Take a Hike

Shenandoah’s trails system has something for everyone’s taste and abilities. 

Photo by Brad Striebig

Reddish Knob in the Shenandoah Valley.

Hiking is an excellent low-impact workout, and Virginia’s trail system has plenty to offer. Our rich and diverse terrain means there are level, easy paths and steep, challenging trails, offering something for every fitness level. 

If you’re a beginner, try the Reddish Knob, which runs along the Virginia/West Virginia state line west of Harrisonburg. Another good choice is the Chessie Trail, which parallels the Maury River from East Lexington to Buena Vista for seven miles and comprises a portion of the old Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad bed, as well as canal towpaths. 

For advanced hikers, the 101-mile portion of the Appalachian Trail that traces the ridge of the Blue Ridge mountains through Shenandoah National Park provides plenty of challenging opportunities.

Whether you’re new to hiking or heading out for your first hike after a winter indoors, remember these important guidelines. Check the weather before you leave and always prepare for the worst possible conditions; plan an alternate route in case bad weather strikes. Plan your hike based upon your own or your group’s abilities. Most important, before you leave, make sure someone at home knows where you are going, with whom, and when you plan to return. 

AppalachianTrail.org

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