North Ridge Trail

HARD 49 reviews
#3 of 13 trails in

North Ridge Trail is a 4 mile loop trail located near Delaplane, Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, trail running, and horses. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1000 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

trail running

views

wildlife

Directions from Paris, VA: Sky Meadows State Park is located two miles south of Paris, Virginia or seven miles north of I-66, Exit 23 from Rt. 17. The park entrance is on Rt. 710 (Edmonds Lane). After passing the contact station, continue on the main road to the visitor center. Park at the visitor center and follow the main trailhead into the woods. North Ridge is just beyond Piedmont Overlook.

hiking
1 hour ago

Great trail. Not difficult imo. Shaded most of the way. Be wary! Tics galore! Pulled 22 off my dog and one off myself

19 days ago

My favorite spot when I’m in town. Just challenging enough to give you a workout but the views from the top are so worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail that hooks up to the AT. I agree that it is more on the moderate side, I found the terrain gentle enough but there were some sections that are tough on the legs. We were there after about a solid week of rain and the trail was in excellent condition. We also saw trail maintenance going on to make the trail a little wider which definitely made it easier to spot any snakes near the trail. My dog absolutely loved it and we saw a few other dogs on the trail as well. We started our hike around 8:45 am on a Sunday and really didn't see too many people until we were decently through our descent back to the parking area. Many people were beginning their hike at that point. Beautiful views on the ascent and descent with the opportunity to hook up to other trails / overlooks within the park. Additionally, the trail has a decent amount of tree coverage which is nice for hot days. There are still plenty of meadows and overlooks where you get beautiful views. Definitely recommend this hike to anyone who wants a little bit of a challenge. We extended it by walking the AT until Route 17 then turning around, which is nice to add some additional elevation and extending the mileage.

hiking
2 months ago

Good local hike when you do not have time to make it out to the Shenandoahs. Not really the usual "hard trail" but the climb can be a bit steep and drawn out as you approach the Appalachian Trail. The trail can be extended by starting a little more to the south and going up the south ridge trail and then linking up to the north ridge and on to the Appalachian trail. Best to go clockwise and start a little later in the day so that when you get to the views back to the east at the overlook, the sun is at your back for better photos.

hiking
3 months ago

Probably more moderate, in reality, but there are some pretty draw-out climbs that can be tough on the quads. North Ridge links with a few other sections (including the AT) in Sky Meadow State Park, and has some really great views of the surrounding area. Trail is pretty well maintained and wasn't all too busy (even in the middle of the day), though there are some sections covered in fallen trees/branches from recent windstorms in the area. Overall a fun day hike!

3 months ago

Great views on the initial ascent up the mountain. It’s was pretty muddy considering all the recent rain but the higher I got, the dryer the trail. After a stream crossing, and another long climb, the North Ridge meets up with the AT. Here the trail turns into open pastures and more great views.

hiking
9 months ago

I did not find this trail particularly hard, especially compared to trails in the white mountains. There are some irksome rock covered portions of the trail near the start and the trip up is pretty unrelenting, but it's not particularly steep. There is no view where the trail meets the AT, however there are lovely views as you descend back toward the park center.

10 months ago

So, when I saw this trail rated as hard, I expected moderate to semi difficult. I got a bit more than I expected!! It was up uphill the first two miles of the north ridge trail. Then a gradual decline once you hit the AT. It feels like a short distance once you start heading back down. The hike was so beautiful. One of the nicest places around with a bunch of different features like a couple overlooks, a couple little brooks (great for a dog to drink from) as well as beautiful meadows. The park itself is super cool with its history and original buildings. Also, they have child friendly trails as well as events that they put on. Great for a solo hiker wanting a little bit of a challenge... also great for the whole family.

hiking
11 months ago

We enjoyed the pretty woodland views while hiking a portion of the trail in a loop with the Piedmont Overlook and Gap Run Trails. Hopefully we can complete the remainder of the trail one day on a larger loop of the other backcountry trails.

hiking
Saturday, April 29, 2017

I really enjoyed hiking the North Ridge Trail today. I parked near the Park Office and walked up to Boston Mill Road. I was able to pick up the North Ridge Trail (blue blaze) from there and pretty much hiked uphill the whole way. The trail was muddy from a storm that blew through that morning. The North Ridge intersected with the AT at the top; and I then took the Ambassador Whitehouse trail down. To add an extra mile (plus) to the hike, I descended down the Piedmont Overlook Trail; which I typically start out climbing when I come out to Sky Meadows. Great uphill workout - despite the humidity today. I am always impressed when I come out to this park. The trails are well maintained and well marked. I also checked out a few Civil War actors at the farm before I left. Great history in the area as well.

hiking
Saturday, March 25, 2017

Rarely believe the "hard" ratings.. The clockwise loop is a good climb that will make you break a sweat. Clean park with friendly staff. Arrive early for a parking spot.

backpacking
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Great Park. Very clean with friendly staff.
Trails are very well marked.
I stayed overnight and loved it. I will definitely do this hike again.
This is a challenging trail but absolutely worth exploring.

hiking
Saturday, March 04, 2017

This was a great hike but I definitely suggest getting a map at the visitors center. You end up on the Appalachian Trail for a portion and have to take a different trail back if you want to loop. Over all great and I brought my dog without problem.

hiking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

This park is maintained really well! The trails are marked clearly, which made our hike stress-free. The steepness of the trail will definitely get your heart going. I would definitely recommend this hike.

hiking
Sunday, February 19, 2017

hiking
Friday, February 10, 2017

A nice trail that is easy to get to from anywhere in Northern Va. If you hike counterclockwise and take the huge hill first, it can be a tough slog if you're not warmed up (or have been riding in a car for a while)

The view from the top is really nice and open, making the tough climb more than worth it.

trail running
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Really fun and technical trail, awesome climbs, a blast to run.

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2016

Good hike. The Ambassador was closed so we ended up continuing on the North Ridge, taking in part of the AT, and looping back on the Southern Ridge.

hiking
Monday, August 22, 2016

Did the South Ridge to North Ridge on a hot summer day. Lots of wildflowers and butterfly's along South Ridge. We Ended up getting caught in a downpour. It was more like hiking in a stream. Total blast and a good hike. Lots of nice overlooks. We took our dog and she ended up as tired as we were.

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