Who says that hikers should not visit Virginia, the place that is full of lovers? Wrong! In fact, there are many spectacular views to check out. For example, the western border, the oldest mountain destination, history, and beauty are the best words to describe Virginia. In addition, Virginia is the best place to visit for hikers because many options are available such as easy trails, family-friendly walks, to the extreme rock scrambles for the experienced hikers. If you cannot believe our words, take these pictures and let them say everything to you:
1. Mary’s Rock
Good choice! This is a beautiful place to hike with the beautiful views of Shenandoah National Park and the valley.
The location is at the south of the Thornton Gap Entrance, exactly in the Shenandoah National Park’s Central District. You can hike from the Meadow Spring Parking area with some alternate routes such as Panorama Parking area, Jewel Hollow Overlook, and Buck Hollow Parking Area. If you want to take the shortest route, you should choose The Meadow Spring. Most hikers also choose it to enjoy the sunset panorama.
If you love to take this trip, here is the pack list to check out:
Shenandoah National Park pass (or spend $20 of entrance fee), water, lunch, comfortable shoes, and camera.
With out-and-back trail type, the location offers 2.8 miles of distance. The interesting activities to do here are photography and hiking.
2. Old Rag
Another best destination for hikers with 9 miles of circuit that makes you enjoys the breathtaking panoramic views once you enter the location. Nevertheless, this spot does not allow hikers to bring their pets.
The crowds are what you have to deal with, especially if you reach on the rock scrambles. Therefore, we recommend you to start out early for about 6 to 7 am if you want to avoid the crowds. The best part of the location is the blue marks. You should only follow the marks that line the trail so you will never get lost.
What is more interesting about the trip is a glass of wine to enjoy at the Sharp Rock Vineyard at 5 Sharp Rock Road. To go to this place, you only need to take a short drive from the parking area and relax.
Here is the pack list to bring:
Park pass, camera, hiking boots or shoes, plenty of water, and lunch for your picnic.
So, if you love to hike and take some spectacular photos, take this trip!
3. Stony Man
We can say that Stony Man is the best answer for those who need a short and easy hike option. The views are the best with Shenandoah National Park. If you stay at the Skyland Resort, then this is the closest area to hike. It seems interesting that you can catch the sunset without spending a long walk back to your car in the middle of the night. It does not a big deal if you want to increase the level of the difficulty. In fact, you can take the alternative trail option that will increase the mileage and the elevation gain but still will never make you breathless.
To take the easiest route, you can start from the Stony Man Trail and then turn off to the Skyland Resort, which is only about 41.7 miles. Even though the location is the best easy hiking option for family, it is good to use caution, especially for kids. The rocks outcrop at the final viewpoints is wet. Please note that Shenandoah National Park is always open in all seasons but the Skyline Drive sometimes is unavailable in the winter.
Here is the pack list:
Shenandoah National Park pass ($20 entrance fee to pay), camera, comfortable shoes, water, and lunch or a book
With 340 feet of elevation gain, the location offers a beautiful view for beginner hikers!
4. Bearfence Mountain
Do you want to get 360-degree views of the Mountains? Here, the Blue Ridge Mountains will amaze you that you can even combine your trip with the further hike on the AT. The trail is easy to access, with the fun rock scramble at the top during summer.
With 1.2 miles of distance and 380 feet of elevation gain, the place offers hiking, fitness, and photography. Here is the pack list we recommend:
Water, camera, and good hiking shoes
5. Blackrock Summit
Blackrock Summit is a short and easy hike, located in the South District of Shenandoah National Park. In this location, you can enjoy the expansive views from the north to the south. The location is also the best place to watch the sunrise or sunset.
The area offers two route options that are perfect for all hikers in all levels with less than 2 miles of distance. Here is the pack list to bring:
Shenandoah National Park pass (or $20 to pay for the entrance fee), comfortable shoes, camera, and an extra layer of clothes for the windy summit
With 175 feet of elevation gain, the place is great for photography and hiking. It also offers easy parking, family friendly and dog-friendly trail.
6. Humpback Rocks
It is the popular choice if you live in Central Virginia. Even if it offers a short hike, the elevation gain is the challenge that is more than 1000 feet under a mile. Therefore, the climb is the real sensation and the rock outcrop offers 270-degree views of the west and the east. This is the favorite place to watch sunrise and sunset for the local.
Here is the pack list:
Comfortable hiking shoes, water, backpack, camera, snack
The place is perfect for hiking and photography during spring, summer, and autumn.
7. Spy Rock
Not all hikes offer 360-degree views with no long slog to reach the summit but Spy Rock does. It offers 1200 feet of elevation gain for over a mile. If you want to get to the top of the rock, you should finish the little rock scrambling. The view surely will make you forget your pain.
Here is the pack list:
Water, backpack, snacks, and camera
Additional items to camp:
Sleeping bag, tent, plenty of water (no water source), bug spray for a summer visit
The place is good to visit for Chillin, photography, camping, backpacking, and hiking in spring and autumn.