Raven Rocks via Appalachian Trail

HARD 468 reviews

Raven Rocks via Appalachian Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bluemont, Virginia that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,791 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

This is a moderate to hard 4-view trail with the final view point being the most magnificent. This out-and-back hike -- which some locals call "the roller-coaster" -- winds up and down several ridges, some of which are fairly steep. Please note that parking is scarce.

hiking
2 days ago

Definitely a fun and challenging trail to get back into hiking with. While almost all of the trail was rocks it still wasn't too difficult in regular running shoes but I definitely recommend trekking poles or better footwear.

The whole hike took the two of us about 4 hours and some change, that's with detours off trail, exploring, and enjoying the scenery.

I definitely felt that the view was lackluster. However there is a small path to the right where if you are careful and experienced enough you can actually climb down to the base of the cliffside and see a very large and interesting "cave-like" cutout that's eroded away.

hiking
8 days ago

Lots of incline/decline both ways and very rocky. Trekking poles are very useful. Make sure to bring enough water on hot days. The view is worth it.

hiking
15 days ago

I would definitely do this hike again. There are a few things that you might want to know, and some of the other reviews back me up on these:
Get there early, especially on weekends. We got there at 6:30 am and there were already a two cars there.
I recommend not parking in the back of the parking lot, just because it gets crowded in the small space soon.
Since the elevation rises and drops, the temperature varies kind of quickly. Also, it isn’t just up one way and down another, like the elevation chart shows. It was challenging because the steepness was intense at points.
It’s completely under trees, except for the overlook.
There are many rocks on the trail, so trail boots help; I don’t have any, I wear tennis shoes, and I could feel the ridges of the rocks through my shoes.
I rated it 4 stars only because the overlook was pretty, but not exactly breathtaking (I’m spoiled on overlooks). However, the trail is challenging, fun, and I would definitely do it again.

15 days ago

Stick with it to the end. It is worth the trek

hiking
30 days ago

Fun hike with great view! Always fun to hike across state lines. Fairly rocky trail. Trail head parking lot full on weekend (Sunday).

hiking
1 month ago

Important information before hiking this trail, first, the trail is very rocky the entire way, you will be required to rock hop over two running creeks along the way, and the has three inclines over the ridges before reaching the top. Once you see the WV - VA state line the lookout is only five minutes or so. It is a nice hike, and I would only rate it difficult because of the rocky trail, otherwise it's not too bad.

hiking
1 month ago

Note: This trail is moderate; not hard. It’s a good option for a sunny summer day as the entire trail is under tree canopy. The rocky and uneven path deserves sturdy-soled hiking boots with good traction; 90% of the trail is akin to a dry creek bed. It’s called the “roller coaster” section for good reason. Lotsa ups and downs with a satisfying elevation gain/loss for the area. The overlook is 2.8 miles in, but you can continue on to add mileage and gain some solitude (I actually preferred the trail after the overlook!). My favorite part was sharing the trail with AT hikers, who were the happiest and most friendly people on the trail! You also get to cross the VA/WV state line, which is fun. Parking is limited and can be congested on weekends, but with a lot of comings and goings patience should earn you a spot.

1 month ago

Good trail a little bit up and down. Outlook view is super!

1 month ago

Great hike. Good challenge. Get there early on the weekends, but the hike is long enough to space everyone out. The views at the top are as good as it gets.

1 month ago

Love this hike. A regular for my wife and I. Be prepared for steep hill climbs and descents on rocky trail. Beautiful views from Raven Rocks and easy access from Rte. 7. Trailhead parking can be very crowded on weekends.

hiking
2 months ago

If you’re looking for a strenuous, rocky up down, wet trail to hike this is for you. Definitely come prepared with water and some energy and expect to get your feet wet at this time of year that is. I’d say experienced hikers would be able to venture these trails easily and newbies will definitely need some motivation to get to the top to see the beautiful views.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this alone, wasn’t “hard” by any means just took a while.

hiking
2 months ago

Was a beautiful hike, very rocky and challenging both ways. The last few inclines on the way back were definitely strenuous. We went on a rainy day and had to be extra careful on the rocks. The view is gorgeous!

