The Shenandoah Valley has some of the state’s best hikes

The 140-mile-long Shenandoah Valley lies between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains and is home to an abundance of public lands—including the 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park. This trio of great hikes will introduce you to some of the Valley’s most coveted summits. 

Photo by Kyle LaFerriere

Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park—Access the park’s highest peak from Skyline Drive milepost 46.7. The mile-long, intermediate-level Upper Hawksbill Trail passes through high-alpine red spruce and Frasier fir forests to a rocky, 4,050-foot summit with a historic stone shelter and observation platform that offers jaw-dropping, 270-degree westward views of the Linville Gorge, the town of Luray, and the Massanutten Mountain range.

Humpback Rocks, Waynesboro—Find one of Virginia’s best beginner and family-friendly treks not far from the city of Waynesboro at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 5.8. Pursue the 1.7-mile out-and-back, Humpback Rocks Trail, from its namesake parking area to a gargantuan stone outcropping with 180-degree westward views of the city and greater Shenandoah Valley.

Devil’s Marbleyard, Glasgow—This incredible 3.3-mile out-and-back in the 8,907-acre James River Face Wilderness starts about five miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Petites Gap access at Milepost 71. The walk climbs through mature oak forests and rhododendron groves to a giant, scalable boulder slide. Advanced hikers can rock-scramble their way up, while intermediates should take the go-around trail to a 2,500-foot summit with panoramic westward views.


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2024 issue.

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