The 17 Best Trails Trails for Hiking in Virginia


If you’re simply getting began mountaineering in Virginia, it’s possible you’ll not know the place to begin. That’s comprehensible since there are over 1,000 trails to select from! There are greater than 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail alone to discover.

We’ve compiled a listing of a few of the greatest mountaineering trails and damaged it down by problem.

Read on to study extra about mountaineering in Virginia to select a path and discover the gorgeous state!

View in Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia. Best hiking in Virginia.

Best Easy Hiking Trails in Virginia

1. Stony Man Trail, Shenandoah National Park

The Stony Mail Trail is superb for households mountaineering in Virginia with kids. The 1.6-mile roundtrip hike ought to take about an hour.

There’s a steep, rocky half on the finish, however the effort is nicely value it. Your reward is panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley.

The path is open year-round, however it’s greatest to go to April-September. The earlier you go, the less fellow hiker you’ll encounter. And make certain to go away your animals at dwelling as a result of no pets are allowed on this path.

The view from Little Stony Man Cliffs.
View from Little Stony Man Cliffs.

2. High Bridge Trail, High Bridge Trail State Park

High Bridge Trail is so outstanding that a complete state park facilities round it! The 31-mile path is broad and flat, with many sections to take pleasure in.

If it’s your first go to, you’ll need your hike to incorporate the High Bridge. It stands 125 ft excessive over the Appomattox River and is stuffed with historical past. During the Civil War, the Confederate and Union troops aimed to take the bridge all the way down to hinder the opposite facet’s actions. If you need much more historical past, journey 12 miles down the highway to the path’s western finish, and also you’ll see Appomattox Courthouse, the place General Lee surrendered to finish the battle.

3. Roaring Run Falls, Roaring Run Recreation Area

Almost any hiker can benefit from the distinctive fantastic thing about a waterfall on Roaring Run Falls Trail. You might rapidly end this 1.5-mile path in about an hour or make a household day of it!

You’ll hike alongside Roaring Run Creek on the way in which to the falls. There are enjoyable bridges to cross, good spots for a picnic lunch, and even locations to hop within the stream to chill off or experience a pure waterslide!

On the way in which again to your automotive, you’ll move an previous iron furnace constructed and used to soften iron all the way down to make instruments, weapons, and railroad tracks.

4. Bear Den Park Trail, Bluemont, Virginia

If you wish to introduce your loved ones to the Appalachian Trail, take them on the Bear Den Park Trail an hour outdoors of D.C.

This path is about 1.5 miles. At Bear Den Overlook, you’ll get a west-facing view of the Shenandoah Valley, which makes this a first-rate location for breathtaking sundown views.

Take a brief detour by the Bear Den Trail Center to take a look at life for in a single day and through campers on the Appalachian Trail!

5. Scott’s Run River Loop, McLean, Virginia

Hiking in Virginia doesn’t imply you’ve bought to go in the midst of nowhere. If you reside in or go to the metro D.C. space, you may nonetheless discover nature on Scott’s Run River Loop.

The waterfall at Scott's River Run Loop.

Several trails make up this loop, however you may expertise all of them in a few hours, strolling slightly over three miles.

This is a very fashionable spot due to its proximity to a metro space, particularly on the weekends. For much less crowds, go to early on a weekday.

Also, whereas getting within the water and having fun with taking part in by the waterfall could also be tempting, don’t do it. The water is soiled and polluted. Instead, take pleasure in a picnic on the bottom close by.

6. Burke Lake Trail, Burke Lake Park

Burke Lake Trail is a scenic 4.8-mile loop round lovely Burke Lake. It’s a well-maintained path that hikers of all ages and talents will take pleasure in.

For a little bit of an additional problem, use the health facilities alongside the path!

While visiting this path, try Burke Lake Park’s different choices, like a snack shack, mini golf, and seasonal practice.

Best Moderate Hiking Trails in Virginia

The view from the summit of Sharp Top Mountain, one of the Peaks of Otter Mountains in Virginia.
The view from Sharp Top Mountain in Virginia.

7. The Channels Trail, Channels State Forest

Numerous mountaineering in Virginia will take you to historic websites. The Channels Trail might take the cake.

The Channels Trail dates again to the Ice Age. Ten million years in the past, ice wedged down into the earth and break up the delicate rock beneath, creating otherworldly channels prepared for exploration!

You can take two completely different trails to get to the channels– one is 3.5 miles and reasonably troublesome, whereas the opposite is 5.5 miles and takes a steeper strategy. Either means, you’ll find yourself on the Channels and might spend as a lot time as you wish to discover the 20 acres of pure surprise.

8. Cascade Falls National Recreation Trail, Jefferson National Forest

The Cascade Falls National Recreation Trail is a 4-mile loop path that can take you by Cascade Falls, which is over 60 ft excessive.

There is a decrease path and an higher path. The decrease path is rocky, which makes for some journey, particularly if moist from rain. The higher path is wider and smoother however has a steeper incline.

There’s a small payment related to parking, so have money readily available when visiting.

9. Compton Peak Trail, Shenandoah National Park

If you’re mountaineering in Virginia and seeking to see some pure wonders, take the Compton Peak Trail. The view on high of Compton Peak is awe-inspiring, and one thing else close by makes it even higher.

This 2.4-mile in-and-out path is dwelling to a geological function known as columnar jointing. While the earth was forming, lava flows cooled rapidly and turned the rock round them into a geometrical sample. It sounds sophisticated, however you’re left with a large group of stones that appears such as you’re a bunch of cut-off quantity two pencils made out of rock.

