I don’t often seek out paved trails, much less ones that are less than 1.0-mile long, but there was something about the Storybook Trail in Shenandoah County.
I finally completed this hike on my way home from Wytheville a week or so ago. I’d been in the car for three hours and this short hike was just what I needed.
|Elevation Gain||43 feet|
|Driving Directions||Click Here|
Arriving at the Trailhead
It’s a fairly straightforward drive from I-81 to the trailhead, though the last 1.5 miles along Crisman Hollow Road are windy as you gain elevation.
The small parking area abruptly appears on the right side of the road. There’s space for 10 or so vehicles for this short hike in the George Washington National Forest.
The First Steps
A whimsical curving wooden footbridge welcomes visitors to the Massanutten Storybook Trail. Cross over a small, burbling creek to reach the paved path.
There are plenty of large, interesting rocks along the way for kids (and adults) to scramble up, on, over and around.
As you walk, placards on either side of the trail educate on the Massanutten Mountain Range, which began as sand on the ocean floor some 400 million years ago.
Time and pressure created rocks of sandstone, shale and limestone. Over many years, erosion carved the valleys and ridges of today.
At the .35-mile mark, you will reach a second whimsical footbridge that leads to a spectacular overlook with far-reaching east-facing views.
Just to the right of the overlook are more than a few rocky outcrops that are just right for settling in with a snack. Savor the panoramic views for as long as you like.
From the parking area, this hike took me less than 20 minutes. I mean, it is a really short hike, but it was absolutely worth a stop for the booming views. Wowza.
Once you’ve adequately stretched your legs, jump back on I-81 or VA-211 to continue on where you need to go.