Explore the most popular forest trails near Syria with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day ago

very nice hike, be prepared to sweat if you hike spring and summer time. beautiful views!!!

Amazing hiking with good rock climbing

This hike was just fantastic. I’m pooped.

Pro tip - show up early or go on a weekday. I was stopped a couple times by crowds at narrow passthrough sections. Definitely worth taking the day off for this one

So worth it!!

One of my favorite hikes ever!! Gorgeous views and all types of terrain

Absolutely loved this challenging hike! Did after it 5 days of rain thank gosh that sun was shining and were able to grip boulders to climb. Not gonna lie landed on my tail once. Overall amazing workout, views and enjoyment!! Not for novices.

Had a great time on this trail!

Intense hike that will have you scaling boulders.... and crawling on hands and knees at times. The view at the top was pretty magnificent though...

Fantastic hike, this is not a hike if you are not somewhat fit - the rock scrambling can be difficult, lifting your body weight and sliding between rocks. I suggest bringing gloves for the rock scramble, as the granite can eventually start to hurt your palms. Views are worth the climb! IF you are unsure about doing the rock scramble, you can always take the fire road up to the top, it's a lot easier than the switchbacks and rock scramble.

This is an absolutely amazing, challenging hike! Not for the weak in heart!

So far the hardest trail I’ve hiked, but so worth it! The views are incredible!
It was a bit muddy and wet; but teamwork got my family and I through.

Awesome hike- breathtaking views. Was pretty busy when we went. Lot of family’s bringing kids. There was a strenuous hill and it was rocky on other side. Overall loved it!

This was my first real hike! Before, it had pretty much been all flat trails or minimal elevations and definitely not as long. Needless to say, this one kicked my tail. I've since been back and faired a lot better and as of now Old Rag is by far my favorite hike.

The trail is listed at 9 miles but you can probably add another mile on each end since you have to walk to the trailhead from the parking lot. I also recommend heading up clockwise and doing the scramble on the way up as opposed to doing the opposite. The first half of the climb is mainly elevations, obviously, and switchbacks. Just when it gets pretty exhausting, you come up on the rock scramble and for the most part switch from using your legs to a mixture of upper body which gives you a nice break from exhausted legs. The summit is beautiful and well worth waiting for to take your lunch break and enjoy the views. The hike down can be a bit rocky and fast-paced. Eventually you'll get to a long flat road that makes up a majority of your walk back to the parking lot if not more than half. I think right many people actually take this way up and back to avoid the rock scramble. Personally, I think it's worth doing the scramble so you can get the most out of Old Rag. It's definitely a challenge and well worth the hard rating.

Recommendations:
- 3 of 4 liters of water.
- Snack food and/or lunch.
- Hiking boots with ankle protection as opposed to low tops, mainly due to the quick pace of the hike downhill and the rocky terrain. Waterproofing isn't much of a need on this hike.
- I also suggest leaving your "paid for" walking stick and maybe just taking up a makeshift stick for your initial climb. Once you get to the rock scramble it's kind of in your way and annoying, so you could throw it away at that point.

This was probably the best ones I’ve been to in awhile. It is taxing on you so be prepared to take breaks as you go. A few downed trees were in our path due to a storm we had had there recently, but it wasn’t a big deal as we went through it.

3/5 stars for the terrible crowds if you go on a weekend.

10/5 stars if you hike up in the dark and watch the sunrise. We've hiked up Old Rag a few times at night to watch meteor showers and catch epic sunrises. The trail up to the ridge is easy to follow with a headlamp. If you aren't comfortable scrambling in the dark, the first overlook is easy to get to. Nothing beats an Old Rag sunrise in the fall!

One caution: if you hike up in the dark during the summer, you WILL see snakes. They are only active at night when it's cool, and you will see a lot of them.

One of Virginia's premier hikes. I'd say moderate difficulty for the experienced hiker. Definitely strenous at some points. We did cedar run route and down white oak. Very happy with that choice.

An absolutely beautiful day hike! We did it clockwise from the top, starting with whiteoak. Whiteoak has incredible waterfall views and lots of excellent swimming spots. Cedar run has fewer views and is rougher and steeper, but is less crowded and has wonderful opportunities to see wildlife. We liked spotting watersnakes around the riverbanks (no bear sightings unfortunately).

I see many people are doing this hike counterclockwise to avoid going uphill on steep cedar run. Cedar run gets slippery and I would not want to be trying to go down it in any weather - - it felt much safer to be going uphill. Yes, it's hard, but stop for breaks when you need it and plan to be sore the next day and you'll be fine.

There were water crossings but at the time we went the water level was low (no wet feet).

We were two people, reasonably fit but not used to hiking, and did it in six hours.

Was my hardest hike until now. Not impossible but the last mile or two (clockwise) were super hard, also run out of water at some point - would need 2l pp in retrospective. Some points were not super clearly signed and one had to climb some times over trees.

We had a group of 8 do this hike the 2nd weekend of April. Lucky for us it was 69-70 degrees that day, the hike was beautiful on the way down with plenty of areas to stop and take pictures and enjoy he waterfalls. Climbing back up the other side of the falls put everyone in the group to the test. With about a 45 minute lunch break and many gasping for air breaks we completed the loop in about 6 hours 45 minutes. Muscles cramping in places I didn’t know could cramp. It was awesome!

Some great views from the cliffs here. Majestic!

So many different vistas to view!!! Take the big loop to see them all!

this trail is not for the faint of heart. but this trail also has the most amazing views of the gorgeous Shenandoah. prepare for some bouldering near the top of the trail.

A wonderful, fun hike.

Awesome hike

This hike is pretty difficult but nothing crazy imo, a little rock scrambling here and there, but to be named the most dangerous hike in VA, now that's crazy! But then again I haven't hiked much in VA and this hike is probably the hardest day hike in the Shenandoah, I'll give it that. It is a great hike with plenty of views of rolling mountains. Parking fills up fast, I went in December which is off season and the parking lot was still full, so as you can imagine this hike gets crowded! So if possible go on a weekday and enjoy the amazing views!

the majority of the trail is a moderately inclined hike but the bouldering field will be the true test for anyone taking on old rag. Be prepared for a strenuous and long bouldering session after a few miles of good hiking. give yourself an honest evaluation of your physical ability before attempting this trail. not doing so could put you and rescue personnel in harms way.

backpacking
24 days ago

This was a fun hike. The bouldering before Old Rag was fun. We had packs so it was hard in some areas to fit through the rocks, but it would’ve definitely been more enjoyable without a larger pack. The rock scramble took a while, so plan for that. The rest of the hiking is easy. The first 0.8 mile is a road, which kinda stinks especially at the end when your feet hurt.

My first hike. This was amazing. Definitely challenging but well worth every sore muscle and bruised knee.

Load More