Thanks to more than 500 miles of trails that criss-cross Shenandoah National Park there are trails for every level, from easy walks to strenuous scrambles.
All up and down Skyline Drive, you’ll find trailheads that beckon visitors to step foot on them and see what they have to offer curious park-goers.
There are hikes that can be accessed from boundary trailheads, too. As in, from points away from Skyline Drive, on the outskirts of the national park.
If you’re looking for easy hikes in Shenandoah National Park, I’ve got you covered. Here are 10 simple hikes with history, views, wildlife and cascades.
Easy Shenandoah Hikes
All of the kid-friendly trails below are located in Shenandoah National Park. However, there are lots of short and sweet Shenandoah Valley hiking trails.
I encourage you to explore as many easy Shenandoah Valley day hikes as you can, including these short hikes in Shenandoah National Park.
#1: Fox Hollow Trail (milepost 4.6)
Hike across land once owned by the Fox family before the park was created in 1935. This hard-working family cleared stones on both sides of the trail to farm.
The Fox family cemetery is one of more than 100 across the park. Inspect a few headstones to consider what daily life was like in the park’s ridges and hollows.
#2: Snead Farm Loop (milepost 5.1)
On this 3.4-mile hike you are rewarded when you reach the historic Snead Farm early in this hike. The white family barn is in very good shape for its age.
Behind the barn is a root cellar. This underground cellar would have stored vegetables, nuts and fruits for this industrious farm family.
To the left is a stone foundation, the remains of the family home. All that remains today is a stone outline and a couple of sets of stairs into the former home.
#3: Range View Cabin (milepost 22)
This easy hike leads to Range View Cabin, one of six primitive Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) cabins at Shenandoah National Park.
Range View Cabin was built almost entirely by PATC volunteers in 1932. For the stonework, the club hired local stonemason, Charlie Sisk.
You can’t enter the cabin (unless you rent it for the night), but it’s fun to explore the grounds. This hike shares a trailhead with the Sugarloaf Loop.
#4: Millers Head Trail (milepost 42.5)
The 1.5-mile out-and-back hike on the Millers Head Trail adjacent to Skyland leads hikers to a former stone fire tower that dates back to the 1940s.
At the time, seven fire towers were manned around the clock at Shenandoah National Park. You can also revel in far-reaching views before you reach the tower.
At the .2-mile mark, a short spur trail leads to Bushy Top Observation Point for scenic views of Massanutten Mountain and working farms in the valley.
#5: Limberlost Trail (milepost 43)
The Limberlost Trail is one of the most-trafficked easy hikes in Shenandoah National Park. With the exception of service animals, this trail does not allow pets.
This 1.3-mile loop along a flat, crushed greenstone walkway is stroller-friendly and wheelchair-accessible. More than 15 wooden benches dot the Limberlost Trail.
You’ll also cross over a couple of bridges and boardwalk sections. For more steps, tack on the side trail to the scenic Crescent Rock overlook.
#6: Pocosin Trail (milepost 59.5)
Pocosin Cabin is also managed by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). The cabin was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1937.
Proceed past the cabin to reach the ruins of Upper Pocosin Mission, which served the local mountain community before the establishment of the national park.
#7: Loft Mountain Loop (milepost 79.5)
For a photo-worthy loop hike with easy parking and access to sundries and supplies (in-season), the Loft Mountain Loop is a wonderful choice.
This 2.1-mile loop hike pairs the Frazier Discovery Trail with the Appalachian Trail for a scenic hike with rock scrambles, creek crossings and scenic vistas.
Hike this loop counter-clockwise to reach a show-stopping overlook at the 1.2-mile mark. This east-facing viewpoint would be beyond spectacular at sunrise.
#8: Blackrock Summit (milepost 84.4)
The hike to Blackrock Summit is an easy hike to love. It’s also an easy hike, and one that awes with a massive field of – you guessed it, black rocks.
Wide-open views across the Shenandoah Valley make this 1.8-mile hike a real winner. The hike also includes a short stretch of iconic Appalachian Trail.
A spur trail through a field of boulders leads to the Trayfoot Mountain Trail. The scenic vistas, which include Trayfoot Mountain, are even more sensational.
#9: Little Calf Mountain (milepost 99.5)
The out-and-back hike to the summit of Little Calf Mountain is short and sweet. It’s 1.7-miles and is a nice hike to end the day if you want to squeeze in one more.
This hike is a stone’s throw from the Rockfish Gap entrance in the park’s South District, so it’s also an easy one to do if you’re spending time in Waynesboro.
The summit of Little Calf Mountain is more a lovely meadow than a rocky outcrop. Still, the scenic views are rewarding, especially at the end of a long day.
#10: Thompson Hollow Trail (boundary trail)
The Thompson Hollow Trail leads into the park from the end of Thompson Hollow Road in Bentonville. A gravel road guides visitors to the hiking trail.
At the 1.0-mile mark, this trail ends as it dead-ends into the Beecher-Overall Run Trail. Turn right at this junction. Then, within .1-mile, an oasis.
In .1-mile, turn left and you will reach large rocks to sit down on and some beautiful cascades and small waterfalls. As a bonus, a dreamy swimming hole.