When most people think of Virginia, they think of the capital city, Richmond. However, there is so much more to the state than its big city. The city is home to many different hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the state. They are perfect for a day hike or even an overnight camping trip. Here are some of the most amazing hiking trails in Virginia:
20. Old Rag - Etlan
The Old Rag is a 3,284-feet peak located in Etlan. The trail is about 9 miles long and is considered to be one of the most difficult in the park. However, it is also one of the most rewarding, with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. According to Flavorverse, The challenging hike is worth it for the incredible views from the summit. On a clear day, you can see Washington, D.C., and the Shenandoah Valley. There are a few different routes you can take to the top, but the most popular is the Saddle Trail. This trail takes you up the ridgeline of the mountain, providing some of the best views along the way. Other activities you can do include camping and Rock climbing.
19. Mary’s Rock - Sperryville
Mary's Rock is a popular hiking destination in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. The hike to the top of Mary's Rock is a moderate 3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. According to Virginia, The views from the top are stunning, and on a clear day, you can see for miles. There are also some great opportunities for wildlife watching along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for black bears, deer, and wild turkeys. The steep and rocky trail can be challenging in places, but it is well worth the effort. If you are up for a longer hike, you can continue to the talus fields beyond Mary's Rock for even more amazing views.
18. McAfee Knob - Catawba
McAfee Knob offers stunning views of the Catawba Valley from its 3,197-feet summit. The 8.8-mile out-and-back hike is considered moderate to difficult, with an elevation gain of just over 1,700 feet. The trail can be crowded on weekends, so try to hike during the week if possible. The best time to access the trails is between April to November.
17. Stony Man - Luray
Lying in the Shenandoah National Park, this hike is about 1.6 miles long and will take you to the highest point in the park. Story Man offers an incredible 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hike starts from the Skyland Resort and follows the Appalachian Trail to the summit. The trail is well-marked and there are plenty of places to rest along the way. Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding area.
16. Whiteoak Canyon Falls - Syria
In case you truly breathtaking waterfall hikes, look no further than Whiteoak Canyon Falls. This 9-mile out-and-back hike takes you to not one, not two, but SIX different waterfalls. The trail is moderately difficult, with some sections of steep elevation gain, but the views are more than worth it. You'll want to bring your camera to capture the stunning scenery, and maybe even take a dip in one of the refreshing pools at the bottom of the falls.
15. Bearfence Mountain - Elkton
This short but sweet 1.2-mile hike is perfect for those who want to get a taste of the Appalachian Mountains without undertaking a lengthy or difficult hike. Located in Shenandoah National Park, Bearfence Mountain features 360-degree views from its rocky summit, making it the perfect place to stop and take in the beauty of Virginia. This is a moderate hike with an elevation gain of about 500 feet. The trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow. There are a few rocky and root-covered sections, but nothing too challenging. Hikers should be aware that there is no water available on the trail, so it is important to bring plenty of water for the hike. There is also no shade, so it is best to hike Bearfence Mountain on a cool day or in the early morning or evening to avoid the heat of the day.
14. Crabtree Falls - Montebello
The trailhead is located in Montebello, about an hour and a half drive from Virginia Beach. The trail is 3 miles round trip and features a waterfall that is over 70 feet tall. The trail is rated as moderate due to the rocky terrain. The wet weather can make the rocks slippery, so be sure to wear appropriate shoes. On your way, the hikers will see Crabtree Meadows, which is a beautiful stretch of open fields. The meadows are home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, birds, and butterflies. The trail then leads to the falls, where you can take in the stunning view or even cool off with a dip in the pool at the base of the falls. There are also a few small caves located behind the waterfall that you can explore.
13. Dark Hollow Falls - Skyline Drive
The trail is located on Skyline Drive and is known for its incredible views. The falls are 70 feet tall and the trail is 1.4 miles long. The hike is considered to be moderate in difficulty. These are the beautiful hikes in Virginia and are a must-do for any nature lover. The trail is well-marked and provides hikers with stunning views of the falls and the surrounding area. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are no facilities on the trail.
12. Sharp Top - Bedford
It is hard to believe that this beautiful mountain was once covered in trees. But a fire in the early 1900s left the mountain bald. The 360-degree views from the top are breathtaking. You can see for miles in every direction. The hike to the top is strenuous, but it is worth it. The trail is about 3 miles long and there is an elevation gain of 1,253 feet. It is the most visited trail and it can get crowded on weekends. But if you go early in the morning, you will have the trail to yourself. And if you are lucky, you might even see a sunrise from the top of the mountain.
11. Hawksbill Mountain - Stanley
Having a prominence of 4,050 feet, Hawksbill Mountain is the highest point in Shenandoah National Park. The summit of Hawksbill offers a panoramic 360-degree view which on a clear day, you can see the skyline of Washington, D.C. There are several ways to hike to the top of Hawksbill, but the most popular is via the Hawksbill Gap Trail which is a 4.2-mile roundtrip hike. The hike is considered to be strenuous with an elevation gain of 1,234 feet. Along the way, you will be treated to a variety of scenic views including waterfalls, rock formations, and wildflowers. When you reach the top, you will be rewarded with an unforgettable view of the Virginian landscape.
