Top 5 Fantastic Fall Foliage Hikes in Shenandoah Valley VA

Fall in Virginia is just beautiful! In this blog we want to lead you to at least five of the best hikes near our B&B where fall colors burst over the hills and mountains that form the Shenandoah Valley.Woman joyfully throwing a bunch of beautifully colored fall leaves.

One of the best known and best loved trails nearby is Crabtree Falls trail. From the parking lot for the Crabtree Falls trail, you can also catch a trail that leads through The Priest Wilderness. This 5,963-acre reserve includes the highest part of The Priest Mountain with streams and springs spilling off the mountain and into your view. This medium-difficulty (also called “unrelenting”) trail starts at Crabtree Meadows and continues on a rough jeep road about half-mile to the Appalachian Trail. Join the AT and pass a trail shelter before coming to The Priest Overlook, a great spot to take in nature’s warm fall colors!

Be sure to check out our newest winery while in this area: 12 Ridges Vineyard sits atop the Blue Ridge Mountains and their 5000 square foot deck has magnificent views of the mountains! 

In the George Washington National Forest just west of Staunton, VA, you will find another great hike to catch the leaves’ colors. The Elliott Knob Trail is a 14.2 mile trek that takes you to the highest point of Great North Mountain. Even the drive on the winding VA Route 254 will be worth the trip because you get a view great vistas as you make several turns heading out to the trail head. Plan about 6 hours for this yellow-blazed trail that follows along Falls Hollow Run and by several small ponds on some old logging roads and fire roads.  At the summit of this trail, you will find an old Lookout Tower that was built in 1958 but is no longer used. 

Trees in fall colors beside a pond in the woods of the Shenandoah Valley.If you are looking for a more level walking trail, take a hike on the Chessie Trail – so called because it follows the old Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad bed and canal road beds along the Maury River. The Chessie Trail stretches between Lexington and Buena Vista – a distance of seven miles. The trail is now maintained by the Virginia Military Institute and is featured in the 2019 Chessie Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K runs on October 19.  Locals love this trail because it is well maintained, has easy access points, and has great scenery including native flora and fauna.

The fifth trail system in this list of five fall foliage hikes is located in the town of Lexington. Yes – even in the city limits you can find some great hiking and walking trails! The Woods Creek Trail is a flat four-miler that runs along the Maury River, behind the Virginia Military Institute, and with views of some of the buildings of Washington and Lee University. An “insider’s tip” suggests stopping for lunch at Beam Me Up BBQ near the end of the trail AND a sweet indulgence at Sweet Things on Washington Street. 

You can find all of these hikes and 75,000 more trails all around the country on the All Trails app. Download the app for directions, descriptions of the trails, and follow your progress as you hike. 

When you arrive back at the B&B after a day of hiking, relax by our fire pit with a glass of wine or beer or cider. If you don’t want to go out again for dinner, purchase a Charcuterie Board or enjoy S’Mores. We have some packages to satisfy your hunger while you reflect on the beautiful fall foliage hikes of the day. Two Adirondack chairs by a pond with fall foliage in the background at Steeles Tavern Manor B&B

Make your reservation now for a fall foliage hiking getaway in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Insider Tip: Visit us midweek when the trails are less crowded and you have more choice of rooms at the B&B.

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