Having Fun Hiking: Exploring Shenandoah National Park

Now that I’m on a more normal schedule and have most of my programs written out, I’ve had more free time to be able to explore the park. I’ve been trying to hike the most popular hikes first so that I can give visitors accurate information when they ask me to recommend hikes.

Of the popular central district hikes, I recently did Stony Man, Hawksbill, Rose River Loop, and Dark Hollow Falls.

The Stony Man and Hawksbill hikes were both hikes to beautiful mountain overlooks. Hawksbill overlook is the highest peak in the park, at 4,050 feet. Though Stony Man isn’t as high up, it’s now one of my favorite short hikes. I enjoyed relaxing at the top on the cliffside rocks and watching falcons and vultures fly past.

The Rose River Loop and Dark Hollow Falls hikes both follow rivers and eventually lead to waterfalls. Dark Hollow Falls is probably the most famous waterfall in the park, and it was rumored to be one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s favorite waterfalls in the US. The Rose River Loop also includes the Rose River Falls, which is amazing after a good rainstorm. 

I’m excited to explore more of my park and hopefully do some hikes in the northern and southern district too. I’m fortunate to have a job in the National Park Service and be able to hike trails in my free time, for work and for pleasure.



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