Grab Your Boots: 5 of Virginia’s Top Breathtaking Hiking Spots

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By Dogwood Staff

September 19, 2023

Virginia is a state known for its stunning natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities. For those looking to explore the best hikes in the area, there are several must-visit destinations that offer breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature.

Let’s take a closer look at five of these incredible hiking spots.

Humpback Rocks

Nearest Town: Lyndhurst, VA
Distance: 2 miles (plus more if you want to make it to Humpback Mountain or the Humpback Rocks picnic area!)

One of the most popular hikes in Virginia is Humpback Rocks. This challenging climb has been on many hikers’ bucket lists for years. While it may be difficult, it’s accessible to amateurs.

We won’t lie to you: This hike is very steep and provides a great workout. Towards the end, there’s even a bit of a rock scramble, adding an extra element of excitement. The reward for your efforts is the stunning view at the top, making it all worth it.

Hot tip: Alltrails recommends combining the trails into a 4.2-mile loop, and reviewers say it’s best to go counterclockwise (less traffic, more peace and quiet!).


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Crabtree Falls

Nearest Town: Tyro, VA
Distance: 3.6 miles

Another must-visit hiking spot is Crabtree Falls. This beautiful area in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests offers a challenging hike to the top, but the view is absolutely worth it.

The falls themselves are a sight to behold, and the trail offers views all the way up (so even if you can’t make it to the top, you’ll still get a sneak peak!).

Hot Tip: For those looking for an even more rewarding experience, continue up the trails past the “last fall view” to the right. This will lead you to even more breathtaking sights.

Spy Rock

Nearest Town: Tyro, VA
Distance: 6.9 miles

If you’re in search of panoramic views, Spy Rock is the place to go. Like Crabtree Falls, it’s located on the eastern crest of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Starting from the Montebello Fish Hatchery, you’ll walk up a 4-wheel drive road to the Appalachian Trail. The climb is fairly gradual, so the trail is considered moderately difficut. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning 360-degree views of the Shenandoah Valley.

Hot Tip: Road and trail conditions make this less than ideal in the winter (especially when there’s snow on the ground), so stick to the warmer, drier months.

Cave Mountain Lake Recreation Area

Nearest Town: Natural Bridge Station, VA
Distance: 2.6 to 9.4 miles, depending on the trail

For those looking for a more diverse outdoor experience, Cave Mountain Lake Recreation Area is the perfect choice.

Located within the Blue Ridge Mountains, this area offers a variety of hiking trails, a beautiful lake for swimming, and a wonderful camping experience. One of the shortest hikes is Apple Orchard Falls Trail, while Terrapin Mountain Trail is definitely on the long and difficult side.

Whether you’re looking to hike, swim, or simply relax in nature, this recreation area has it all.

Hot Tip: This recreation area is close to the famous Natural Bridge, which is an interesting rock formation that makes for gorgeous photos. Don’t forget your camera!


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Blackwater Creek Trail

Nearest Town: Lynchburg, VA
Distance: 6.5 miles

Lastly, the Blackwater Creek Trail is one of the most popular places to take an easy, outdoor stroll near Lynchburg.

The paved trail offers stunning views and plenty to see along the way. Even if you only have time to hike a partial part of the trail (which may not even be an option due to recent closures), there’s no doubt that you’ll be captivated by its beauty.

Whether you’re hiking, jogging, or biking, this trail is a must-visit!

Hot Tip: Some of the sections have mud and/or overgrown foliage, so it’s best to wear pants and close-toed shoes.

The Takeaway

Virginia is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of hiking experiences for all skill levels. From challenging climbs to breathtaking views, these best hikes in Virginia are sure to leave you in awe of the state’s natural beauty.

So grab your hiking boots, pack some water and snacks, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in the great outdoors.

This story was generated in part by AI and edited by Dogwood staff.



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