Hiking Shenandoah National Park  by Bert & Jane Gildart

Hiking Shenandoah National Park Guide Book

by Bert & Jane Gildart (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Shenandoah National Park  by Bert & Jane Gildart
Completely updated, this edition provides detailed descriptions and maps of the best hikes in the park. From easy day hikes to strenuous backpacking trips, this guide will provide readers with all the latest information they need to plan virtually any type of hiking adventure in the park.

© 2016 Bert and Jane Gildart/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Shenandoah National Park" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 61.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 61.

A strenuous but beautiful hike leads into a rugged wilderness area within the park. The Austin Mountain-Furnace Mountain area consists of a huge expanse of land. Fortunately, many trails exist there.This trek offers solitude and views and is geologically interesting. Because of the area’s diversity, a number of possibilities exist. There are long hikes and several short ones.Time will dictate which alternative you ultimately select.
Grottoes, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 12.4
A leg stretcher to the Bear Den Mountain summit (2,885 feet), offering spectacular views. Walk directly across Skyline Drive (west) from the Beagle Gap parking lot and proceed through the opening in the iron gate with a white blaze on a wood post. Look northwest for views of the Shenandoah Valley. Following the Appalachian Trail (blazed on rocks), the trail ascends gently through an old meadow. After about 0.2 mile a road intersects the AT; cross it and follow the AT. The ascent leads 353 feet to the summit of Bear Den Mountain.
Crozet, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
This short hike features a 360-degree view and a real rock scramble toward the summit. Bearfence Mountain (3,620 feet) is one of several summits in the park that command a complete panoramic view. Once you have reached the top, you are able to see Massanutten Mountain and the Shenandoah Valley to the west and Laurel Gap, Fork Mountain, and Bluff Mountain to the east. In the short hike from the parking lot to the summit, you pass through the sandstone of the Swift Run Formation, capped by Catoctin basalt. Hiking to the summit requires some degree of coordination. Though expertise in rock climbing is not necessary, you need some dexterity to maneuver through jumbled rocks. In some cases, you may find yourself scooting along on your bottom.
Newtown, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
This is a short flat hike on the Appalachian Trail circles the Loft Mountain Campground, with some views. The Loft Mountain Campground, built in 1964, is actually on Big Flat Mountain, an area that was once pastureland.The Appalachian Trail makes almost a complete circle around the campground and offers views, some quite spectacular, at the beginning of the hike. Making this trek around the campground is a good leg stretcher for the entire family, besides providing an idea of what the area once looked like. Not only do you get great views to the west, but also the trail wanders through an open forest and, in places, through forests of ferns, providing parklike settings.
Grottoes, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
Follow paths through a landscape probably created by Native Americans and maintained as such because of long use by the mountain people and by the park service. As you hike, remember that Big Meadows has a known geologic history of close to 40,000 years, during which time the climate varied from tropical to that of northern Canada. Archaeologists know that American Indians first hunted and camped in the meadow nearly 8,000 years ago, when the climate was colder. These early hunters may have used fi re to keep the area open, but there is no scientific evidence to verify this.
Stanley, VA - Hiking
A loop trail takes you through the hardwood forest and much park wilderness.
Grottoes, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.8
A very short and easy walk leads to a rocky viewpoint offering good views.
Stanley, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.4
A short loop hike climbs to a rocky summit with a short boulder scramble at the top. Special consideration: This is a “Kids Track Trail,” a National Park program that enhances the hike for children.
Grottoes, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
Enjoy a hike across two mountain peaks, dropping down to cross the park’s largest stream. Hikes through this portion of the park not only offer extraordinary views but also provide glimpses into the park’s geological past. Along Brown Mountain, sandstone is embedded with 500-million-year-old fossil worm holes. Below Brown Mountain, fire engulfed the area in 1986, and today’s hikers have the opportunity to observe firsthand just how quickly nature can regenerate herself. Carry plenty of water, especially in summer. The trail begins in a relatively open and dry site in the midst of a field of raspberries and begins to descend almost immediately.Within 0.7 mile you encounter the first cement post.Aluminum bands herald the return of the Rocky Mountain Run Trail from the left, but you remain on the Brown Mountain Trail, going right.
Elkton, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.1
This invigorating loop hike along a rushing stream descends through a hollow, then climbs Buck Ridge. The trail leads to a rarely visited, wild section of the park. Within 0.1 mile the Buck Hollow Trail approaches a stream, which comes in from the right. The stream is only a small trickle, but within 0.7 mile its volume increases, and then at 1 mile from the trailhead it cascades over a series of rock tiers. The trail remains steep and continues its descent into Buck Hollow. At 2.8 miles from the trailhead, the Buck Hollow Trail joins the Buck Ridge Trail. The Buck Ridge Trail goes right at a metal tag on a cement post. The Hazel Mountain Trail is 2.3 miles away and Skyline Drive is 2.8 miles away.
Sperryville, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.6
This fun, tranquil hike leads through a deciduous forest up to one of four day-use shelters in the park.
Sperryville, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
A pleasant hike to the top of Calf Mountain winds through old pastures and some new-growth trees.
Crozet, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
A very strenuous loop hike through two gorges passes nine beautiful waterfalls in Cedar Run and Whiteoak Canyon. According to signs at the trailhead, the 7.7-mile descent and return ascent along the Whiteoak Canyon Trail can be made in six hours. That is certainly true, particularly for someone in good shape. However, because the trail takes you to an area of such great natural beauty, it would be far better, and probably necessary, to plan to make this a full-day hike. Pack a picnic lunch, swimsuit, and camera, for the trail puts you within easy access of two beautiful waterfalls, relatively easy access of four more, and not-so- easy access of three others, for a total of nine falls.
Stanley, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.7
This out-and-back hike follows the Appalachian Trail and climbs 835 feet to the summit of Compton Peak, where the views are expansive and the geology intriguing.
Flint Hill , VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
This 4.2-mile hike provides glimpses of the bygone era of the mountain people.
Nethers, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
A short out-and-back hike leads to one of the park’s most popular and easily accessible falls. The trail descends from the parking lot and follows Hogcamp Branch. At 0.6 mile you encounter an overlook of 70-foot Dark Hollow Falls. Along the trail, you encounter rails that shouldn’t require a statement of intent but apparently do, because invariably some fail to realize that not only are the fences intended to prevent further erosion but also to save life and limb. This is one place with a history of injury. Please remain on the trail! Rocks can be wet and very slippery.
Stanley, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.4
The most northern trail in the park, this one-way path leads past old homesteads and a stream, climbs Dickey Ridge, and terminates at Mile 10.4 on Skyline Drive (Compton Gap).
Strasburg, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.3
This long circuit hike takes you to several of the park’s most refreshing waterfalls.
Grottoes, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.8
This good leg stretcher offers photographic opportunities and insights into local geology.
Flint Hill, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.8
This short and easy loop makes a delightful history hike to an old homestead area. An interpretive pamphlet, available for a small fee at the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, will enhance the hike. The trail is not rough and is suitable for children. Blue blazes mark the trail. The park kiosk provides further information about the area and serves as the trailhead. The trail begins with a slight descent and soon accesses Dickey Ridge Trail to the left. Turn left and follow that blue- blazed trail for 0.2 mile, then turn right (following the blue blazes) onto the Fox Hollow Trail. You will pass piles of rocks reflecting the work once required to clear the forest and prepare it for cultivation.
Front Royal, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2