Crunchy leaves under foot, changing colors, crisp evenings…it’s finally Fall, y’all! To celebrate the beautiful colors of the Shenandoah Valley its phenomenal hiking locations, we’ve compiled a list of easy, moderate, and difficult hiking trails in and around the Harrisonburg area! Happy Hiking!
If you’re wanting to stay in town, there are great easy hikes right in Harrisonburg!
There are two miles of mostly shaded easy walking trails in the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU. This is a great place to take the family and enjoy looking at the various trees, flowers, and wildlife.
Hillandale Park offers various hiking, biking, and jogging trails in Harrisonburg’s largest park. Located conveniently by the parking lot is a 1.3 mile easy hike.
Purcell Park is a great place to go with the whole family! It has the “Kids Kastle” and a 1.5 gravel trail near a small pond.
Shenandoah National Park
Just east of Harrisonburg, Shenandoah National Park has loads of hiking trails.
For an easy 1.2 mile hike that’s great to do with kids – try Fox Hollow Loop on mile marker 4.6 on Skyline Drive.
For something a little more challenging, try the 1.4 mile trail Dark Hollow Falls on mile marker 50.7 on Skyline Drive. Enjoy the beautiful views of the waterfall with some steeper sections for a little extra heart pumping.
Another great moderate hike is South River Falls on mile marker 62.7. Hike down to a beautiful set of water falls, and use the fire trail to complete the loop…a great area to spot some wildlife.
If you’re an avid hiker and want to stretch your limits – try Riprap Loop. This 9.8 mile hike (mile marker 90 on Skyline Drive) offers beautiful views of the Shenandoah Valley, a swimming hole and stream, and cascades.
The fabled Appalachian Trail also runs through Shenandoah National Park, and is great for section hiking. The trail often crosses Skyline Drive.
One of the most popular – and strenuous – hikes in the area is Old Rag Mountain. Enjoy the thrill of the rock scramble and glorious mountaintop views. Allow around 7-8 hours to complete the hike, and follow the health and safety guidelines that Shenandoah National Park has put in place.
Located in the George Washington National forest west of Harrisonburg, Reddish Knob provides a great long hike – or drive – up to one of the highest peaks in Virginia with 330 degree views of Virginia and West Virginia.
On the border of Virginia and West Virginia, the Brandywine recreation area offers two trails – one with a 2,110 feet elevation gain up to the fire tower, and the more moderate 3.7 mile Saw Mill Loop. Once at the fire tower, enjoy 360 degree views of Virginia and West Virginia – or take an easier walk through the woods on Saw Mill Loop.
Located on the southern end of the Massanutten range – Fridley Gap offers a swimming hole with refreshing mountain water, streams, and ridge climbs on this 6.2 mile moderate to strenuous hike.