While yow will discover columnar jointing worldwide, that is one in all solely three locations you may see it on the east coast of America.

10. Rose River Trail, Shenandoah National Park

The sound of working water within the cool shade of timber on a sizzling summer season day makes Rose River Trail top-of-the-line mountaineering trails in Virginia.

This path follows over two miles of Rose River because it winds and cascades by way of the forest. You’ll stroll previous 67-foot Rose River Falls after which have the choice to take a quarter-mile detour to go to Dark Hollow Falls, too.

Wear footwear that may get moist on this hike as a result of you might have to cross some creeks, relying on the water ranges.

11. Hawksbill Loop Trail, Shenandoah National Park

The Hawksbill Loop Trail will take you to the best mountain in Shenandoah National Park and provide you with a 360° view of the valley and close by Blueridge Mountains.

The view from the Hawksbill Loop Trail observation deck.

This almost 3-mile hike is a pleasant mixture of inclines and flat areas to catch your breath. When you attain the highest, a fairly view shall be to your left, and a shelter close by. Take the trail previous the shelter to get to the highest to expertise the summit absolutely.

Because of the 360° views, this path is superb for dawn or sundown hikes!

12. Sharp Top Mountain Trail, Jefferson National Forest

Sharp Top Mountain Trail is without doubt one of the hottest mountaineering trails in Virginia.

The hike to the height is just one.5 miles, however you’re rapidly gaining 1,300 ft in elevation. It’s a steep hike!

At the highest of the mountain, you’ll discover extra than simply some rocks to scramble as much as see the views. Because this was as soon as considered the tallest mountain in Virginia, further infrastructure was added on the peak.

There’s an previous stone constructing that was a restaurant within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties and different stone walkways and terraces.

Best Challenging Hiking Trails in Virginia

Hikers at McAffee Knob in Virginia.

13. Devils Fork Trail, Jefferson National Forest

If you’ve rapidly googled “hiking in Virginia,” you’ve most likely heard of Devil’s Bathtub. It’s a pure, vivid bluish-green swimming gap in the midst of a forest, good for cooling off.

Devil’s Fork Trail will take you to the Devil’s Bathtub and past, by way of thick forests, throughout many creeks, and up rocky scrambles.

The preliminary 1.5-mile hike to the Bathtub is comparatively simple. Still, the remainder of the seven-mile loop is rather more strenuous and complex. Be ready with loads of water and durable mountaineering boots.

14. Old Rag Mountain Loop, Shenandoah National Park

Old Rag Mountain Loop isn’t simply a few of the greatest mountaineering in Virginia. It’s ranked as one of many 25 greatest mountaineering trails on the planet on widespread outside web sites!

This hike would require you to make use of your arms, ft, knees, and even elbows to scramble up almost a mile of boulders. It’s not for the faint of coronary heart, however the finish is value it.

Old Rag Mountain is called from the boulders made totally of “old rag” granite on the high. Take time to take a seat and loosen up on them, having fun with the gorgeous views surrounding you.

Tickets are required for mountaineering to assist with crowd management and may be bought by way of the National Parks web site.

15. Raven Rocks Hike, Bluemont, Virginia

If you’re searching for mountaineering in Virginia to backcountry camp, look no additional than Raven Rocks Hike.

The path is 5.5 miles of steep inclines, flat stretches, and steep declines. It’s very rocky, so strolling poles are advisable.

A hiker taking in the view at Raven Rocks.

At the highest, you’ll discover a number of giant rock outcroppings and even a campsite. If you keep the evening, get up earlier than daybreak to look at the gorgeous dawn on the east-facing mountain.

It’s a preferred hike because it’s solely an hour’s drive from D.C. For much less crowds, go to early on weekday mornings.

16. Strickler Knob, George Washington National Forest

While most mountaineering trails in Virginia are up to some extent, Strickler Knob is a path alongside the purpose. You’ll spend a lot of your time on this 5.5-mile hike adventuring alongside the ridge, scrambling up and down rocks, and climbing over a couple of giant boulders.

Several campsites alongside the ridge present pretty dawn and sundown views of the Shenandoah Valley, however deliver water with you in the event you plan to remain, as there aren’t any contemporary springs up there.

17. Dragon’s Tooth, Catawba, Virginia

Dragon’s Tooth Trail will get its title from the 35-foot tall items of Tuscarora quartzite that burst out of the bottom on the high of the path.

The first mile of the path is fairly simple, however as soon as it joins with the Appalachian Trail, there’s over a mile of strenuous, technical path that can require you to almost climb up a rock wall.

Once you attain the highest, you may proceed climbing to the tip-top of Dragon’s Tooth in the event you’re feeling adventurous!

Wrapping Up the Best Hiking Trails in Virginia

A view of the winding New River in Virginia.

Virginians wish to say, “Virginia is for Lovers,” and that’s undoubtedly true for lovers of the good open air! Hiking in Virginia is so various and delightful that there’s one thing for everybody.

Whether you’re hoping for a day open air along with your entire household or seeking to push your self outdoors your consolation zone bodily, there’s a mountaineering path in Virginia that you just’re certain to like.Want to study extra about mountaineering? Check out our web page, All About Hiking. There, you’ll study extra about equipment to present you a greater expertise, critiques on some mountaineering merchandise, and extra unbelievable mountaineering trails throughout the nation.


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