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AT in Shenandoah National Park
Browns Gap to
Loft Mountain, Doyles River
Appalachian Trail GPS Tracks
Get the complete GPS Tracks for the AT in Shenandoah National Park and Northern Virginia for ONLY $1.97! This .gpx file includes waypoints for all trail shelters along this stretch of trail and many of the official AT parking areas. Use the BUY NOW button below and we'll send you the file via e-mail! Happy Hiking!
This 10.3 mile section of the Appalachian Trail takes hikers around the Loft Mountain Campground, a popular stop for thru hikers of the AT. This section begins in Browns Gap, a historical Civil War area as General Stonewall Jackson used this gap several times during the Valley Campaign.
From the gap the AT quickly gains 250 feet in elevation before leveling off. At 0.5 miles reach the junction of the blue blazed Big Run Loop Trail. At 0.9 miles the AT crosses MP 82.2 of Skyline Drive with a nice view of Cedar Mountain and Trayfoot Mountain.
At 1.3 miles the trail travels through the Doyle River Parking Overlook at MP 81.9 of Skyline Drive. At 2.1 miles the trail reaches the junction with the Doyle River Trail, Skyline Drive is 200 feet to the left. The AT now ascends Big Flat Mountain and at 2.5 miles there is a spectacular panoramic view of Rockytop, Brown Mt, Rocky Mt, Rocky Mount and Loft Mountain.
Loft Mountain Amphitheatre
At 3.0 miles reach a side trail on the left that leads 0.3 miles to the Loft Mountain Amphitheatre. The AT now skirts around Loft Mountain Campground with access trails to the campground at 3.2 and 3.7 miles. At 4.3 miles a side trail heads left to the Camp Store (open mid May to October). Trail now ascends Loft Mountain.
At 5.4 miles the trail reaches the crest of the ridge of Loft Mountain and the junction of the extremely popular Frazier Discovery Trail on the left. You may see a lot of day hikers in this section of trail. In 150 feet there is a real nice view. At 6.1 miles the trail passes to the left of the 3320 foot summit of Loft Mountain and now descends.
View from Loft Mountain
At 6.4 miles there is a side trail on the left that leads 500 feet to the Ivy Creek Maintenance Building. There is no camping allowed here. On many old topo maps, the building shows as a shelter. This is incorrect. At 7.1 miles the trail crosses the scenic Ivy Creek and then ascends. At 7.8 miles there is an excellent view of Trayfoot Mountain and Rockytop with Skyline Drive right below the trail.
At 8.5 miles the AT reaches the south end of Ivy Creek Overlook at MP 77.5 of Skyline Drive. The trail travels through the overlook, then ascends. At 9.1 miles the trail reaches the 3080 foot summit of an unnamed hill. At 9.5 miles, where the AT makes a sharp right turn, a side trail travels left 200 feet to Skyline Drive just south of Twomile Run Overlook.
At 10.1 miles the AT crosses an access road that leads 0.1 mile to Pinefield Hut. This Hut can only be used by long distance AT thru hikers. The hut was built in 1940, sleeps six with designated tent sites located nearby as well as a privy. The water source tends to be dry. The trail now reaches MP 75.2 of Skyline Drive at Pinefield Gap and the end of this section of the trail.
We recommend purchasing any of the following books/maps for those looking for more information on hiking the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park:
Appalachian Trail Guide to Shenandoah National Park
Day & Overnight Hikes Shenandoah National Park
Hiking Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park, VA - Trails Illustrated Map #228 (National Geographic)
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