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Want it all? Try the Riprap Trail. Located in southern Shenandoah National Park, this 9.1-mile loop–with optional Appalachian Trail extension–highlights the park’s two best features. Start at the Riprap Trail parking area off of Skyline Drive, tracking the AT south. Turn right onto Wildcat Ridge and descend 1,500 feet. Turn right onto the Riprap Trail and ahead pass the park’s largest swimming holes and a temple of cliffs called Calvary and Chimney Rocks. Continue on Riprap to the AT. Turn right and close loop at car. Optional: To tag a peak, take the AT south to 2,981-foot Turk Mountain, adding six out-and-back miles to the circuit.
- Distance: 14.7
Location: 38.1783066, -78.7644043
Follow spur trail for 200 yds., Turn L onto AT
Location: 38.1677742, -78.7716675
Lush overlook of Riprap Hollow
Location: 38.1530495, -78.7740479
Turn R @ 4-way onto Wildcat Ridge Trail, begin 1,500 ft. descent
Location: 38.1597481, -78.7920685
Small brook rushes dwonhill to uppersection of Meadow Run
Location: 38.1631851, -78.7986145
Turn R @ T onto Riprap Trail
Location: 38.1703987, -78.7932053
Old location of Riprap Shelter; look for swimming holes in nearby creek, then continue straight to Cold Spring Hollow
Location: 38.1837654, -78.7861557
Trail gently moves N-NW to airy ridgeline
Location: 38.1864662, -78.7767639
Chimney Rock; big rocky outcrop looks over Shenandoah Valley
Location: 38.1855125, -78.7738647
Fun group of scrambling rocks; begin ascent to Skyline Dr.
Location: 38.1826668, -78.7620316
Turn R @ T, return .4 mi. to parking lot