No doubt a beautiful hike but wouldn’t recommend for horses.

This was definitely a strenuous hike. I hiked this loop counterclockwise. There are many waterfalls shown on the map with some not shown but most of them you cannot get to without trekking off of the trail. I logged 3.7 miles from parking area to the junction of the skyland - big meadows horse trail. From there I crossed the footbridge then continued onto the fire road - horse trail. Around 5.5 miles I continued onto the horse trail which leaves the fire road at this point and is fairly close and runs parallel to the Skyline Drive. Close to a parking area on the Skyline Drive, around my 6.2 miles logged, I turned left onto the Cedar Run Trail. This was the roughest trail between it and White Oak. Simular story, some of the waterfalls on this trail are not accessible without trekking off of the trail. Getting to some of the waterfalls looks extremely dangerous, so if you do decide to be real adventurous, be careful. I managed to trek to a few and decided that was enough and stayed on the trail after that. Both trails were muddy and ice covered in spots, I slipped a few times coming down Cedar Run. When I finally reached the car, I had logged a total of 9.8 miles with a GPS unit & Fitbit.

Great horse trail.

The trail was kind of wet from rain but was still very navigable. I went counterclockwise and decided to take a detour and go to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain which had spectacular views. The few people I ran into were very friendly! I would definitely recommend this hike although it can be quite challenging at times. Got a little wet at one of the river crossings as there isn’t really a way to hop across the last 10 feet when the water is as high as it was. Thankfully I was almost done with the hike at that point.

Some may choose to begin this loop from the bottom rather from the top of the ridge. If so, one has to park at Thompson Hollow Trailhead (look for the location on Google Map). The capacity of the parking lot at Thompson Hollow Trailhead is limited to no more than 10 cars, counting spaces on both sides of the road.

long but worth the pain went counter clock wise(it rained so it was harder and slippery) great hike!!

Amazing hike! It's hard in some places but is overall fun.

Great day hike. DO BRING a headlamp, especially if hiking in the winter as it gets dark quick. Awesome views and friendly people on the trail. Coming back down Cedar Run, we ran into a very large black bear... wonderful contact...we kind of surprised him as we were downwind and right by the noisy falls... late in the season, they will be sleeping soon :)

Really beautiful hike along creek w/ a wide variety of waterfalls, pools, and views of impressive rocks and ‘east coast’ canyon walls. Super steep and rocky so anticipate sore muscles at the end. The trail happened to be populated w/ warm, friendly people too so bonus there! Well worth the drive from DC on a low-traffic day!

Beautiful scenery, but don’t go in the fall the day after a heavy rain - so slippery!

Amazing trail. Hiked it counter but will hike again in spring clockwise

Finished this in about 6 hours. The ground was covered in leaves since it had just rained and the combination of wet ground and the layer of leaves meant that this was a very slippery hike. We did not see the first crossing of the river during the last leg of the hike on the Cedar Run Trail. The White Oak Canyon portion was easy enough and very well marked, but we felt the Cedar Run Trail could have been marked better. Also, be wary of this hike if it has just rained and/or if you plan on going in Autumn after a majority of the leaves have fallen. I would definitely recommend hiking boots with a grippy traction and high ankle support since you will be primarily stepping up and down.

Just beautiful !!!

Great overnighter in November, beautiful fall weather and leaves. I agree with others that this hike is definitely longer than 10 miles, probably more like 12. The uphill slog on the return is intense and thus the Hard rating.
Happy Hiking to All!

Load More