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Shenandoah National Park

Traces Trail

 

 

This hike requires you to leave Skyline Drive at milepost 22.2 and take the access road to Mathews Arm Campground.  Parking is available in the amphitheater parking area.  The Traces Trail features the "traces" of the families who once lived in this area.  This is an easy loop hike of 1.7 miles with just a few steep sections, with the rest of the trail fairly level.

Start you hike at the trailpost at the far end of the parking area.  At 0.4 miles you'll reach a trailpost and the junction of a connector trail that leads to the Tuscarora Trail plus Overall Run Falls.  Veer left, staying on the Traces Trail and begin to descend.  You may notice rock walls to the right, then left and maybe an old home site.  The people are long gone, but their legacy lives on.

After crossing the Mathews Arm Trail (gravel road), you'll reach a rock ledge looking over the Shenandoah River to Massanutten Mountain and beyond.  Continue along the loop trail around the campground, crossing the campground road on your way back to the parking area.

For more information on hiking in Shenandoah National Park, check out these books and maps; Hiking Shenandoah National Park Shenandoah National Park - National Geographic MapsBest Easy Day Hikes Shenandoah National Park Appalachian Trail Guide to Shenandoah National Park: With Side Trails, and 75 Hikes in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park.

The Elkwallow Trail also originates from the amphitheater parking area.  This little used trail travels 1.75 miles to the Elkwallow Wayside and Camp Store.  There are pictures and maps below.

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