Appalachian Trail – Shenandoah National Park

Location: Central Virginia
Trip Starts: Loft Mt Campground
Trip Ends: Front Royal (US 522)
Total Distance: 80.3 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Appalachian Trail
Trail Traffic: Heavy
Trip Type: Multi-Day Hike
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Appalachian Trail Conservancy
799 West Washington Street
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
(304) 535-6331


The Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah National Park continues for twenty-seven miles from Loft Mountain to Lewis Mountain Campground, a similar but smaller facility. Lewis Springs are located nearby with a gushing spring fifty feet off the trail and Lewis Falls is farther down a side trail that goes beyond the spring. The Skyline Drive (which is always a short distance from the Trail in the park) is accessible via a service road to the right which leads a short distance to Skyline Drive and then another 0.2 miles to the Big Meadows Wayside.

Big Meadows is a large complex that covers over a mile of the park. It has a campground, a lodge, some cabins, some exhibits, a picnic area, a laundry room, and an amphitheater. There’s even a taproom with live entertainment.

Panorama is the next wayside stop on the Appalachian Trail and it is located at US 211 in Thorton Gap. The facility is basically a large wayside station with a restaurant and gift shop, and it is the last with services for the northbound hiker. From here, it’s less than twenty-five miles to the Northern Park Boundary. The Tom Floyd Wayside is located just north of the Shenandoah National Park, but it is a trail shelter and does not have any services available. It does, however, have a nice deck which is unusual for most shelters along the Appalachian Trail. This section ends at US 522 which is four miles from the city of Front Royal. It’s only three miles from the Tom Floyd shelter to US 522.

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