Thing to Do

Story of the Forest

A color photograph of a wooden sign that reads, “Story of the Forest.

Pets are not allowed on this hike. An easier stroll through the woods that passes next to the Big Meadows Air Quality Station, an important place for scientists and researchers to learn about air quality in Shenandoah.

Distance: 1.8-mile round trip hike
Difficulty: Easiest (explanation of our hiking difficulty scale)
Hiking Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
Elevation Gain: 290 feet

Hike Description 

  1. From Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51), follow the sidewalk to the trailhead and take the trail right. 
  2. After crossing the bridge, turn left and follow the trail to its intersection with a paved walkway near the campground office.
  3. Turn left and follow the walkway back to your starting point.


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


Pets are not allowed on Story of the Forest Trail.

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

The trailhead for this hike is located down the sidewalk from Byrd Visitor Center.

Year Round
Accessibility Information

Although pets are not allowed on the Story of the Forest Trail, service animals are welcome. This trail does not meet ADA accessibility guidelines.

Shenandoah National Park

Map of Big Meadows Area with key locations, roads, and trails noted.
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: February 10, 2021