Sugarloaf Loop via Appalachian Trail [CLOSED]

easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(79)
Shenandoah National Park

Sugarloaf Loop via Appalachian Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bentonville, 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 accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 915 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

closed

Many trailheads in this park are closed due to COVID-19. Please check the park website for up to date info on which trails are accessible.

Great hike, good loop, not too much elevation gain or loss. Easy to follow, and you can start at multiple places.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Easy loop to follow, with just one good viewpoint above Hogback Overlook. I parked at the CCC Camp between Mathew’s Arm and Rattlesnake Overlook, and started on the Piney Branch Trail.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

I would definitely rate this as moderate as opposed to easy. I completed this in a bit over 2 hours, even with a tired boyfriend in tow. many reviewers complained that it was boring. I thought it was a beautiful hike. in the potion that is close to the road, you actually hike past several overlooks. at those overlooks, you are a ways above the road and actually getting an even better view than people pulling over to see. I think that's worth mentioning. I parked at rattlesnake overlook and started on the Appalachian trail portion. if you're not going to record your hike, screenshot your map and remember that you are going from Appalachian trail to piney branch to sugar loaf, and you shouldn't have any problem with directions. I really liked this trail. good elevation gain and a great work out.

hiking
7 months ago

My dog and I did this trail yesterday. About 50 degrees at the trail head. This trail was not busy at all...my pup is big and slow so we surprised a bear at about a mile half in. He was big but took off. Lovely stroll the the forest, lush, tree canopies for long stretches.

backpacking
9 months ago

Did my first backcountry camping here, about a mile and a half into on the NE side. About 30 minutes after settling into my hammock, I saw the bear!

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
9 months ago

As a new betta hiking this Trail loop was recommended to me in order I aid building up my stamina. It definitely did that as there is incline in the beginning and then quite a long on at the end. Naturalist sightings: a bear, some cool birds, a squirrel, and many butterflies. Hogback has a beautiful view for a respot.

hiking
10 months ago

5 miles including parking by old ranger station. I'm not sure how it's easy with the rocky conditions and elevation change. Was lucky and saw a bear and other wildlife.

hiking
Sun Jun 02 2019

My husband and I love this trail. It’s not a heavily trafficked hike, and the narrow path is more our style. Love the beautiful laurel that is very dense in areas. We saw two bears, one mid-way through the hike and the other at the very end. They responded to our “hey bear!” shouts by turning and walking away unbothered. Also came upon a grouse and it’s (12 or so) babies that were great to watch. Parking was a little confusing but there is a road on the opposite side of Matthew’s Arm where you can park in the lot near the old building. The trailhead is close to the main road as you first turn in to park.

hiking
rocky
Thu May 30 2019

A little hard to find at first, but we parked at the Rattlesnake overlook and walked back to find the trail. We saw a small black bear about halfway through, and then got caught in a rainstorm as we were nearing the end. A very memorable experience!

hiking
rocky
Sat Apr 20 2019

Good for kids, easy and links to other trails that have more to look at.

hiking
Fri Oct 27 2017

Begin at the trailhead at Red Byrd cabin. It's near mile marker 22. Follow trails doing left turns. Trail is long inclined but also long flat areas. Not incredibly beautiful but a nice walk in the woods.

hiking
Sat Sep 23 2017

Beautiful hike through ferns and mountain laurel with a few vistas.

hiking
Sat Jul 15 2017

Nice hike. It took us about 2.25 hours to do the loop. Nice walk through the woods with a couple of nice overlooks up along the ridge on the AT. The inclines were all that steep so not too hard of hike.

Mon Jul 10 2017

Not many vistas. Sort of uneventful. Mostly flat with a few hills which will get you breathing.

Fri Feb 03 2017

Great winter hike. Good views and elevation changes not bad except where you zig zag back up the AT heading south to complete the short loop.

Sun Nov 27 2016

We started on the Piney Branch trail and decided to take this loop instead. The best part was walking a little bit of the Appalachian Trail. Very easy walk. Made the whole loop in about two hours.

hiking
Sun Oct 23 2016

Easy trail, lovely at this time of year! The leaves were vibrant and contrasted amazingly with the bright blue sky. We started where these directions had us drive to at Rattlesnake point overlook. From there we started on the Appalachian trail and then turned left onto Piney trail, then left on pole bridge link trail, left onto Sugarloaf trail which looped us back to the Appalachian trail and back to our starting point. The trail is pretty clearly marked you just have to remember to keep turning left, therefore completing the loop. But we passed many people so I think others start from another way but we enjoyed this way which brought us downhill and then up to the top of the ridge on the Appalachian trail. The slope is very gradual making this a very simple hike.

hiking
Mon Sep 05 2016

My friends and I were looking forward to a moderate hike for a few hours but we were actually kind of disappointed. I don't know what trail people are going on that is several miles, but if you go up and park in the east or west parking lot, it's a very short hike (took us like 10 mins) up to the top of the mountain. We ended up parking at the very bottom of the mountain and the walk up on the road was the longest part. We went up to watch the sunset and it was very beautiful, we were just disappointed by the brevity of our hike up.

Fri Oct 09 2015

First time on this trail. I love little devil stairs and i will use this trail to return to the skyline parking next time

hiking
Wed May 08 2013

Very nice trail but you do really need to have your map and or GPS with you. While there are trail markers, they are not plainly marked and don't always match up with trail names on the map. Other than that it was a very peaceful trail. I did run into a few people towards the end of the hike but that was around 9AM. I took longer than needed because I was doing nature photography. If the trail markers were better I'd give this a 4.

hiking
Wed Dec 12 2012

It is poorly marked on the maps and because of that I ended up doing a 10 mile hike instead of a 5 mile! If u hike this trail pay close attention to your markers!!!

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

Showing results 1 - 27 of 79