10. Dragon’s Tooth - Catawba
The Dragon's Tooth is a unique rock formation that juts out of the ground like a dragon's tooth. The hike to the top is considered to be strenuous with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. The trail is only about a mile long, but it is very rocky and has several steep sections. But the views from the top are incredible. You can see for miles in every direction.
9. Cascades Falls Trail - Pembroke
Located in Pembroke, the Cascades Falls Trail is a popular hiking destination in Virginia. The trail follows a creek through a lush, green forest, and ends at a set of waterfalls. This 4-mile loop hike is considered easy to moderate and is a great introduction to the beauty of Virginia. The trailhead begins at the Cascades Day Use Area, where there is a small parking lot and restrooms. The trail immediately crosses over the Cascades Dam, which creates a stunning waterfall that is visible from the trail. After crossing the dam, the trail then follows along the cascading stream before reaching the 70-foot tall Cascades Falls. The falls can be accessed via a short side trail and are a popular spot for swimming in the summer months. Continuing, the Cascades Falls Trail loops back around to the dam and ends at the parking lot. In Case you’re searching for a longer hike, there are many options to extend your journey. The Cascades Falls Trail connects to the 6-mile Tuckerman Trail, which leads to the summits of Bearfence Mountain and Stony Man. For those wanting an even bigger challenge, the Cascades Falls Trail also connects to the 101-mile Appalachian Trail. No matter how you choose to hike it, the Cascades Falls Trail is a must-do when visiting Virginia.
8. Mount Rogers - Mouth of Wilson
Located in the Mouth of Wilson, Mount Rogers is one of the most spectacular hiking trails in the state. The trail is challenging, but it's worth it. There are several different trails you can take to the summit of Mount Rogers, but the most popular is the Backbone Trail. According to Theoutbound, This trail is 8 miles round trip and will take you through some beautiful forests. If you're up for a longer hike, you can combine the Backbone Trail with the Virginia Creeper Trail and hike to Damascus. This is a popular option for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.
7. Humpback Rocks - Nellysford
This is a shorter hike, but it's still incredibly beautiful and has some great views. It's located in Nellysford, Virginia. The trail is about 1.5 miles long and takes you to an overlook of the Shenandoah Valley. It's a great place to go for a quick hike and to get some fresh air. There are a few different trails you can take to get to the top of Humpback Rocks, but the recommended one is probably the fire road. It's an easy trail to follow and it's well-marked. There are also a few different places along the trail where you can stop and have some funs.
6. Blackrock Summit - Grottoes
The trail Blackrock Summit is located in the George Washington National Forest and offers stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley. The hike is relatively short, but it is very strenuous. Blackrock Summit is a great hike for those looking for a challenge. You can find Blackrock Summit by taking I-64 west to exit 99. Then, take route 606 south for about 3 miles. The trailhead will be on your left.
5. Compton Peak - Shenandoah NP
Located in the heart of Shenandoah National Park, Compton Peak is another amazing hiking trail in Virginia. The trail is 3.8 miles long and takes about four hours to complete. The trail is considered to be moderate in difficulty. It is recommended that you start the hike early in the day so that you can enjoy the views from the top of Compton Peak. There are a few steep sections on the trail, but overall it is a relatively easy hike. Compton Peak is a great hike for those looking for a challenge and stunning views.
4. Great Falls Loop - Shenandoah National Park
The Great Falls Loop is one of the popular hiking trails in Virginia. The loop is 3 miles long and takes you past some of the state's most beautiful scenery. The trail is rated as moderate to difficult but is definitely worth the effort. This trail is located in the Shenandoah National Park and offers stunning views of the falls as well as the surrounding area. Several different trails branch off of the main loop so you can make your hike as long or short as you like.
3. Spy Rock - Rockingham County
It.'s not hard to see why this trail is named Spy Rock. Located in Rockingham County, the trail offers stunning views of the surrounding area from its perch atop a large rock outcrop. From the top, you can see for miles in every direction. The hike to the top is a moderate one and takes about an hour to complete. However, the views are well worth the effort!
2. Sand Cave - Ewing
Located in Ewing, Virginia, Sand Cave is perhaps the most famous natural wonder in the state. It is a massive cave system that extends for miles and is home to some of the most beautiful rock formations in the world. This is a great place to hike, camp, and explore, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Virginia. If you are looking for an adventure, Sand Cave is the perfect place for you.
1. Breaks Interstate Park - Elkhorn City
One of the best places to hike in Virginia is Breaks Interstate Park. The park is located on the border of Virginia and Kentucky and is full of beautiful scenery. There are many different trails to choose from, so you can find one that’s perfect for your hiking abilities. The park is also home to several different wildlife, so you might even see some animals while you’re hiking. Breaks Interstate Park is a great place to hike if you’re searching for a challenge or just want to enjoy some beautiful scenery.
Many amazing hiking trails in Virginia offer stunning views and a great workout. Whether you’re an experienced or beginner hiker, you’ll find a trail that’s perfect for you. With so many trails to choose from, it might be hard to decide which one to tackle first. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 20 amazing hiking trails in Virginia that you can use as a guide.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn