Strenuous, 7.5 miles (12.1 km) round trip, 4-5 hours
This challenging trail gives hikers the opportunity to see the Appalachian Trail
, multiple views of Harpers Ferry, views of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and valleys, and formations of phyllite and quartzite rock. Hikers are rewarded with the only view to the east into Pleasant Valley and beyond, a southern view of the town of Harpers Ferry and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.
- Trail is open during daylight hours. Closed from sunset to sunrise.
- Visitors have a multiple options for accessing the trailhead:
- From Lower Town, hikers may:
- From the Main parking area at the Visitor Center, follow the Visitor Center to Lower Town Trail until you reach the highway bridge over the Shenandoah River, here you turn left through the River Access parking lot and connect with the Appalachian Trail at the highway above.
- The River Access parking area, located at the junction of 340 and Shenandoah Street, is intended for visitors using the river access located under the highway bridge. This lot is often full.
- Cross the hiker-friendly section of the highway bridge over the Shenandoah River then follow the staircase under the bridge to reach the base of Loudoun Heights. Continue up the AT 0.9 miles to the intersection with the orange-blazed trail. Turn left for a break from the climb and hike about 0.5 miles on the orange trail to the first overlook. At the top of the mountain turn left on the blue-blazed trail. Two more overlooks along the power line cut preview the beautiful vista waiting at the Split Rock overlook. Backtrack on the blue-blazed trail to return to the orange-blazed trail and then down to the AT and the descent back to Lower Town.
- Drinking water is not available on this trail. Water is available at the Visitor Center and in Lower Town.
- Restrooms are not available on this trail. The closest restrooms can be found at the Visitor Center and in Lower Town.
- Be prepared to carry out all of your trash.