2 months ago

Great hike. Parking lot was closed for expansion when we arrived, so had to park across the highway and run across to get to trail head, which was probably the most dangerous part of our trip. Good view up top.

2 months ago

Lovely sunny day, easy hike. See 2 stray black dogs at Rte 7 parking lot. I have a dog with me so can’t take them. Anyone know who to call?

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with a nice payoff. Saw a bear right at the trailhead before I even started the hike. Very rocky throughout, so it can be slow going, but also very scenic. Also has a natural spring part way through, so you can refill your water conveniently (still filtered it). A great way to start Earth Day this morning!

hiking
3 months ago

Great day trip from DC. The trail has a nice incline variety. It’s very rocky, so probably best to go on a dry day, when the rocks aren’t slippery from rain.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiking across state lines is always fun and met with a beautiful view at the end of the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike! Hiked 4 miles in on the Appalachian trail route. Pretty rocky trails with a couple fantastic class-2 bouldering opportunities along the way if that's your thing. Tons of places to take a break, and some unique rock formations. Beautiful boulder river crossings with small falls. Ravens Rock was fantastic --about 2 1/2 miles in. Outstanding views of the rolling backdrop for such a shallow elevation. The inclines can get pretty intense at times if you aren't used to the rocky paths, with a total elevation gain of around 1600 feet. Get an early start, limited parking at the trail-head and trail can be moderately trafficked from 10:00 AM onward. Highly recommend. Totally worth it for the gorgeous view.

hiking
3 months ago

A fun walk, that is not as difficult as the "hard" rating says. The exercise is nice along the roller coaster type hills but the views are nothing special. Even the big payoff is only average. It is easterly facing so an afternoon hike puts you in a good position for photos.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike, beautiful view at Raven Rocks and closer to DC than Shenandoah. It was icy this morning and that made it challenging. .

hiking
4 months ago

Not very impressed with this hike. For starters, it was VERY crowded on the trail. That’s never particularly fun and takes away from the outdoor experience. Second there wasn’t much to see on the almost 3 mile hike there (and back for that matter) and thirdly, I wasn’t wowed by the viewpoint. There are many better views if your willing to drive an extra 30 minutes. All in all, I doubt i will return.

hiking
4 months ago

Some clarification on this hike, which might be helpful. From the small (get there early) parking lot on Pine Grove Road (immediately to the right off of Harry Byrd Memorial Highway), it is 2.5 miles to the most significant overlook, a perfect destination, nice place to take in the view and a snack, and a logical turnaround point for a decent out and back day hike. As tracked here on AllTrails, the Raven Rocks map brings you further along the AT to mile 2.7, and then veers south on an unmarked trail that delivers you at mile 2.9 to a cellular tower and access road (the actual Raven Rocks are to the north, but off trail and not visible from the AT). The tower is not a great destination, and frankly detracts from the hike. It would be much better to turnaround at the 2.5 mile overlook. The overall hike is not really "hard;" moderate plus would be a more apt description to account for the elevation gain, multiple ridges, and rocky trail. "Rocky" is relative, though. New Englanders and thru hikers will tell you that this is nothing compared to the White Mountains in New Hampshire! Plus, what rocks there are here certainly help to counter erosion. Enjoy! This is a nice trail that gets your heart pumping, and the views are nice rewards.

4 months ago

hard hike, trail is mostly rocks. worth every step.

4 months ago

Great hike.... amazing view.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail with an incredible view at the end. Very rocky, would recommend boots with ankle support and a hiking stick. Plus walking across state lines.

hiking
5 months ago

I have to say im torn about this hike. Its something everyone should do.. Just something missing about it. The views are very nice at the top but not the greatest. If you are looking for a local hike this is very good. But I would not recommend more than an hour drive for this hike. Parking is very limited. I would not have rated this hike as hard, but more moderate, however it can be more dangerous than hard due to rocks.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail, the amount of rocks make it hard to see all the views but the one at the end is more than worth it.

trail running
7 months ago

As always this trail rocks , bring your poles and get some ! Lots of dry leaves to make the rocks that much more fun . Love the view it’s kind of my happy place . Appears to have expanded the parking area by 1-2 cars ha .

hiking
7 months ago

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