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Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park is So Popular, the Park has Special Rules for Its Use!

Going into Shenandoah National Park, there's a fee to park and use the trails on certain weekends and holidays during summer and fall. What's the big deal? Old Rag is a short drive from Northern Virginia and offers day hikers a craggy knob with outstanding views!

Parking For Old Rag Hike
Parking For Old Rag Hike, shenandoah national park

Best time to beat the crowds on Old Rag is in the off season. Mountain laurel decorates the Saddle Trail with blossoms during spring. Whatever time of year, carry an overshirt or jacket, wind and no cover can make Old Rag's summit feel positively chilly!

Mountain Laurel
Mountain Laurel, shenandoah national park

Roads and trails meander through the mixed hardwood forest on lower slopes and along the stream at the foot of the mountain, the path is mostly rock face along the cliffs and through the narrow passages between house sized boulders around the summit. During the fall, views from Old Rag across Weakley Hollow are filled with autumn colors.

Dangerous Hike

Shenandoah Valley from Old Rag
Shenandoah Valley from Old Rag, shenandoah national park

Old Rag is Shenandoah's most popular and dangerous hike. The number of websites about this hike proves its popularity. The number of search and rescue missions each year proves its danger.

There's no doubt that the climbing is great fun and the views are unbelievable. A day on Old Rag is one of Shenandoah's premier outdoor experiences. Be sure that your experience is not stricken by an accident or health problem that could be prevented with good planning.

Hike Shenandoah

Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Several trails are accessed from Skyline Drive. Some easy trails lead to a waterfall or viewpoint, and more difficult trails penetrate deep into the forest and wilderness.

Spectacular Waterfall!
Spectacular Waterfall, shenandoah national park

With so many trails in Shenandoah National Park, you'll certainly be able to find one to fit your interest and ability. Maps from Shenandoah National Park have suggested trails based on your physical ability. When you hike in Shenandoah National Park be sure to wear sturdy shoes and take plenty of water!

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Shenandoah National Park

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