Best Easy Day Hikes Shenandoah National Park  by Bert and Jane Gildart

Best Easy Day Hikes: Shenandoah National Park Guide Book

by Bert and Jane Gildart (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Shenandoah National Park  by Bert and Jane Gildart
Best Easy Day Hikes Shenandoah National Park includes concise descriptions and detailed maps for twenty-seven easy-to-follow hikes along the length of 105-mile Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Discover panoramic views, spectacular waterfalls, and old homesteads in hikes to Lands Run Falls, Marys Rock,Limberlost, and Stony Man and Bearfence Mountains.

© 2011 Bert and Jane Gildart/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Shenandoah National Park" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 24.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 24.

A moderately difficult hike to a falls, the retreat of a former U.S. president, and a return along one of the park’s higher and more geologically interesting peaks.
Syria, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
This pretty hike is convenient for the many folks who stay at Skyland during their visit to the park. The short hike starts from the Skyland complex and takes you to an observation platform with delightful views.
Page County, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.6
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A good leg stretcher offering photographic opportunities and insights into local geology.
Sperryville, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.7
Despite it’s 3-plus miles, this is a relatively easy family hike to interesting geological formations. This 3.2-mile hike is moderately easy and one of the prettiest hikes in the park. Much of it is through a designated wilderness area. From the end
Crimora, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.2
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A pleasant hike to the top of Calf Mountain, winding through old pastures and some new-growth trees. This short climb up Calf Mountain is delightful, partly because the trail winds through old meadows rather than through woods, giving you a chance to see
Crozet, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
A short loop hike to a spectacular rocky summit with a short boulder scramble at the top. This a great hike for families. The trailhead is located at a sign in the Blackrock parking lot that interprets the mountain’s geology.
Grottoes, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
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Appropriate for families, this hike to the summit offers natural history, geology, panoramic views, and folklore. If you have the luxury of time, pick a clear day for this hike and go early in the morning. Sunrise is a great time to enjoy the views and get some superb photos. Save foggy days for hikes to waterfalls; fog adds to the aura of wetness.
Sperryville, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.6
This is a hike to some of the park’s most spectacular waterfalls. Although this hike is almost 6 miles long, we have included it here because there is so much to see along the way. The inbound portion of the hike is uphill, but at any time you can turn around and make the easy downhill hike back to the trailhead. Begin your hike from the parking lot just off SR 600 and follow the Whiteoak Canyon Trail, which crosses Cedar Run almost immediately via a footbridge. At 0.1 mile, a cement post indicates the junction with Cedar Run Trail from the left. Stay right on Whiteoak Canyon Trail. At 0.7 mile, continue to your right on the Whiteoak Canyon Trail. This is the junction with Cedar Run Link Trail, which leads to a part of Shenandoah that has been designated as wilderness.
Syria, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.8
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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. Begin the hike on the east side of Skyline Drive, across from the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. The kiosk provides further information about the area and serves as the trailhead. The clockwise trail begins with a slight descent and accesses Dickey Ridge Trail to the left at a cement post at about 0.15 mile. Turn left and follow the blue-blazed trail for 0.2 mile. At the cement post at 0.3 mile, turn right at the fork onto Fox Hollow Trail, also blue-blazed, past 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
A short walk along a crushed greenstone surface. The Limberlost Trail, once lined by ancient hemlocks, can provide inspiration for all. Addie Pollock laid the groundwork for preserving the Limberlost Forest. About 1920 she bought one hundred of the largest trees in the area for $1,000. Because the Limberlost has been designated an Outstanding Natural Area, no bicycles, pets, or camping is allowed along the trail. The newly reconstructed trail was officially dedicated in the summer of 1997.
Nethers, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.3
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This is a leg stretcher on the Appalachian Trail that leads to a rock overlook offering excellent views of Powell Gap Hollow and the mountains and farmlands to the east. The hike begins on the south side of the Ivy Creek Overlook. Turn south onto the Appalachian Trail and begin a gradual descent amid sassafras, laurel, oak, and pine. The trail then begins to climb and makes several switchbacks, passing by several large boulders. Soon, there will be beautiful views to the east of Loft Mountain. In late summer, the trail is flanked by mint, goldenrod, and yellow daisies. In winter the trail is open and spacious and provides seemingly unending views.
Elkton, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
An enjoyable jaunt down an old road leading to views of a pretty waterfall. Lands Run Falls is not especially high, nor can you see the entire falls from the trail. But the setting is lovely, and the trek provides a nice leg stretcher. Woods flanking the
Rileyville, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
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An easy, one- to two-hour, interpretive, round-trip hike on a trail showing plant succession in the surrounding Blue Ridge forest. This delightful, informative walk is a self-guided tour to the wonders of a Blue Ridge forest. It’s a hike for everyone, esp
Stanley, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
An interpretive trail to the peak of Stony Man Mountain. At 4,010 feet, Stony Man is the park’s second highest mountain after Hawksbill. The park provides a brochure (nominal fee) with twenty interpretive site descriptions for this self-guided hike. Limberlost Trail is ADA accessible, the only such trail in the park. Once lined by ancient hemlocks, it can provide inspiration for all.
Nethers, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.4
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An out-and-back hike containing some moderate and a few more challenging segments that concludes at the Loft Mountain Campground. The hike begins on the south side of the Ivy Creek Overlook. Turn south onto the AT and begin a gradual descent amid sassafras, laurel, oak, and pine. Soon there will be beautiful views to the east of Loft Mountain. As you approach the summit of Loft Mountain, the trees grow more sparsely and blackberry bushes abound. After about a mile, the trail levels out on the ridgetop and continues to an overlook with rock outcroppings on the left side of the trail. From here you get a lovely 180-degree view to the east of the Piedmont (on clear days); to the left is Flattop Mountain, and to the right is Fox Mountain with three peaks, a hollow, then two more peaks. The valley below is pastoral, and you can watch clouds and storms roll in. Also along the ridgetop are fields of yarrow and more berry bushes.
Elkton, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
A five- to six-hour, 4.2-mile hike that provides glimpses of the bygone era of the mountain people. On this hike, head downhill via the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail, ascend via the Nicholson Hollow Trail, and end up on the other side of Skyline Drive. This pretty hike is convenient for the many folks who stay at Skyland during their visit to the park. Once on Millers Head Trail, head downhill via a series of switchbacks. About 0.3 mile before the observation platform, there is a cement post. Keep going down the trail to the platform. Along the way there are some good views, but none are as nice as the one from the Millers Head observation platform, at an elevation of about 3,460 feet. From here you can get full views of the Page Valley, the town of Luray, Massanutten Mountain, Stony Man, Hawksbill, and Marys and Bettys Rocks.
Nethers, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.3
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This is a short hike with a 360-degree view and a real rock scramble toward the summit. Bearfence Mountain (3,640 feet) is one of several summits in the park that command a complete panoramic view: 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'll 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
An enjoyable hike to the park’s third-highest waterfall.
Newtown, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.4
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An easy, one- to two-hour, interpretive, round-trip hike on a trail showing plant succession in the surrounding Blue Ridge forest.
Stanley, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.3
Appropriate for families, this hike takes you to buildings used by the Snead family when it homesteaded in the area. The visit to Snead Farm is a trip back in time. Once, the owners worked this 200-acre piece of land as farmland and as an apple orchard.
Front Royal, VA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.2
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