Hazel Mountain Trail

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia 22835

Distance4.0mi
Elevation Gain1,547ft
Trailhead Elevation2,846ft
Top2,846ft
Elevation Min/Max2148/2846ft
Elevation Start/End2846/2846ft

Hazel Mountain Trail

Hazel Mountain Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Rappahannock County, Virginia. It is within Shenandoah National Park. It is 4.0 miles long and begins at 2,846 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,547 feet. The Meadow Spring Parking Area parking is near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: Pine Hill Gap Trail, White Rocks Trail, Buck Ridge Trail, Hot Short Mtn Trail, Sam's Ridge Trail, Catlett Spur and Hazel River Trail.

Hazel Mountain Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This waterfall walk takes you into Hazel Country, a heavily settled area before Shenandoah National Park was formed. The route traverses hills and hollows to reach the banks of the Hazel River, where a rock indentation forms a natural shelter, a cave of sorts, beside an alluring waterfall, all located within a deep stone amphitheater.

The difficulty of this hike is hard to rate: The first 2.4-mile portion is an easy stroll on old settler roads, but the last 0.3-mile trek to the falls and cave is on a steep footpath. Though rugged, this section has been upgraded by the National Park Service; it was once an eroded user-created mess of a path."

"Hazel Mountain and Sams Ridge once offered a sizable mountain community all the tools and products for a decent living. Today it draws people for its natural beauty. At Hazel River Falls, the stream drops 30 feet into a pool ringed by tall cliffs in the shape of a natural amphitheater.

From here a trail climbs to the heights of White Rocks before dropping back to the river and more scenic cascades. Throughout the area a sharp-eyed hiker will spy evidence of mountain settlers. Trails follow old roads used to transport farm products, and old fields, apple orchards, and home foundations are visible."

"A four- to five-hour hike provides views of a small but spectacular falls, with the added feature of a lovely cave."

"What's better than a waterfall hike? A waterfall-and-cave hike. Hazel Falls pours over and around a neat cave that's quite wide and deep."

Hazel Mountain Trail Reviews

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5/6/2011
Easy hike for all ages with great views once you reach the top.
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6/30/2008
Very nice hike. EXTREMELY easy, did it with my parents who have some knee problems and my 8 year old brother without any trouble.
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12/29/2006
First, a quick note on directions--if you're following the Burnham Falcon guide, they've got a mistake a mile 7.3. It's a right turn on the Hazel Mountain Trail, not a left. You can save yourself the two miles of wandering about that I did. Valuable lesson learned, though. Trust the map and the compass before trusting the written directions. That said, I liked this hike quite a bit. The sidetrip to Hazel Falls--more a cascade, really--is challenging and worth it. The hike along the Hazel River is beautiful with the sound of running water, settlement ruins, and several pleasantly challenging stream crossings. The climb up Sam's Ridge is a brute. There's not a whole lot left of the settlement ruins up there. All I noted was one foundation. Then comes that bad direction and the hike up to Skyline Drive. Didn't see much wildlife. And no bears, which is fine with me. I've been reading too much about bears lately. They're freaking me out.
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10/29/2002
This was an awsome trail even for beginners like us. Although the air is a little thin getting up there, and at times you feel like you wont make it ti the top. Once you get there the view is amazing, the peace and tranquility so astounding...gives you the feeling of a great accomplishment, and the desire to go again!
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12/22/2001
We started our hike from Pinnacles overlook. We briefly surveyed the panoramic view and the sign, which labeled the peaks in front of us, then headed over the side of the overlook following the 1.24 spur trail to Catlett Mountain trail. The descent was a bit steep in places. Our next segment of trail was on the Catlett Mountain trail for 1.2 miles. We checked out an old homestead foundation with the remains of a root cellar. Our next "jog" was a 0.5 mile spur. After another 0.2 mile spurt we reached Sam''s Ridge Trail. After lunch we trudged down the rest of “Sam’s Hill” and reached Hazel River. Here we proceeded up the Hazel River trail for approximately 1.9 miles. The grade followed the River for ½ a mile, gently working off our lunch. After a stream crossing it was all uphill for quite awhile. This trail looked like a billy goat mountain path, straight up and down for the most part. It eventually leveled out to smaller ups and levels. We passed through burnt out territory from the Fall 2000 Old Rag fire. We encountered our next intersection with the approximately 1.0 mile section of the White Rocks trail. We came upon said rocks off to our left on an unmarked side trail. Next intersection was the signpost for the falls themselves. Down the 300-yard trail we hustled, racing against the sunset. The falls are not impressive but are pretty, with a lacy cascading effect. However, the feature that most attracted our attention was the ice formations on a log branch, which had fallen to the base of the falls. On we ambled along the remaining 2.65 miles on the Hazel Mountain trail up to Skyline Drive. We reached the Drive and pushed ourselves another 2.2 miles up the never ending slope of the Drive.
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Trail Information

Shenandoah National Park
Nearby City
Shenandoah National Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Waterfalls, Views
Features
Shenandoah National Park, 3655 US 211 East, Luray (540) 999-3500 www.nps.gov/shen
Local Contacts
DeLorme: Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer: Page 74, C2
Local Maps