Hikes for Beginners

The best trails for maximum views and minimum experience.

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A hiker takes in the view of the Virginian Blue Ridge Mountains from the summit of The Priest along the Appalachian Trail.

You don’t have to be an expert mountain climber to enjoy the natural beauty of Virginia’s best hikes for beginners:

Big Schloss

The 4.2-mile there-and-back Mill Mountain Trail in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest near Woodstock borders West Virginia’s state line, running along the ridge to Big Schloss’ outcrop and then over a land bridge to the outermost lookout.

Corbin Cabin Loop

This 4.3-mile loop near Luray in Shenandoah National Park starts on Skyline Drive, follows the Hughes River, and leads to the historic Corbin Cabin. The route then continues along the Nicholson Hollow Trail to a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Plus, you can rent the cabin for overnight stays.

Sky Meadows Views

This 2.3-mile loop in Sky Meadows State Park resides on a historic farm in Paris. The loop starts on the Piedmont Overlook Trail and winds through woods and meadows to North Ridge Trail and Gap Run Trail.

Rowland Creek Falls

Hike 3.4-miles there-and-back from Mount Rogers Recreation Area near Marion. Follow along Chestnut Ridge, leading to Rowland Creek’s 50-foot stair step cascade waterfall.

Bark Camp Lake Loop

Loop around Bark Camp Lake near Coeburn in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, beginning at the main recreation area on Lakeshore Trail. Hike 3.6 miles along the water by Kitchen Rock, cross the long boardwalk over the upper wetland, join Chief Benge Scout Trail, and then cross over the top of the lake dam. Virginia.org

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