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Best Hiking Trails in Virginia – USA

Overview

Virginia is a Mid-Atlantic US state that has the Appalachian Mountains running along its western border which are very popular for hiking in this state. The main areas for hiking in Virginia include Shenandoah National Park and other areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail. Virginia has the most miles of the Appalachian Trail. The best months to hike in Virginia are May to October. Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Virginia.

Capital: Richmond

When To Hike in Virginia – USA?

May – October: Driest period, particularly between June – August.
March – April; November: Spring can be wet, muddy and still have snow.  November could be too cold/snow
December – February: Cold, rain/snow

Climate: Mildly continental in the mountains (warm summers and cold winters). The northwest (ie. Shenandoah) is drier than the southwest.  Tropical storms and hurricanes can occur August – October.  Summer thunderstorms are common; spring weather can be unstable

 

NWS Forecast Office Wakefield, VA

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy: Well-marked trails with good maps, guidebooks and other resources available for hiking trip planning. 

Map – Virginia Trail Guide

Transportation required: Car

Where to stay in Virginia for hiking:

  • Front Royal
  • Waynesboro
  • Buena Vista
  • Covington

Most popular hikes in Virginia – USA

The western part of the state has the mountains, specifically the Appalachian Mountains running along the border with West Virginia and Kentucky. Popular areas include Shenandoah National Park and other areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Virginia has the most miles of the Appalachian Trail. Mount Rogers (1746 m) in the Blue Ridge Mountains (part of Appalachian Mountains).

Filter out hiking places of Virginia – USA by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Breaks Interstate Park

Cumberland Gap

  • Meeting point of three states with historical significance
  • Trails around here

Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

George Washington & Jefferson National Forest

Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Highway linking Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Lots of hikes doable right from the highway

Grayson Highlands State Park

McAfee Knob

  • Popular spot on the Appalachian Trail

Long Distance Trails of Virginia – USA

Virginia – USA's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Virginia Hiking Books: 

  • Hiking Virginia: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hikes 4th Edition, by Bill Burnham and Mary Burnham, 2018, Falcon Guides – https://amzn.to/440zyfg
  • AMC’s Best Day Hikes in the Shenandoah Valley: Four Season Guide to 50 of the Best Trails from Harper’s Ferry to Jefferson National Forest, by Jennifer Adach and Michael R. Martin, 2020, AMC Books – https://amzn.to/3Uk1LdG
  • Backpacking Virginia: The Definitive Guide to 40 Can’t Miss Trips from Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, by Johnny Molloy, 2019, Southern Gateways Guide – https://amzn.to/3Jkz4qQ
  • Hike Virginia South of US 60: 51 Hikes from the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Coast, by Leonard M. Adkins, 2022, Menasha Ridge Press – https://amzn.to/440gQ7q
  • Hike Virginia North of US 60: 51 Hikes from the Allegheny Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay (Virginia Hiking Trails), by Leonard M. Adkins, 2023, Menasha Ridge Press – https://amzn.to/3xGexKV
  • Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway: The Ultimate Travel Guide to America’s Most Popular Scenic Roadway, by Randy Johnson, 2022, Falcon Guides – https://amzn.to/4aCm1gw
  • Top Trails: Shenandoah National Park: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone, by Johnny Molloy, 2018, by Wilderness Press – https://amzn.to/49FfBf2
  • Explorer’s Guide 50 Hikes in Northern Virginia: Walks, Hikes, and Backpacks from the Allegheny Mountains to Chesapeake Bay, by Leonard M. Adkins, 2015, Countryman Press – https://amzn.to/4d2DH6K

 

Virginia Hiking Associations/Clubs: – there are many clubs

 

Best Hiking Trails in Virginia:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from hiking guidebooks, official park websites, trail maps/apps, other websites, and tourist offices:

  • McAfee Knob – Appalachian Trail
  • Old Rag Mountain Loop – Shenandoah National Park
  • White Oak Canyon Trail – Shenandoah National Park
  • Dragon’s Tooth – Jefferson National Forest
  • Sand Cave and White Rocks – Cumberland Gap
  • Hanging Rock – George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
  • Mary’s Rock – Shenandoah National Park
  • Mount Rogers – Appalachian Trail

Easy Hiking Trails in Virginia:

  • Dark Hollow Falls – Shenandoah National Park
  • Blackrock Summit – Shenandoah National Park
  • Sharp Top Trail – Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Hawksbill Summit – Shenandoah National Park

 

Virginia Hiking Websites:

 

Virginia Weather Website:

 

Virginia Official Tourism Site:  

 

Virginia Hiking Apps: 

 

Virginia Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

Other Important Points