The 18 Best Hikes in Virginia

The 18 Best Hikes in Virginia

Virginia's landscape trails beckon with solitude and scenic beauty, far from the summer crowds. Whether it's maintaining a healthy lifestyle or seeking serene landscapes, discover why hiking in Virginia isn't just a summer pursuit. Virginia’s trails offer captivating beauties that highlight the state's diverse terrain and vistas year-round.

Little Stony Falls

Closest Cities: Coeburn & St. Paul

Witness the stunning transformation of Little Stony Falls as it dons a winter cloak of ice. The sight of its freezing cascades is nothing short of magical—a reward for navigating its 3-mile trail of moderate difficulty sprinkled with boulder challenges. Ensure you're geared up with appropriate footwear to conquer this gem in Southwest Virginia.

Crabtree Falls

Closest Cities: Waynesboro & Lexington

Among the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, Crabtree Falls offers a unique winter spectacle and quieter trails compared to the busy summer months. Expand your adventure to Spy Rock or Priest Mountain for added thrills and unspoiled cascade views.

Cascades National Recreation Trail

Closest City: Blacksburg

A four-mile trek ideal for beginners leads to a mesmerizing 66-foot waterfall. Be captivated by the beauty of the Cascades National Recreation Trail's frozen waterfall, a tranquil and worthy endpoint of the hike.

Bearfence Trail

Closest City: Stanardsville

From Skyline Drive, take a one-mile jaunt along the Bearfence Trail to be rewarded with an awe-inspiring 360-degree panorama. Make use of the Bearfence Viewpoint to skirt the rock scramble. Check conditions before heading out, as the trail is subject to seasonal closures.

Mary's Rock

Closest Cities: Sperryville & Luray

Mary's Rock trail is a treasure within Shenandoah National Park, offering a 3.7-mile moderately challenging route. Revel in sweeping vistas that span the park's western terrain, as well as the Shenandoah Valley and Massanutten Mountain.

Big Schloss

Closest Cities: Luray & Strasburg

Trace the line between Virginia and West Virginia at the George Washington National Forest, where Big Schloss looms with promising valley views. Prepare for a longer 4.4-mile hike, but the summit view is a splendid payoff.

Peaks of Otter

Closest Cities: Roanoke & Lynchburg

The Peaks of Otter boasts a network of six trails, including Flat Top, Sharp Top, & Harkening Hill. The most challenging aspects are the ascents of Sharp Top and Flat Top, but their summits compensate with extraordinary 360-degree panoramas.

Beach and Bay Trail Loop

Closest Cities: Woodbridge & Arlington

For an easy-going hike, the Beach and Bay Trail Loop in Mason Neck State Park is a 2.3-mile round circuit. Experience the coastal landscape on a trail that lines the beach, perfect for winter wanderings along the shoreline.

Dark Hollow Falls

Closest City: Luray

Shenandoah National Park's Dark Hollow Falls, typically buzzing in summer, offers a peaceful winter alternative with a mesmerizing 70-foot waterfall. In the heart of winter, the falls may freeze, fashioning a frosty spectacle.

Old Rag

Closest Cities: Sperryville & Madison

Notorious for its 9.8-mile length and difficulty, Old Rag is a premier hike near Shenandoah National Park's Thornton Gap entrance. Tackle this trail in winter for solitude but come prepared with microspikes for icy patches and ready for strenuous climbs and rock scrambles.

Brown Pelican Trail

Closest Cities: Virginia Beach & Cape Charles

At Kiptopeke State Park on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the Brown Pelican Trail provides captivating views of the Chesapeake Bay and the historical concrete ships.

Roaring Run Hoop Hole Trail

Closest City: Roanoke

The Roaring Run Hoop Hole Trail near Eagle Rock delights all skill levels with its manageable 1.2 miles leading to a charming waterfall. The advanced upper loop is available for those seeking a longer jaunt in Jefferson National Forest.

Each trail on this carefully curated winter trekking list combines the splendor of Virginia's natural landscapes with the calming solitude of the colder months. Whether you're a casual brisk-walker or a dedicated crag-hopper, this selection has a winter trail calling your name. Lace up your boots, and prepare to witness the dormant beauty of Virginia's outdoors.


Tobacco Heritage Trail

Closest Cities: South Hill & Lawrenceville

Ideal for those looking for a gentle ramble, the Tobacco Heritage Trail spans over 17 miles. Choose from various segments and relish in the picturesque landscapes, including a striking 300-foot-long bridge across the Meherrin River.

Stony Man Trail

Closest City: Luray

At the pinnacle of the 1.4-mile Stony Man Trail, breathe in the breathtaking sights of Shenandoah Valley and her mountains - Luray, Massanutten, and Allegheny - on a day when the sky is clear. It's an approachable climb, but if your spirit yearns for more rigor, set out on the Little Stony Man Loop, a 3.4-mile route that ups the ante in terms of difficulty.

Lover’s Leap Trail

Closest City: Bristol

Shorter in distance but not in delight is Lover’s Leap Trail. This 0.4-mile hike in Natural Tunnel State Park offers moderate challenges and rewards hikers with stunning natural features. Pair it with the Tunnel Hill Trail for a chance to witness a train traversing the historic tunnel.

House Mountain Hike

Closest City: Lexington

House Mountain presents dual paths - Big House and Little House trails. The former is a brief yet testing 1.7-mile trek, more challenging in harsh weather, while the latter extends 2.6 miles with moderate difficulty. Both paths crown your effort with panoramic summit vistas.

Turkey Neck Trail

Closest City: Fredericksburg

Circling Westmoreland State Park is the accessible year-round Turkey Neck Trail, a 2.5-mile loop. Nestled by the Potomac River, the trail culminates at cliffs and a beach, where the views of the waterfront are truly mesmerizing.

Belle Isle Trails

Closest City: Richmond

In the heart of Richmond, Belle Isle's trails meander along the James River, offering a relaxed hike in an urban environment. The trail loops around the 54-acre island and connects via a pedestrian bridge beneath the Lee Bridge. Post-hike, warm up and relax at one of the local breweries nearby.


For the More Adventurous Hiker

Enhance your winter with hikes that test your endurance and reward with unparalleled beauty:

  • Overall Run Falls Hike — A rewarding 5.1-mile trek featuring Virginia's highest waterfall.

  • Tinker Cliffs — At 7.3 miles, it's a more enduring trail that promises striking landscapes.

  • Mount Rogers Trail — The 10.8-mile trail leads to Virginia's highest peak, offering hikers a chance to immerse themselves in the tranquil wilderness.

Whatever your experience level or desire for challenge, Virginia's hiking trails are a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. Strap on your boots, pack your thermos, and set off on an unforgettable adventure through the Old Dominion's diverse landscapes.

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