Making the most of your weekend trip to Shenandoah National Park

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Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is filled with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are endless hikes, opportunities to see wildlife, and the facilities are well kept with lodging and restaurants. This post highlights some of the best hikes in the park if you are visiting for a few days and want to make the most of your trip. 

Dark Hollow Falls: It is easy to see why this is one of the most popular trails in the park. The trek to the falls is only 1.4 miles and 440 ft elevation gain. The trail is shaded and peaceful and leads to a beautiful cascading waterfall with pools. We did this hike around 5 pm to avoid the crowds but also noticed little to no cars there in the morning hours before 10 am.

Bearfence Mountain Trail: This hike offers views of the surrounding mountain ranges and is probably one of our favorites in the park. This is a loop trail that is only 1.2 miles with 242 ft elevation gain and you have options for your route. You can choose a path leading to a rock scramble which offers 360 degree views at the top. There is also the option to take the Appalachian trail to a lookout for an equally stunning 180 degree view.

Upper Hawksbill Trail: This trail is only 2.1 miles roundtrip and is known as the highest point in the park. The views from the top are photo worthy and there are several lookout points allowing for plenty of room even on a busy day.

Marys Rock: This hike begins at the Panorama parking area and is 3.7 miles and 1210 ft elevation gain. This is a beautiful trail and also where we had our only black bear encounter in the park! With wildlife viewing opportunities and the lookout point at top this is a must do when in Shenandoah.

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