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Loudoun Heights Lollipop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.1 (32) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A steady climb leads to fantastic views of Harpers Ferry and the convergence of two famous rivers.


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Map Key

6.3

Miles

10.2

KM

Loop

1,119' 341 m

High

291' 89 m

Low

1,280' 390 m

Up

1,280' 390 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

The Loudoun Heights Lollipop is the perfect route for those looking to experience iconic American history, secluded Virginian hardwood forests, and spectacular mountain-top views.

While on your hike, be sure to take your time and truly enjoy the different features this area has to offer, knowing that the very heart of American history runs rich through these hills.

Need to Know

There is a $10.00 parking fee for Shenandoah Street Parking Area that can be submitted in envelope kiosk.

The section of the Loudoun Heights Trail (Blue Blaze) is permanently closed. It's no longer a lollipop, only out and back. To get to Split Rock take the AT to the Orange Trail then it will turn into the Blue Trail.

Description

Starting at the Shenandoah Street Parking Area ($10.00 parking fee must be submitted in envelope kiosk), follow the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail south across the HWY 340 bridge over the Shenandoah River. Once on the south side of the bridge, continue across the road and get ready for a steep, steady climb along the AT to the ridge top. Switchbacking your way up the trail, be sure to take plenty of breaks, perhaps take out a snack, and enjoy the fantastic hardwood landscape before you.

As you climb, keep your eyes peeled for colorful blazes at the trail intersections. Proceed pass the oranges blazes and keep going to the ridgeline where the characteristic blue blazes indicate the start of the Blue Trail to the left. Head north on the Blue Trail as it snakes its way along the ridgeline to utterly spectacular viewpoints culminating in the Split Rock Overlook at the trail's end.

After enjoying yourself at the overlook, head back up the Blue Trail, climbing gently to a junction with the Orange Trail. Follow the Orange Trail as it descends gently to a clearing strung with overhead powerlines that offers rich panoramic views of Harpers Ferry. Take your time enjoying the view before heading back into the dense forest. Ahead, you'll connect back with the Appalachian Trail.

Follow the AT back down the ridgeline, over the road, and across the bridge to reach your car and the journey's end.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hunter R with improvements by Karen Carter

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 32 votes

#411

Overall
  4.1 from 32 votes
5 Star
31%
4 Star
53%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
3%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#411

Overall
268 Views Last Month
6,779 Since Sep 23, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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3%
31%
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Photos

view of the rivers
Mar 9, 2020 near Harpers…, WV
Harpers Ferry from split rock overlook
Apr 9, 2018 near Harpers…, WV
The gem at the end!
Sep 2, 2018 near Harpers…, WV
First real overlook on the trail. It's on a power line but the view is still nice.
Oct 29, 2017 near Harpers…, WV
Overview
Sep 2, 2018 near Harpers…, WV
How did this get here?
Sep 2, 2018 near Harpers…, WV

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 59 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 12, 2020
Alec Lynde
Solid hike, but only two overlooks where you can see the river and the town. Still worth it and much quieter than Maryland Heights. 7.4mi — 2h 45m
Apr 19, 2020
brent birsa
Feb 23, 2020
Sean Coombs
South side of the loop is blocked off! Take the left turn at the end of the white tail makers. 6.3mi — 3h 56m
Sep 28, 2019
Lex Matthews
6.3mi
Sep 27, 2019
John Canan
7h 37m
Sep 21, 2019
Gustavo Berrizbeitia
5.3mi — 3h 00m
Jul 4, 2019
Charles Fox
11h 15m
Jun 29, 2019
Robin Seabolt
6mi