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