Virginian hikers enjoy many of the most rewarding trails on the East Coast. When it comes to upping the ante and pushing yourself on a more challenging hike, the options are endless. Next time you’re looking to push yourself, check out these five energizing hikes in Virginia.
Raven Rocks Trail can be reached via the Appalachian Trail in Bluemont, Virginia. Raven Rocks covers just over five miles, but has an intense, 1,600-foot elevation gain. Locals call this trail “the roller-coaster” for its winding, up and down ridges.
The Shenandoah National Park is home to over 500 miles of hiking trails, but one of the best is the Rose River Falls trail. At just about 2.5 miles round-trip, this moderate loop includes a majestic waterfall and is accessible year-round. Expect just over 700 feet of elevation gain and some steep hills.
For the next trail, we're going to start out on the Appalachian Trail and head up to Spy Rock, referred to as "the best viewpoint in the central Blue Ridge" by the official Virginia state website. The hike is described as "moderately strenuous," and with almost 4,000 feet of elevation, you're sure to get a good workout. But the 360-degree panoramic view at the top will be well-worth the extra effort.
Explore the nearly 5.5 miles of the James River North Bank and Buttermilk trails to discover Richmond’s natural side. The trail is moderately difficult. Get ready for hills overlooking the beautiful James River.
The Fountainhead Regional Park is home to the Fountainhead Trails, a series of trails that cover roughly 2,000 acres. The route is a loop with hilly terrain. Expect many steep descents and climbs but enough straightaways in between to recover nicely.