Virginia has more than expansive, glistening beaches. It’s also home to some impressive trails winding through towering mountains. You’ll find some difficult and some easier hikes with loads of fun waiting in all for you to experience. Come to experience the adventure in some of these Virginia trails! There are more national park trails that you can view on our blog.
Best Hiking Trails In Virginia
|1||Old Rag Mountain Loop Trail||9.0|
|2||McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail||7.7|
|3||White Oak Canyon and Cedar Run Trails||8.2|
|4||Dragon’s Tooth Trail||4.4|
|5||Little Stony Man Loop via Appalachian Trail||2.7|
1. Old Rag Mountain Loop Trail
Location: GPS 38.557658, -78.326953
Mileage: 9.0 miles
Hike Time: 8-9 hours
Old Rag Mountain Loop Trail is a 9.0-mile loop trail in Syria, Virginia. It’s a heavily trafficked difficult trail open year-round. Here, you may go backpacking, rock climbing, birding, hiking, on nature trips, trail running, and walking. You’ll see a forest, river, amazing views, wild flowers, and plenty of wildlife. The path itself is very rocky.
This hike is one of the most popular in the state. It’s found in Shenandoah National Park and is very challenging. As soon as you hit the 3/4 mark, you have to scramble up rocks which makes it extremely challenging. There are some switchbacks too, so it’s not a straight path, therefore, make sure you bring walking sticks. The trails are still very steep. The descent is a nice relief as a gradual grade and ends your journey.
If you’re worried about heights or jumping across crevasses you can either view it as a way to conquer your fears or as a warning to stay away. When you’ve reached the top, you’ll see the Old Rag Mountain brown elevation sign where you may find a rock with a 360 view of the area beneath you. It makes a great place to have lunch!
2. McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail
Location: GPS 37.394038, -80.038719
Mileage: 7.7 miles
Hike Time: 6-7 hours
McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail is a 7.7-mile loop trail in Salem, Virginia. It’s a heavily trafficked moderately difficult trail open year-round. Here, you may go backpacking, camping, birding, hiking, on nature trips, trail running, and walking. You’ll see a forest, lake, river, neat views, wildflowers, and plenty of wildlife. The path itself is very rocky.
This trail is another favorite in Virginia. It’s a very slow and steady climb to McAfee Knob where you can find some of the best views in the state. It’s easy until you reach the last mile where it gets difficult and gives you a good workout. Luckily, the trail keeps you into the woods until the last part, so you can stay cool on your journey.
It’s a heavily trafficked trail, so go early and during the week. This is one the whole family can enjoy, and the breathtaking views at the top make it all worth it!
3. White Oak Canyon and Cedar Run Trails
Location: GPS 38.561473, -78.358581
Mileage: 8.2 miles
Hike Time: 6-7 hours
White Oak Canyon and Cedar Run Trails is an 8.2-mile loop trail in Syria, Virginia. It’s a moderately trafficked difficult trail open year-round. Here, you may go dog walking, birding, hiking, on nature trips, trail running, and walking. You’ll see a forest, river, waterfall, cool views,wildflowerss, and plenty of wildlife. The path itself is very rocky.
If you love a good watery hike, then this is a great choice! Both trails will keep you close to streams and connect at the top by fire road at the scenic highway at the top of the range. Cedar Run will take you through emerald green pools and White Oak Canyon.
This hike is more strenuous than old rag mountain which is right next to it, but this has an added element. Here, you can take nice pictures of falls, go swimming, or take a nice long lunch by the waterfall. Plus, there are some nice big meadows along the way which only add to the beauty. If you’re looking for views, this isn’t the hike for you, but if you want beauty and entertainment, visit these trails!
4. Dragon’s Tooth Trail
Location: GPS 37.3789,-80.15606
Mileage: 4.4 miles
Hike Time: 3-4 hours
Dragon’s Tooth Trail is a 4.4-mile loop trail in Catawba, Virginia. It’s a moderately trafficked difficult trail open year-round. Here, you may dog walking, birding, hiking, on nature trips, rock climbing, trail running, and walking. You may even set up your hammock and lounge. You’ll see incredible views, wildflowers, and a variety of wildlife. The path itself is very rocky.
Dragon’s Tooth trail is a blast! It’s challenging yet very fun. It has some steep scrambles minus the views and summits, but it’s definitely fun. The nice thing is that it’s not scary or super difficult compared to similar trails. Along the trail, it starts wide then steepens and continues onto a narrow rocky spine called Rawies Rest. From there, you cross a minor summit then drop 100 feet into the Lost Spectacles Gap.
As you progress, it only gets more interesting as it steepens and gets more and more rocky with elevation gains of 20 feet at a time. There are some neat structures daredevils may climb up and around, but the safe path is just as fun!
5. Little Stony Man Loop via Appalachian Trail
Location: GPS 38.295042, -78.675125
Mileage: 2.7 miles
Hike Time: 1-2 hours
Little Stony Man Loop via Appalachian Trail is a3.4-mile loop trail in Syria, Virginia. It’s a moderately trafficked moderately difficult trail open year-round. Here, you may go dog walking, birding, hiking, on nature trips, trail running, and walking. You’ll see a forest, amazing views, a beach, wild flowers, and plenty of wildlife.
Stony Man is the second tallest peak in Shenandoah National Park. Since the 1900s, people have been coming to visit the mountain as one of the most visited places in the park. Just after the trailhead, you come across Little Stony Man Cliffs that are as gorgeous as the summit. These cliffs allow you amazing views over Luray, the Massanutten Range, and Skyline Drive. It’s a very popular rock climbing destination, and you’ll often see fixed ropes, carabiners and anchors on cliffs.
From there, you head into the woods on some switchbacks which take you up the summit. You’ll eventually follow down to the bottom through a rocky scramble and have experienced one of the best hikes in the state of Virginia! If you’re tired of Virginia beach, switch it up on your next vacation. Enjoy the beauty that its mountains and rocky terrain has to offer!