Explore the most popular forest 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.

Great hike with a summit view :)

Went with our dog after a lot of rain, the water crossings were challenging due to slippery rocks. We saw 2 snakes once we arrived at the waterfall.

hiking
1 day ago

Awesome hike. Amazing views, full waterfalls and rivers after a week of heavy rains. Definitely recommend.

This hike was just fantastic. I’m pooped.

Pro tip - show up early or go on a weekday. I was stopped a couple times by crowds at narrow passthrough sections. Definitely worth taking the day off for this one

So worth it!!

One of my favorite hikes ever!! Gorgeous views and all types of terrain

Absolutely loved this challenging hike! Did after it 5 days of rain thank gosh that sun was shining and were able to grip boulders to climb. Not gonna lie landed on my tail once. Overall amazing workout, views and enjoyment!! Not for novices.

Beautiful falls. Went when the water was very high, and the rain was still coming while we hiked. Started at Jones Run Trailhead, which seems like it would be the easier route.

My dogs and I walked down to the water falls are many days of rain, It was more impressive than I expected. Best think to see it after some rain. A nice walk in the rain,

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike. We did get lost at one point extending the hike by a mile or too; saw a bear (who wasn't very afraid) and at one point had trouble passing a very large hornet's nest handing mid trail. Made it all the more exciting however!

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful! Bring a snack though!

I did this as a point-to-point from Compton Gap to the park entrance. it was approximately 10 miles with 900' of elevation gain. Heading in the opposite direction, it is a far more difficult hike. The highlights are a stop at the visitor center and the definite possibilty of seeing a bear.

Had a great time on this trail!

Great hike, left Big Meadows and hiked counterclockwise to Lewis Falls first. A little confusing near the entrance to Big Meadows. Hike really is over 9 Miles.

hiking
8 days ago

Long hike but it was totally worth it. The waterfall was breath taking. We found some small waterfalls in the beginning and there was a slide in the waterfall that you could slide down into a pool of water (I posted a picture of it). My wife and I were not completely prepared for the hike but we still pushed through and made it through in about 5hrs.

Intense hike that will have you scaling boulders.... and crawling on hands and knees at times. The view at the top was pretty magnificent though...

Fantastic hike, this is not a hike if you are not somewhat fit - the rock scrambling can be difficult, lifting your body weight and sliding between rocks. I suggest bringing gloves for the rock scramble, as the granite can eventually start to hurt your palms. Views are worth the climb! IF you are unsure about doing the rock scramble, you can always take the fire road up to the top, it's a lot easier than the switchbacks and rock scramble.

Good hike! A lot of rocks to climb

This is an absolutely amazing, challenging hike! Not for the weak in heart!

So far the hardest trail I’ve hiked, but so worth it! The views are incredible!
It was a bit muddy and wet; but teamwork got my family and I through.

Awesome hike- breathtaking views. Was pretty busy when we went. Lot of family’s bringing kids. There was a strenuous hill and it was rocky on other side. Overall loved it!

This was my first real hike! Before, it had pretty much been all flat trails or minimal elevations and definitely not as long. Needless to say, this one kicked my tail. I've since been back and faired a lot better and as of now Old Rag is by far my favorite hike.

The trail is listed at 9 miles but you can probably add another mile on each end since you have to walk to the trailhead from the parking lot. I also recommend heading up clockwise and doing the scramble on the way up as opposed to doing the opposite. The first half of the climb is mainly elevations, obviously, and switchbacks. Just when it gets pretty exhausting, you come up on the rock scramble and for the most part switch from using your legs to a mixture of upper body which gives you a nice break from exhausted legs. The summit is beautiful and well worth waiting for to take your lunch break and enjoy the views. The hike down can be a bit rocky and fast-paced. Eventually you'll get to a long flat road that makes up a majority of your walk back to the parking lot if not more than half. I think right many people actually take this way up and back to avoid the rock scramble. Personally, I think it's worth doing the scramble so you can get the most out of Old Rag. It's definitely a challenge and well worth the hard rating.

Recommendations:
- 3 of 4 liters of water.
- Snack food and/or lunch.
- Hiking boots with ankle protection as opposed to low tops, mainly due to the quick pace of the hike downhill and the rocky terrain. Waterproofing isn't much of a need on this hike.
- I also suggest leaving your "paid for" walking stick and maybe just taking up a makeshift stick for your initial climb. Once you get to the rock scramble it's kind of in your way and annoying, so you could throw it away at that point.

backpacking
10 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.

This was probably the best ones I’ve been to in awhile. It is taxing on you so be prepared to take breaks as you go. A few downed trees were in our path due to a storm we had had there recently, but it wasn’t a big deal as we went through it.

3/5 stars for the terrible crowds if you go on a weekend.

10/5 stars if you hike up in the dark and watch the sunrise. We've hiked up Old Rag a few times at night to watch meteor showers and catch epic sunrises. The trail up to the ridge is easy to follow with a headlamp. If you aren't comfortable scrambling in the dark, the first overlook is easy to get to. Nothing beats an Old Rag sunrise in the fall!

One caution: if you hike up in the dark during the summer, you WILL see snakes. They are only active at night when it's cool, and you will see a lot of them.

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.

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