Thornton River Trail is a hiking trail in Rappahannock County, Virginia. It is within Shenandoah National Park. It is 4.1 miles long and begins at 2,347 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,320 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking.
Thornton River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Take a quiet hike through history combined with high-country trekking. Leave Skyline Drive to walk the once settled Thornton Hollow. Here, relics of settlers are scattered throughout the landscape. Wander richly forested flats between crossings of the Thornton River. The Hull School Trail leaves the lowlands and takes you through formerly settled slopes. Cross Skyline Drive, surmounting a peak, then join the Appalachian Trail back to the trailhead."
--Johnny Molloy, Hiking through History Virginia (Falcon Guides).
"Thornton River is a loop hike that descends through some of the park’s best bear country. It passes artifacts of the mountain people and meanders along one of the park’s most beautiful streams.Begin the hike from the Elkwallow Wayside. From the parking lot, take the Appalachian Trail north and follow it across Skyline Drive. Follow the trail uphill for about 1 mile. At mile 1, you encounter a cement post. Turn right and proceed along this trail for only a few yards to another cement post. Turn right onto the Piney Ridge Trail.The left branch is short and leads to the Range View Cabin, operated by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) and available on a reservation basis."
--Bert & Jane Gildart, Hiking Shenandoah National Park (Falcon Guides).
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