Fall Colors · Views
The Loudoun Heights trail 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. (Not sure this is accurate. Admission to the National Park Visitor Center lot is $20 per car.)
The section of the old 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 newly marked Loudoun Heights Trail (light blue blazes and a very visible park sign marking the trail to Split Rock.) Note: This is the old orange trail.
Starting at the Shenandoah Street Parking Area ($20.00 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 down the steps and walk under 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, you'll cross Chestnut Hill Road. This is more than half way to the next trail intersection. Watch for the intersection with Loudoun Heights Trail. This is well marked with signs at the intersection and light blue blazes on the trail. Head east-north-east on the Blue Trail as it snakes its way along the ridgeline to utterly spectacular viewpoints including some clearings strung with overhead power lines that offer rich panoramic views of Harpers Ferry. The trail ends in the Split Rock Overlook.
After enjoying yourself at the overlook, head back up the Blue Trail, to the junction with the Appalachian Trail.
Follow the AT back down the ridgeline, cross under HWY 340, and across the bridge to reach your car and the journey's end.
Shared By: Hunter R