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.
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.
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.