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Loudoun Heights Out and Back

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.1 (34) 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

10.1

KM

Out and Back

1,032' 314 m

High

293' 89 m

Low

1,204' 367 m

Up

1,204' 367 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hunter R with improvements by Karen Carter

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 34 votes

#378

Overall
  4.1 from 34 votes
5 Star
32%
4 Star
53%
3 Star
12%
2 Star
3%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#378

Overall
104 Views Last Month
8,058 Since Sep 23, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
65%
6%
29%
0%

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

Update Conditions
All Clear 13 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Dec 23, 2020
Will Heinle
Accompanied by Daniel Beck. Lower section recently cleared. Look Northwest to the Bear Pond Mountains on a clear day to see Whitetail Ski Resort 6.3mi — 3h 00m
Nov 14, 2020
Meredith Leigh
Oct 4, 2020
Travis Zimmerman
Had to park at the visitor center so it added about 1.5-2 miles more 8.1mi — 3h 34m
Jul 12, 2020
Private User
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