Hiking Shenandoah National Park
by Bert & Jane Gildart (Falcon Guides)
© 2016 Bert & Jane Gildart/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Ok, so it seems like all the other reviews of this trail are for trails you can take from the Limberlost trail, but not about the Limberlost trail itself. The Limberlost trail is an easy, flat, wheelchair accessible trail that used to be one of the most incredible trails in VA. When you walked it you thought you were in a virgin redwood forest on the west coast. Large, up to 400-year-old hemlocks sadly ALL succumbed to an invasive beetle in the 1990s. I've seen it both before this catastrophe, and today. It is amazing the transformation. It is beautiful even now, with still very old hardwoods and lots of young saplings and vegetation taking advantage of the missing hemlock canopy. Still worth the trip as a leg stretcher before a more strenuous hike. Enjoy!
Great hike. Rocky and steep at times, but very doable and worth it. Best to go on a really hot day, and take your time exploring the waterfalls and pools. Some are big enough to swim in, and a few have smooth enough rocks you can use like waterslides. All in all great if you are looking for a way to explore the eastern woodlands, and want a way to cool off from the summer heat. One drawback, don't go expecting amazing views. There are a few points on the trail where the trees clear enough to see down the valley, but they are rare. Still do the hike, but if you want views, linger at one of the many pull offs on the Skyline Drive as you drive to or from the trailhead.
Nice trail! It was nice doing it in the summer time when we were able to cool off in the many swimming holes. Traffic definitely picked up at the bottom of the falls but quickly faded as the terrain got steeper. Look for bears along the fire road (we didn't see any but many people said they saw them in that area). The deer in the area are very tame. We actually saw one go to a car and let the people pet him! It took us 6 hours to do the entire loop but we stopped for the scenery and swimming plus it was very hot.
Take you time with this one. The descent can be slippery and challenging. But most of all don't get caught up in the hike, but stop and enjoy the stream and falls. Quite nice.
We were tempted by Hawksbill Gap parking to go to the highest peak of the park, so we parked there - 2 miles short of Cedar Run. We hiked the closest trail after hiking to the peak. We found Cedar Run Trail when we got close to the road and found the parking lot we SHOULD'VE gone to. So we only hiked a mile or so on that one. IT WAS more strenuous than Hawksbill trail, especially when we had to go back the way we came. We had time contraints this time. So hopefully next time we can bypass going to the TOP and get on the right trail.
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