dogs on leash
Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Shenandoah's Blue Ridge Mountains are covered by hardwood forests that are home to tens of thousands of animals. The Skyline Drive and Appalachian Trail run the entire length of this narrow park that has more than 500 miles (800 km) of hiking trails along scenic overlooks and waterfalls of the Shenandoah River. The highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain at 4,051 feet (1,235 m).
did this loop in reverse last week. went the a.t to the laurel prong to the mill prong. dunno if my GPS was off but we got nearly 9.5 miles and 1900 ft of ascent. nice trail, the mill prong was more scenic, the downhill to rapidan camp was like skiing on mud. This was my wife and I's 1st long hike through mountains and it didn't disappoint
Great hike, but be aware that this loop is definitely more than 7.3 miles! Eyeballing the much more useful map here (https://www.nps.gov/shen/upload/Overall-Run.pdf), I'd say it's more like 10-12 miles. Also, it's not called Overall Run the whole way, so make sure to check that map above and know which trails to follow. Basically you take Thompson Hollow, left at Overall Run, after the waterfalls keep climbing and then right onto Matthew's Arm which feeds onto Beecher Ridge trail, then right onto the Beecher/Overall connector trail before meeting up with Overall again and picking up Thompson Hollow to return to the parking area. It sounds complicated but it's really not as long as you have the NPS map handy.