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Top 5 Trails for Hiking in Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

Nestled at the foothills of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounded by the mystical Blue Ridge Mountains, Glen Gordon Manor serves as the perfect home base for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers an ideal launch point to explore numerous trails and enjoy the breathtaking views of the beautiful countryside. Begin your adventure with hiking in Shenandoah National Park, where over 500 miles of trails offer something for everyone. Read on to discover our top recommended hiking trails and book your getaway today!

White Oak Canyon

Length: 9.4 mi | Elevation gain: 2,411 ft | Difficulty: Hard

One of the best loops in the Shenandoah National Park, White Oak Canyon is the trail to take for waterfall chasers. While it offers a variety of inclines, this is a great option for hikers of all skill levels and takes about 4 hours roundtrip. The trails are well maintained with footbridges to help cross over any streams or creeks. There is a more difficult loop that will also reward more advanced trekkers with views of the White Oak Canyon falls. Especially popular in the spring and fall, be prepared to cross paths with other happy hikers but enjoy a great time year-round!

A large rock formation on top of a mountain with lots of fall foliage.

Mary’s Rock

Length: 3.4 mi | Elevation gain:1,210 ft | Difficulty: Hard

Mary’s Rock is the eighth highest peak in the Park. You’ll find the trailhead at mile 31.6 on Skyline Drive and from there, you can hike over 1,200 feet along the Appalachian Trail to the rock’s summit, offering panoramic views of Page Valley and the northern section of Shenandoah National Park. Just under four miles roundtrip, this makes for a great moderate hike. You can also take the somewhat easier 3.4-mile Pass Mountain Loop.

Rocks and a small stream in the woods along a hike in Shenandoah National Park

 

Little Devils Stairs

Length: 5.6 mi | Elevation gain: 1,492 ft | Difficulty: Hard

A 5.6-mile roundtrip journey, the Little Devils Stairs trail offers a variety of scenery and exertion. You’ll be greeted by a steep ascent in the first couple miles with a climb up the ravine. Especially if it’s a hot day, don’t forget to pack your water and sunscreen! If you’re lucky, you’ll catch some mist from the waterfalls you’ll pass along the way. It’ll level off after you reach the top and from there, you’ll enjoy the views as you make your way through the switchbacks of Keyser Run. Then you’ll head down and your return trip includes a nice walk along the Bolen Cemetery.

View of Old Rag Mountain from Skyline Drive with trees in the foreground.

Old Rag Mountain

Length: 9.4 mi | Elevation gain: 2,604 ft | Difficulty: Hard

 One of the more difficult, and arguably the most popular trails within the Park, is on Old Rag Mountain. Offering challenging sections and some of the most spectacular 360-degree views, this is a hiker’s dream. If you’re up for some rock scrambling and a potentially crowded pathway, the views from the top make the journey there more than worth it. Plan to spend almost a full day out here as the whole thing is about a 9-mile loop. We especially recommend this hike if you’re here during the week to avoid the crowds and many prefer to conquer the loop counterclockwise and tackle the rocks on the way down.

Back view of man watching sunset from rocky summit of Stony Man.

Stony Man Mountain

Length:1.5 mi | Elevation gain: 321 ft | Difficulty: Moderate

For those preferring something a bit lighter and less challenging, the Stony Man Mountain trail is a great option for your Shenandoah National Park hiking adventure. One of the shorter and more leisurely hikes within the Park, it still offers fantastic views along the ridge so make sure you venture out on a clear day.

Shenandoah National Park Skyline Drive Road Sign

Skyline Drive

One of the most famous things in Shenandoah National Park is Skyline Drive. If you prefer to experience Shenandoah from the comfort of your car, this scenic 105-mile roadway offers breathtaking vistas and access to diverse wildlife. Stretching along the Blue Ridge Mountains, it provides panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont region. With over 70 overlooks, visitors can enjoy picturesque landscapes, especially during the vibrant fall foliage season. Skyline Drive also serves as a gateway to numerous hiking trails, including portions of the Appalachian Trail, making it a beloved destination for nature enthusiasts and hikers.

Discover More Hiking in Shenandoah

If you enjoyed our “5 Must Hike Trails in Shenandoah National Park” article, you’ll love our latest guide, “10 Best Easy Hikes in Shenandoah National Park“. Perfect for families and beginners, this post uncovers gentle trails with stunning views and serene nature walks. Dive into our recommendations for a relaxed yet memorable outdoor experience in Shenandoah’s beautiful landscapes.

Exterior of Glen Gordon Manor at sunset with a tree in the foreground.

Stay at Glen Gordon Manor

Conclude your Shenandoah adventure with a stay at Glen Gordon Manor, where you can elevate your experience with our exclusive packages. Our Take a Hike! package includes a lightweight and durable backpack filled with everything you need for the perfect picnic for two – and the backpack is yours to keep! After your outdoor excursions, indulge in a post-hike spa treatment with a 60 or 90-minute massage in our Tack Room Spa, or opt for a couple’s massage package to fully unwind and relax. Book your favorite room at Glen Gordon Manor today and get ready to reach new heights during your Virginia getaway.

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