Mill Prong - Laurel Prong Loop

An historic cabin with a large porch sits in the middle of a snow-covered forest.

A circuit hike to Camp Rapidan, the rustic getaway of President Herbert Hoover and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover. Today, this restful spot features exhibits on the First Couple and their perspectives. This hike features three stream crossings, each about eight feet wide, which may be difficult to cross, depending on the amount of recent rainfall. Take your time crossing and turn around if you feel uncomfortable. If you are unable to do the hike, you can still take a virtual tour of Rapidan Camp.

Distance: 7.4-mile circuit hike
Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous (explanation of our hiking difficulty scale)
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,520 feet

Hike Description

  1. From the Milam Gap parking area (mile 52.8), cross Skyline Drive and take the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) a few feet to the trailpost.
  2. Go left onto the blue-blazed Mill Prong Trail.
  3. Take a slight right onto the yellow-blazed Mill Prong Horse Trail and follow it to Rapidan Camp.
  4. After exploring the camp, take the Laurel Prong Trail (an old road trace), which is yellow-blazed, for about a half mile.
  5. Continue straight on Laurel Prong when it becomes blue-blazed and stay on it past the junction with Cat Knob Trail.
  6. At the junction with the A.T., turn right and follow it north across Hazeltop, the third highest peak in Shenandoah.
  7. The A.T. will take you back to your starting point Milam Gap.


The average hiking duration does not take into consideration fitness, exploration, rest, contemplation, etc.

Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.

An entrance fee is required to get into Shenandoah National Park.

The trailhead for this hike is located at the Milam Gap parking area. 

Accessibility Information

This trail does not meet ADA accessibility guidelines.

Map of area around Rapidan including notable trails and roads

Download the trail map
Click the image to download the trail map. Print it out at home or save it to your phone to take with you on your hike.

Last updated: June 30, 2021