It’s been really chilly here in the Shenandoah Valley as of late, but that’s no excuse to not get out there and view one of the most beautiful places on Earth. With lush mountains now painted in the golden, red delicious, earthy browns and oranges of fall, many would argue that this is the best time of year to let your eyes drink in our gorgeous valley. We’ve compiled a list for you of the best hikes for students to tackle (or anyone, really) in the area over Thanksgiving break.
- Old Rag
If you’re a local, and the chances are high that you are if you’re reading this, then you’ve probably at least heard of this hike if not already hiked it yourself. It’s a classic hike complete with a breath-taking scenic view, but it can be challenging. Those willing to make the hike will be rewarded with a mountainous horizon skyline along the Shenandoah National Park.
- Stony Man Loop
An easier hike with an even higher altitude, choosing the Stony Man Loop will put you at 3,000 ft. above the Shenandoah Valley. This trail is going to allow you to view the scenic Skyline Drive, and it even has a sign notifying you that you’re at the highest point of it. Definitely bucket list-worthy.
- Furnace Mountain
Not to be confused with Furnace Mountain in Loudoun County! Furnace Mountain is a really cool trek, especially for those interested in rocks and geological processes. Whether you’re a fan of geology or not, you’ll enjoy looking at the large slabs of stone settled in the mountainsides. Not to mention, this hike also hosts a beautiful view.
- Maryland Heights Trail
The best thing about this hike is the reward – a stunning view of scenic Harpers Ferry, WV, a town steeped in civil war history. At 5.3 miles, this hike can take you up to about 3 hours to complete, but has plenty of options for shorter alternatives. It’s a very popular trail with lots of helpful hikers along the way for directions.
- Overall Run Falls
This hike is full of options, providing different levels for different difficulties. Stay low for a more casual trip, or go high for a challenging experience! The trail is located in the Shenandoah National Park, full of natural beauty and wildlife. The awesome thing about this trail is that it has waterfalls, which are always a huge magnet for hikers! Make sure to bring the camera for this one, and do it before things start freezing!
Burn off those festive calories by getting out and exploring all that our beautiful Shenandoah Valley has to offer! We’ll see you on the trail.