Hiking & Trail Running
Adventure Capital of the Shenandoah Valley
Escape from the crowds and find your hidden oasis in the woods in and around Harrisonburg, VA. Swim in refreshing swimming holes and play in cascading waterfalls. Explore secluded woodland groves and gorgeous displays of autumn foliage. Trek to stunning panoramic views and breathe in the cool mountain air. Retreat to downtown Harrisonburg to sample award-winning craft beverages, chat with friendly, knowledgeable outfitters, and peruse a copy of the new trail guide for the rest of your journey. Harrisonburg is your basecamp for adventure!
Shenandoah National Park
Some of the area’s most legendary trails are accessible via the Swift Run Gap entrance station of Shenandoah National Park, a 30-minute drive from Harrisonburg. Follow the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail to Hightop Mountain, the highest peak in the park’s South District. Scramble over jagged rocks and massive boulders to rocky outcrops at Blackrock Summit and Bearfence Mountain. Hike past other-worldly rock formations to expansive views at Furnace Mountain. Descend down the mountain through a tunnel of Blueberry Bushes and rest at Madison Run.
George Washington Nat. Forest
Climb to the top of High Knob Fire Tower, one of the last remaining fire towers east of the Mississippi River. Expansive 360 degree views of Spruce Knob, the highest mountain on the Eastern Continental Divide, and sunset vistas of distant ridges can be seen from the nest of the fire tower. Trek alongside babbling streams at Fridley Gap, where waterfalls feed gently into a swimming hole at the base of the mountain. Mountain laurel blooms alongside the trail. Hike along the Massanutten Trail to the overlook at Fourth Mountain, and take in scenic views of Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley.
Parks, Trails & Greenways
Harrisonburg’s parks, trails, and greenways beckon you to explore the great outdoors. Walk, run or ride through pastoral scenes on the Friendly City Trail, a two mile greenway connecting Hillandale and Westover Parks. At 74 acres, Hillandale Park is the largest in the city. Meander past bluebells and flowering plants in the tranquil woods of the Rocktown Trails. Play a round of frisbee golf in-between walks or relax in the shade of a quiet pavilion. The Bluestone Trail and Northend Greenway offer additional opportunities for walking.
Paul State Forest
Paul State Forest is an oasis of forest amidst rolling farmland. The 173-acre forest provides a pleasant place for walking in the summer when shade cools the path and and an easy course for trial runners. A variety of birds frequent the area, including raptors, hawks and kestrels. At the trailhead, a set of picnic tables provide a lovely spot for a picnic.
Hone Quarry Recreation Area
Explore the dense network of trails at Hone Quarry Recreation Area where secluded sandstone cliffs, glittering reservoirs, and hidden waterfalls are tucked away in the shadows of Shenandoah Mountain. The Cliff Trail boasts a stunning overlook, while Hidden Rocks Trail leads you to a towering rock face. Rappel with your climbing gear down the cliff and feel the rush of the wind at your back.
Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
Tread through peaceful woodland pathways at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and rest on a sprawling garden lawn amidst blooming wildflowers. Wind through the stone labyrinth and listen as the sound of birdsong fills the canopy. While you are there, enjoy the arboretum’s beautiful botanical gardens or attend a guided wildflower walk, field journaling, or discovery class led by a naturalist.
Gear up and fuel up in the city’s vibrant downtown, a center for the arts, culture and entertainment, and basecamp for Harrisonburg’s active outdoors community. Walk, bike, or scooter to internationally-inspired restaurants, independently owned boutiques, and friendly, knowledgeable outfitters.
Hundreds of Miles of Trails
The NEW Harrisonburg-Rockingham Trail Guide introduces a collection of 15 trips and trails, from stunning mountain climbs to peaceful wooded pathways. Each page includes a map and description of the trail as well as distance, difficulty, and special considerations. Click on one of the locations on the map to learn more.
Madison Run Fire Road
Hone Quarry Cliff Trail
Hone Quarry Falls
Riven Rock Park
Paul State Forest
High Knob Fire Tower
Elk Run Trails
Massanutten Western Slopes
Friendly, Knowledgeable Outfitters
The team at Walkabout Outfitter is eager to connect you with the area’s best hiking spots and get you the gear you need to make the most of your trip. Get recommendations for day hikes and weekend trips, and shop for hiking and backpacking essentials. Attend an informative hiking or backpacking course, and work with them to arrange a shuttle from Harrisonburg to the Appalachian Trail.
Appalachian Trail Community
Just 18 miles from the Appalachian Trail and the famed Shenandoah National Park, Harrisonburg is an Appalachian Trail Community™. The city provides opportunities for recreation and adventure as well as food and supplies for thru-hikers on their journey from Georgia to Maine. A local committee formed to inspire residents and to support hikers through education and events, welcoming everyone to experience the wonder of the Appalachian Trail.