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Sherando Recreation Area Loop

Difficult
  4.7 ( 3 ) Favorite

Trail

3.6 mile 5.9 kilometer loop
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 981' 299 m
Descent: -993' -303 m
High: 2,738' 834 m
Low: 1,819' 554 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Lisa Gardner

A challenging loop with several overlooks.

Lisa Gardner

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Lots of neat rocks to climb on.

There is a $3 entrance fee per person which can be self-issued when the station is closed in the fall and spring.

Overview

This challenging loop travels across a mix of terrain and forest types to reach several overlooks before descending down to the lake. There are several options to create a longer hike, but this is a good place to start!

Need to Know

  • Season passes, camping, picnicking, snack bar and swimming beach are available.
  • There are several options along the hike to make it a longer if desired. There aren't a lot of lake views on this loop, but both the Lakeside Trail and Cliff Trail have views. The lake is particularly beautiful in fall with many colorful trees on all sides.

Description

This hike starts just before the first bridge after you pass the entrance station for Sherando Lake National Recreation Area. There's a kiosk and parking for about five vehicles.

The Blue Loop Parking Trail starts from the lot and heads steeply to a lovely rock outcrop and overlook area that would be suitable for picnicking. The trail continues uphill, but not quite as steep, and then meets the Torry Ridge Trail. Turn left here and continue along the ridge dotted with many interesting features. At the next intersection, turn left onto the Blue Loop Water Trail which will take you to Overlook Rock. Continue and turn left again onto the yellow-blazed Dam Trail.

This is a steep descent until you make a left onto the Lakeside Trail. The Lakeside Trail will take you to a small bridge that crosses the creek just below the dam. From this point, you'll be near the end of the paved fishing access road. This road is sparsely traveled and a lovely level hike along the creek. Follow the road back about 0.25 miles to the bridge and parking lot.

History & Background

The recreation area opened in 1936 and has some original stone buildings.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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Oct 30, 2018
Jeff Harris
That first mile makes sure you're in shape!

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#1964

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
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Featured Hike Rankings

#52

in Virginia

#1,964

Overall
71 Views Last Month
871 Since Nov 7, 2017
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Photos

Lake view from the dam
Nov 7, 2017 near Stuarts…, VA

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