With the leaves changing their colors throughout the forests, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy nature. Here’s our list of the best Virginia fall hikes. No matter where you live in this great state, you can find truly incredible hiking trails that are suitable for any experience level or taste.
The greater Charlottesville area is incredibly lucky to be adjacent to a portion of the Appalachian Trail, and we are plush with access to trails and parks preserved and maintained for residents to enjoy. If you’re looking for a weekend activity with the family or some friends, hiking in Virginia is never better than during the fall.
The Best Virginia Fall Hikes Near Charlottesville
Try starting with one of the most popular trails of all: Humpback Rock. Humpback Rock is located in Afton, Virginia, and it offers everything you associate with the best Virginia fall hikes: breathtaking views, incredible foliage, and wonderful trails. At only a mile up and back, it’s a great way to get started on your adventure. The trail also features an outdoor museum at the trail head detailing history of Appalachian culture at the turn of the century.
Just a few minutes down the road in Nelson County, you can have a crack at the Spy Rock hiking trail. Slightly longer than Humpback Rock, Spy Rock boasts 1.5 miles of forest paths alongside sheer rock face on your way to the incredible granite dome at the top. At the pinnacle, hikers are treated to the best 360 degree view in Virginia.
The Highest Waterfall East of the Mississippi
After you’ve conquered those two hikes, you can feast your eyes on Crabtree Falls, also located in Nelson County. Crabtree Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi, and truly a marvel of Virginia countryside. The hike is lovely, but you can also drive the family up and go directly to the waterfall and enjoy the scenery.
For avid and experienced hikers, we have Old Rag, located in Madison County. Topping out at over eight miles of steep trails and a few rock scrambles, Old Rag is perfect for agile individuals looking for a challenge. It is often referred to as the most popular hike in the Shenandoah, and for good reason. When you finally reach your goal, you knees might be a little weak, but the view from the top of the world will sweep you off your feet.
Hiking in Virginia is one of the many incredible things about our state, and constant access to beautiful scenery from the Blue Ridge Mountains helps keep our residents happy and peaceful as they go about their daily lives. After all, an adventure is just around the corner!