Rapidan Camp

Sperryville, Virginia 22740

Rapidan Camp

Rapidan Camp Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Visit President Hoover’s retreat and enjoy a picturesque stretch of the Appalachian Trail along Hazeltop Mountain. Toward the back of the parking lot, on the south side, you should be able to spot a spur trail that takes you, in very short order, to the Appalachian Trail (AT).

Though only a few houses remain, the camp is still a striking historical site, with its rustic buildings appearing out of the foliage. A number of signs detail the history of this place, where President Herbert Hoover relaxed from the stress of governing the country during the Great Depression. The White House physician of the day called the camp “one of the most relaxing places that I have ever known.”"

More Rapidan Camp Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Shenandoah National Park (Falcon Guides)
Bert & Jane Gildart
View more trails from this guide book
"A moderately difficult hike leads to a falls, to the retreat of a former US president, and returns along one of the park’s higher and more geologically interesting peaks." Read more

Rapidan Camp Reviews

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7/22/2012
OMG another trail where the reviews are all for the wrong trail!!! The reviews here are all for Bearfence Mountain, a short strenuous nearby, not this 7.4 mile hike! If you want solitude, a wide range of scenery, and interesting historical site this is the hike for you. We didn't find this trail too strenuous--make sure you take hiking poles though because it can be slick. We went in summer where they let us in the Rapidan Camp buildings and gave an interpretive talk. Very interesting--one of our presidents stayed here regularly!! Plus the Hawksbill Summit (DON'T MISS THE SMALL SPUR TRAIL TO THE LEFT AT 5.3 MILES!!!) is gorgeous and you'll have it all to yourself even in the summer. Specatular trail with light traffic. Everyone will find something special for themselves on this wonderful wilderness trail.
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8/12/2008
I think it was the most fun I've had hiking in Shenandoah National Park. The rock scramble near the summit is great and it's a nice change of pace after hiking other trails all day. This trail reminds me of a rollercoaster - it's a lot of fun and you get a big rush, but it's over almost as soon as it starts. I enjoyed it so much that when I finished I hiked it a second time.
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11/25/2007
Took the hike early in the morning starting out just before sunrise. The hike is indeed short but difficult involving some nice scrambles over large boulders. If you enjoy the challenges involved with rock scrambling this is a great little hike. The view atop these boulders was outstanding especially in the early morning light which was golden red. If you have the time you can extend this hike by taking the Bearfence Loop trail that you will come to about .6 miles along the route.
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8/1/2001
This trail was incredible! I was scared to death once I got to the top , but it was beautiful and worth it. They are not kidding when they say rocky scramble. It's a relatively short trail, but steep. You need to be surefootted and not carry too much.
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8/1/2001
Incredible view. Interesting climb. I highly recommend it. Bought the eTrail - pretty cool! It's the trail directly from the guidebook. Now it's on my computer forever so I can print it again! :)
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6/10/2001
In my opinion, the view from the rocks is one of the best on the AT in the whole park. This trail is definitely worth hiking, although if you're backpacking past on the AT, I wouldn't recommend taking your pack up to the rocks with you.
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Rapidan Camp Photos

Trail Information

Sperryville
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
7.5
Distance
1,623 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
3-5 hours
Duration
Park facilities are generally open from March through late November; a facilities schedule is online.
Season
Waterfalls
Features
Shenandoah National Park (nps.gov/shen, 540-999-3500, 800-732-0911 [for emergencies]
Local Contacts
PATC, Map 10, Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park, Central District, 2008
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018