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.

Beautiful, quick hike. We did this for sunrise and it was amazing

5 miles including parking by old ranger station. I'm not sure how it's easy with the rocky conditions and elevation change. Was lucky and saw a bear and other wildlife.

Really enjoyed the views!!

A little background, I this was my first time truly mountain hiking, so consider me a beginner, although my hiking companion was very experienced. We had originally planned to spend the night so I had a 22lb pack with me. We started at Hogback Overlook then followed the Tuscarora Overall Run to Mathews Arm to Beecher Ridge (clockwise) then back to the Tuscarora Overall. Calculations gave about 11.6 miles. We saw over 30 people and a few dogs on the first leg (closer to the campground) and probably a dozen more near the swimming holes (near Thompson Hollow). We didn’t see any bears, probably due to the high activity in the area but we did see a few bear scats on the last leg. As other reviews have said, it was a steady decline for the first 5/6 miles. It had rained the day before so the rocks were a little slippery and the soil around them was loose so getting good footing could be difficult in some portions. Once we got to the water crossings about 5-7 miles in there were some nice camping spots but we weren’t ready to stop and set up camp so we kept going. Waterfalls were beautiful and we could hear lots of people swimming and we were able to refill our water supply. We were hoping to camp around mile 8-9 but didn’t find any existing sites and the sides of the trails were pretty overgrown so we decided to press on. Once we reached the switchbacks, I was already a bit tired but hoped once we made it up, we could find a place to camp. For a beginner with a full pack, the switchbacks were very difficult. We stopped pretty frequently and also passed and chatted with a few other groups with beginners who were similarly challenged. Much to our dismay, after the switchbacks, there is actually about 1/2mile portion where camping is prohibited so we kept going. In this area though were two beautiful lookouts that made climbing the switchbacks worth it and we were able to get some good pictures! Again we were hoping to find an existing camping site on the Tuscarora overall (after the intersection of Mathews Arm) but couldn’t find any spots that weren’t too over grown and at this point, we were far from any water source, which we had hoped to camp near. So we made the decision to keep going. We very slowly finished the last two miles, with frequent stops and although they were not as steep as the switchbacks they were a steady incline that never seemed to end to me, my highly experienced partner was fine. So it took us approximately 8 hours to complete the whole trail with full gear. Since I was completely exhausted by the time we exited Hogback Overlook, I would not recommend beginners doing it all in one day but that was just how it worked out for us. It was a beautiful trail and maybe would have worked out better if we went counterclockwise and would have been ready to camp down near the water and finished the trail in two days.

Great views by the Byrd shelter

1 month ago

Definitely a steep hike up to Hawksbill, but was well worth it. Great views! Pace yourself and take breaks if needed.

a nice start for a beginner like myself.

I arrived at the trailhead just after sunrise and quickly made my way up the Salamander Trail to the summit and had the entire summit to myself the entire time I was there even though this is the highest summit in the park and is very popuar. The level area near the shelter house could easily handle about 500 hikers milling around. From the shelter house it's only another 50 yards to the CCC-built summit observation deck for great views in all directions. I then took the Salamander Trail west and down to the AT junction for a fairly level 2-mile return trip. Note that the AT section on this trail traverses three different boulder fields so boots or trekking poles would really help.

It’s straight up for a bit. Lots of people (most stopping). View is worth it. Took my dog was very dog friendly as long as it’s not to hot. My husband warned me to bring trek poles. I didn’t. I regretted that. But you don’t need them need them. We did fine without them. Bring lots of water for certain.

Great quick steep hike. Great view at the end.

My husband and I love this trail. It’s not a heavily trafficked hike, and the narrow path is more our style. Love the beautiful laurel that is very dense in areas. We saw two bears, one mid-way through the hike and the other at the very end. They responded to our “hey bear!” shouts by turning and walking away unbothered. Also came upon a grouse and it’s (12 or so) babies that were great to watch. Parking was a little confusing but there is a road on the opposite side of Matthew’s Arm where you can park in the lot near the old building. The trailhead is close to the main road as you first turn in to park.

Great hike and view from the top. Took the steep section up first but it was worth it. Nice long descent on the way back down. Parking lot was full when I got back. Got there around 7:30. Pay attention to the trail markers and directions.

great little hike, nice sunset views.

A little hard to find at first, but we parked at the Rattlesnake overlook and walked back to find the trail. We saw a small black bear about halfway through, and then got caught in a rainstorm as we were nearing the end. A very memorable experience!

Short, steep hike but a means to an end. The views are outstanding at the top and well worth the hike. Parking can be a challenge so get there early. There is an upper parking lot with a different trail to the summit but we didn’t do that one so not sure what it is like. We also found a different spot for sunset but the top of Hawksbill would probably be a nice spot for viewing.

Super creepy trail! Zero line of sight when everything is growing. There is also no view, there might be in the winter, but not in the summer.

Cool stone observation platform at the peak. Going up the AT is a much more gradual ascent.

Clockwise path from Elkwallow. Path in AllTrails appears to be a little off on the NE side of the route and longer (7.4 miles). At times I wondered if I was on the right trail but I didn’t see any other turns and the path finally started to match the expected route. Water crossing and one bad blow down that appeared to be a dead end but you can climb over it and the trail resumes. The east side is quiet but getting overgrown already. Recommend tick repellent and long pants.

Loved this hike! It was an straight incline from the beginning a few hikers turned back but it is totally worth the beauty!

It was pretty easy with great views.

on Big Run Trail

2 months ago

Rocky in parts, great trail with some nice views.

2 months ago

Breezy trail with some nice views, but not much variation in scenery and trees were still bare. View point was very windy.

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