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Loft Mountain Loop via Appalachian Trail

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Shenandoah National Park

Loft Mountain Loop via Appalachian Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Grottoes, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 1.8 mi Elevation gain 488 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (56)
Photos (81)
Recordings (39)
Completed (183)
Emma B.
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HikingFee

I really enjoyed this short and easy trail. It was easy to find and well marked, although it’s actually named the frazier discovery trail. I went counterclockwise and I was glad that I did because I spent a majority of the hike going downhill rather than up. There are a few beautiful lookouts along the trail with great views. Lots of wildflowers, birds, and butterflies. I went midday on a Friday and didn’t encounter any people on the trail. My dogs seemed to really enjoy it too! As a person from out of town, I did not realize that you have to pay $30 to enter the park in order to use this trail, but now I know!

Steven Kline
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HikingRocky

If you want to climb gradually go clockwise through the loop however to get to the beginning, going in this direction, walk North on Skyline Drive, on the east side of the road, to the fire road and the trail head is about 100-200 ft from where the fire road comes off of the drive. Counter clockwise definitely gets the steep part out of the way first and on a short hike it might be worth it. Decent, shallow grade, was wet from rains but nothing to difficult to pass.

Danielle Denski
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Hiking

Bathrooms in the parking lot across from the trail. Easy to find, challenging enough to wear out our senior dogs but not so hard that they couldn’t manage it. Great spot for a picnic at the rocky outcropping on top!

Bridget Hubble
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Great short hike with a great view from the top. took the grandkids ages 4 and 5. They did just fine. we did the loop and loved the short trip on the AT.

Outside Is Awesome
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 20 2018

Good short hike. As noted by another review, it’s marked as “Frazier Discovery Trail”. Easy hike with good views. Trail isn’t very rocky so easy walking for the pup as well.

Holly Longley
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unbelievable views. great trail

Jacob Gearhart
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Short trail but pretty good.

Kristina Romasser
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Hiking

My kids really enjoyed this hike and the views at the top.

William Hughes
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Hiking

The NP identifies this trail as the Frazier Discovery Trail. It also known as the Deadening Nature Trail, named after the historic practice of "deadening" or girdling trees to allow more sunlight to reach the ground for the cultivation of crops and pastureland. The trail is moderately strenuous and leads to a phenomenal view of the Big Run watershed from the rock outcropping at the top of Loft Mountain. Blue blazes mark the trail. Parking for the trailhead is at the Loft Mountain Wayside, MP 89.5. No restrooms, unless they are inside the Wayside, which was closed when we visited.

Chuck Reed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 30 2016

Pretty easy hike with great views and overlooks. Had a little difficulty finding the trailhead due to lack of cell service and an inability pull up the exact directions on my phone (my fault). Write'em down before you go!

Heather Reed
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Hiking

Good campsite access if you're nearby. Awesome views.

A O
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Camping

Started right behind our campsite. Nice little hike and beautiful in the fall.

Jim & Pat M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 17 2015

Very nice section of AT and so convenient to CG. Lucky enough to get a "ring side seat" of a campsite on A loop. Saw 3 beautiful sunsets on ledge just moments away from campsite.

Julius Merrifield
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Camping

I love this place. My favorite spot on this planet! The views are amazing! The Appalachian Trail loops around the campground for a great day hike. I highly recommend Loft Mountain Campground for a fun and memorable outdoor experience!

Kelsey Sweetman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 29 2015
Camping

Fairly easy trail with beautiful views. A great over look was a 5 minute walk on this trail from my campsite at loft mountain campground and its was easy to get to for a beautiful sunset.

Trenton Sharpe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2015
Hiking

Awesome trail. Did it with a 7 year old boy and 3 year old girl. They did great. Amazing views and great rock outcroppings to play on.

Larry Briggs
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Hiking
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Quinton Berry
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Hiking
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Leo Blyth
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Hiking
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Hadar El
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Sara McCarthy
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Hiking
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Zach Trumbo
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Hiking
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Seville Partida
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Adrian Eckert
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Lucy Seyfarth
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Sarah Findley
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Steve Parker
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Hiking
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Porter Hardy
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Hiking
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Jen D.
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Hiking
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David Campus
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Hiking
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