Hiking Shenandoah National Park
by Bert & Jane Gildart (Falcon Guides)
© 2016 Bert & Jane Gildart/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Second hike on Riprap. First time I went by myself, this time with my wife. We both enjoyed all that it has to give, wooded trails, long climbs, rocky trails, streams, waterfalls, rock formations... it's all there. We enjoyed our lunch on a rock near a waterfall. Highly recommend this trail to anybody.
I've twice hiked the loop that this trail forms with the Wildcat Ridge trail and a section of the AT, and loved it both times. The loop is 9.8 miles, and although the sign at the trailhead says it will take 8 3/4 hours to complete the loop, experienced hikers will finish in a substantially shorter period. The hike breaks down roughly into thirds: the first part is the Riprap trail itself, which meanders from the top of the ridge down into the valley below, with rock outcroppings and beautiful vistas along the way. Near the end of this section lies the clear, cool pool that those who've hiked the trail always comment upon. The second section falls along the Wildcat Ridge trail, much of which is a steep ascent. By the time you've reached the top of the ridge you're delighted to see the sign indicating the turn onto the AT. After the ascent the hike along the AT is a pleasant and refreshing cool down back to the parking area where you first entered the trail.
This trail is not for beginners, but for those who've had at least a little hiking under their belt it's a delightful way to spend a morning. I recommend it highly!
This is a most do! We actully had heard of a designated camp sight along the trail at about the half way mark, It was on the side of the hill with level ground overlooking a small waterfall and a gorgious blue water pool!This is one of those hikes that you will continue to come back to!
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